PRINCE2 Project Assurance 

 March 27, 2022

By  Dave Litten

Did it ever occur to you that the Project Board CAN’T spend all their time playing golf?

You heard right, despite it seems PRINCE2 provided them with just ONE process – Directing a Project.

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Sure, one of their activities, “Give Ad-hoc direction” involves advice and guidance, and a conduit for reports and decisions, but that apart, they just get together to authorize the initiation stage, ditto for the project, decide on stage and exception boundaries (should the latter occur), and authorize project close.

Heck! All the above could be done via email if appropriate.

Meanwhile, our Project Manager Hero runs ragged, takes the blame if anything goes wrong, and gets their fingers burned if they can’t read minds, work miracles, shrink the time/space/resource continuum at will, and predict the future,

Well, err …NO actually.

See, the PRINCE2 Framework has been designed to form what is known as the “project management team” and that’s not just a throw-away phrase to keep the troops happy. PRINCE2 Project Assurance is a key process within the Project Team.

Nope, it has the emphasis on the word “team” and it shares the responsibilities around.

Let me explain:

PRINCE2 Project Assurance

First, check out just one example below, then open up your PRINCE2 Manual and do TWO things:

Prince2 Project Assurance
  • Check out Appendix C – Roles and responsibilities. Sure, it does duplicate some stuff that is in the Organization Theme but check out Project Assurance on page 345.

You will find Business Assurance (The Executive is responsible for that), User Assurance, and Supplier Assurance sections. Any verbs that take your eye? Oh yes, stuff like assist, advise, review, verify, check, inform, monitor, and in general “audit”. These must be busy boys and girls!

  • Now check out the activities in the seven PRINCE2 Processes, and play the “Spot Project Assurance” Game in the countless Tables of responsibilities …

Count the actions Project Assurance take – over one hundred right?

And you did know that project assurance can’t be delegated to the project manager, project support, or team managers? (conflict of interest dontcha know!)

So let’s take a stroll back to pre-project when the Executive and Project Manager are appointed – the former being responsible for designing and appointing project board members.

By default, the project board is responsible for project assurance and change authority. Yes, they can delegate, but they remain responsible.

PRINCE2 wisely cautions the considerations when deciding how to fill the three project board roles, and that such individuals should be chosen for their seniority, authority, credibility, delegation skills, and most important of all, their AVAILABILITY.

That last one is a kicker – still think the PRINCE2 Project Manager is a Whipping Post? Methinks Not.

If passing your PRINCE2 Practitioner is NOT optional, and your job or career is at stake here — and you would like to have me as your one-to-one PRINCE2 Practitioner coach, mentor and teacher — hop on over and request a FREE no-obligation chat.


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Dave Litten

David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for USA multinationals, and has deep experience in project management. He now develops a wide range of Project Management Masterclasses, under the Projex Academy brand name. In addition, David runs project management training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.

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