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PRINCE2 Taking Corrective Action 

 September 2, 2022

By  Dave Litten

PRINCE2 Taking Corrective Action

Projects go off track, which is why they need project managers for the purpose of taking corrective action. If the stage does go off track, clearly you need to react and do something about that. What you do depends on the nature of the problem and if you can bring it under control or not. This is called PRINCE2 – Taking Corrective Action.

If you’re the project manager and can make some adjustments to the running of the stage that would still mean that the stage would finish within the tolerances, then you get on and do that.

That may mean making some changes to the plans and the work given to the teams. But the important point is that you are working within your delegated authority and so can do this without reference to the project board.

Sometimes an issue or risk cannot be resolved without causing a forecast breach of a stage’s tolerances, in which case the project manager must escalate the situation to the project board.

Therefore, the activity called take corrective action is used when such actions can and will ensure that the stage and project remain within tolerance bounds.

Deviations from any plan are natural as there’s no such thing as a perfect plan or a perfect estimate. In addition to this, there may be elements that are outside of your control.

Prince2 Taking Corrective Action

For these reasons as part of controlling a stage, it is important that the project manager differentiates between situations that have arisen that would cause tolerance to be breached and those which can be controlled within such tolerances.

Since the project manager manages the stage on a day-to-day basis, then they will use the activity called review the management state status to get the big picture and to note any deviations from what is actually occurred, to what was planned to occur.

As part of reviewing the management stage status, if it is realized the situation at hand will cause tolerances to be breached, then the project manager would use the activity to escalate issues and risks and bring this to the attention of the project board via a risk report and an exception report.
However, in this article, I want to focus on the take corrective action activity.

Prince2 Taking Corrective Action

In taking corrective action the objective is to select and, within the limits of the management stage and project tolerances, implement actions that will resolve deviations from the plan.

Therefore, corrective action typically involves dealing with advice and guidance received from the project board, and with issues raised by team managers.

When taking corrective action There are a set of logical steps:

Collect all relevant information about the deviation and identify potential ways of dealing with the deviation and select the most appropriate option.

Because such options are deviations from the original stage plan (yet still within tolerances), the project manager may need to authorize a new or modified work package if such corrective actions involve the specialist team.

Of course, such corrective actions may simply involve the project manager in which case modified work packages may not be needed.

If the corrective action was a result of an issue being raised then the issue report will need to be updated to show the status of the corrective action, which in turn will need the issue register updated with any changes.

If the corrective action is being handled informally then the daily log will need to be updated in place of the issue register. As a result of any corrective actions new or modified risks may occur and so the risk register should also be updated.
Since the corrective action was made as a result of a deviation from the stage plan then this too will need to be updated.

Check out my PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner Masterclass

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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