(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
This book is long overdue. It’s a great idea for those who are responsible for managing projects and serving on the Project Board. The structure of Directing Successful Projects using PRINCE2(r), is clear. It also explains what it doesn’t include. Although there is no information in this manual about the leadership skills required for Project Executive responsibilities the manual refers to the Focus on Skills series. The inter-relationships between this and other OGC texts are presented in a way that provides context for this text.
I liked the guidance for new Executives. There are case studies and boxes that illustrate the theory in a practical setting. The more complicated concepts are also covered for Project Board members. Chapter 3 provides a comprehensive explanation of the different types of tolerances and will be of great assistance to project managers in securing tolerance limits for future projects.
There are practical shortcuts as well, such as draft agendas for Project Board meetings or benefits reviews. I feel that there should be more emphasis on the importance and effectiveness of handovers to operations. This is something that is often overlooked in projects. The Executive’s support is crucial in making sure this happens.
The book gives clear guidance on what project managers should do in the PRINCE2 (r) framework. It also explains how to choose the right project manager. Chapter 8 provides practical advice for new Executives on what to do if a project manager is not providing enough support or failing to manage by exception.
In the past, many project directors had to give guidance to Project Board members and ask for what they needed.
They will be able to give the concrete guidance that this book provides to Executives, instead of having to have difficult conversations that can sometimes feel like undermining their experience or authority.
It won’t eliminate the need for difficult conversations between Executive and project manager, but it will hopefully reduce some organizational challenges and allow both to focus on the task of managing a successful Project.