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Control – part 13 - Taking action - What does this entail?

Assessing the current situation

The Project Manager and Team are accountable for hitting the objectives and delegating, where necessary, to other departmental members.
This will involve assessing the current situation through good project control and realising that an issue exists that must be addressed.

Project impact

If an issue is raised, what is its likely impact upon the overall plan?
A raised issue could be something that has already happened and now requires assessment and possible action.
Or, it could be a potential risk that has only just been identified.

In either case the impact on the project must be assessed.
In the case of a potential risk you will also need to assess the likelihood of it arising.
Risk analysis is covered in more detail in 'The Complete Risk Management package'.

If the impact is low perhaps no action is required.
Similarly, if the likelihood of a risk occurring is low then there may be no action to consider.

Resolving issues and problems

Any actions should be recorded.
The minimum information required will be:

  • What is the issue?
  • What is the impact?
  • What is the action?
  • Who is responsible?
  • What is the action timeframe?

It may be that the solution to a problem is not obvious and you will need to consider options.
A good technique to use will be a brainstorm.

Controlling change

The changes that occur must be controlled using a formal approach.

Quality under PRINCE2® 2005 is the process of making sure that the Customer gets what they are expecting.
This implies the management of the Project Quality Plan.
[see Quality in a Project Environment]

The product must ‘conform to requirements’ or be ‘fit for purpose’.
A quality review ensures this will be the case using a structured and organised procedure.
[see Quality review technique - part 1]

Under PRINCE2 2009 the purpose of the Quality theme is to define and implement the means by which the project will create and verify products that are fit for purpose.
The Quality theme defines the PRINCE2 [see ‘The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2’] approach to ensuring that the project’s products:

  • Meet business expectations
  • Enable the desired benefits to be achieved subsequently.

[see Quality - Purpose]

A key success factor of any project is that it delivers what the user expects and finds acceptable.
This will only happen if these expectations are both stated and agreed at the beginning of the project, together with the standards to be used and the means of assessing their achievement.
The Quality Management Strategy ensures such agreements are captured and maintained.
[see Initiating a project – Activities - Prepare the Quality Management Strategy]

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.