sobota, 10 listopada 2007

Marriage of Prince2 with Microsoft Solution Framework

Very often there pop-ups the question like: 'What of methodologies do you know/use?'. There is usually some smart answer like PMBoK, RUP or SCRUM, but when the question is drilled down, it appears out of the blue that there is just the set of unique practices - the mixed salad from everything what market offers and world wide web says about. There is nothing wrong with it and furthermore it is a wise strategy to collect patiently the practices, which truely works. Wise senior executives will slow down the saint paladins, who coming back from the training are trying to change the whole company into the Six Sigma or whatever else. Of course this type of change is possible, but it must be implemented incrementally and it must respect existing well-working practices, even if they do not fit to the template.

For a long period of time I have been using (or I have tried to use) the MSF and I am quite used to it. Of course, there had to be some compromises each time and it was never the pure implementation. For example just once I had the situation where there was the true separation of the project and product manager roles.

Nevertheless at my current position, there is a strong rule across the whole department to use the Prince2 methodology. This type of situation, common and strong support from top executives, does not happen often. I am currently on my learning curve of the methodology and I must admit that only things, which you do not know scares you. Furthermore, it seems to be a good fit to treat a Prince2 as a general flow of documents on higher, execuitve level, where written documents are necessary to take some serious, strategic decisions and MSF as a parallel, technological flow on a tactical level.

The main flow of the Prince2 is more-or-less as follows:
  • [DOC] Project Mandate
  • [PROC] Starting up a project (SU)
  • [DOC] Project brief
  • [PROC] Directing a project (DP)
  • [PROC] Initiating a project (IP)
  • [DOC] Project Initiation Document
  • [PROC] Directing a project (DP)
  • Stages after stage
  • [PROC] Closing a project (CP)
  • [DOC] End Project Report

DOC : Document
PROC : Process

DP is mostly about decisions of a steering committee : 'do we continue a project or not?'
There can be any number of stages, one after the other

Stage is in fact the mixture of the four processes: Controlling a stage (SG), Planning (PL), Managing Product Deliver (MP) and Managing Stage Boundaries (SB), but to simpfly these things I called the thing Stage.

The Prince2 methodology definitely causes formalization of the project, but in case of a big nterprises that is actually a good approach especially at the beginning and at the end. After the key decision is taken each stage of the project may be passed to MSF solution, where we already have the Vision phase managed and there is a time for all the remaining 4 phases – planning, development, stabilization and implementation. These are strongly technical activities, which are not in scope of Prince2. The best sample is a planning phase, which has totally different meaning. In Prince2 that is about the way how the plan is constructed: what will be delivered (products), what are the linkages between products, risk management, estimation and master plan. In MSF it should be actually called design and that is splitted on conceptual and technical planning of the architecture.

At the end of the whole project the deliverables (work packages) provided by MSF, should be checked within the Prince2 Controlling A Stage (SG) process or Closing a project (CP). This double checks that final result goes along with expected and defined within Project Initiation Document.

Assuming the business case of the big company A, which request the delivery of the big software product X and a smaller company B, which is a pure software house. The company A may use Prince2 and company B the MSF, without bigger problems in communication. Actually Prince2 itself predicts that company B may use different methodology (not Prince2) and it is a main purpose of the whole Managing Products Delivery (MP) process.

Furthermore the whole concept is not new, when we speak about Prince2 and RUP (I really found the link after writing the first version of this document) ;)

Brak komentarzy:

web metrics