PRINCE2 Agile® wiki
« Extra-concepts


The following are the classical project targets in PRINCE2:

Targets are used to measure the performance of the project. For a Stage, for example, these are the monitoring and controlling activities:

  1. “budgets” are set before the Stage is started, and is part of the Stage Plan. For example, the stage should be done in 3 months, with €50K. Note: “budget” refers to all target values, not only the cost target.
  2. “tolerances” are also set along with the budgets: 3 months ± 2 weeks, €50K ± €10K
  3. during the stage, the performance is measures by calculating the “at completion” values for targets: e.g. when do we forecast the stage to finish, and how much will it cost?
  4. if there’s any deviation between the targets and the forecasts, we should immediately design a corrective action to recover it. If the deviation is below the tolerance, the Project Manager should decide, and if it’s outside the tolerance, the Project Board will decide.

The same process is used for other levels; e.g., between the Project Manager and Team Managers for the Work Packages.

The zero-tolerance problem

Tolerance is not an acceptable range of values with a warning, as it is in engineering or daily life. PRINCE2 tolerances are only used according to the Manage by Exception principle to make it clear who should decide on the recovery method. Any deviation from the target values should be recovered, even if it’s inside the tolerance level.

PRINCE2 Agile mentions that when you want to fix a target, you should set its tolerance to zero. This is based on the common language use of the term “tolerance” rather than its PRINCE2 definition. A zero tolerance means that any small deviation should be escalated all the way to the Project Board, and the Project Manager, Team Managers, and developers cannot try to fix it themselves.

Fix or Flex

PRINCE2 Agile uses the phrase “fix or flex” to discuss which targets should be fixed, and which should be dynamic. This is important, because different targets are fixed in Agile environments compared to predictive ones.

See Also

Written by Nader K. Rad

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