The 7 Processes of PRINCE2

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Over the last few months, I’ve written about project management within the PRINCE2 framework. I’ve described the:


In this blog post, you’ll be introduced to the 7 processes of PRINCE2.

PRINCE2: Why Processes?

All PRINCE2 projects are separated into 7 processes. These processes allow all projects to be managed in a scalable and tailored fashion. Each process is defined by key inputs and outputs, and administered in line with specific process objectives and activities. Each is supervised by the project manager, and approved by the project board.

Before outlining the 7 processes later in this post, let’s remind ourselves about how project managers should plan throughout the lifecycle of a PRINCE2 process.

Planning in PRINCE2

Planning is both essential and repeatable in PRINCE2. The activities of planning are included within the plans theme of PRINCE2, and the project manager will include planning in each of the processes as and when needed and appropriate to do so. The activities that will be undertaken during planning are to:

  • Design the plan
  • Define and analyse project/stage products
  • Identify stage activities and dependencies
  • Prepare estimates
  • Prepare the schedule
  • Analyse the risks
  • Document the plan


The project manager will use a technique described as product-based planning when defining and analysing the project and/or stage products. This technique requires:

  • Writing of the project product description
  • Creating the product breakdown structure
  • Writing of the product description
  • Creating the product flow diagram

What are the 7 processes of a PRINCE2 project?

1.      Starting a project

Creating a project mandate and explaining the purpose of the project, and describing who will carry it out and how it will be executed.

2.      Project initiation

The project manager will outline how performance targets will be managed (e.g. time, cost, quality, etc.), and what needs to be done to complete the project.

3.      Project direction

This process continues throughout the lifecycle of a PRINCE2 project, with the project board supervising:

  • Initiation
  • Stage boundaries
  • Guidance and direction as and when required
  • Stage and project closures


4.      Controlling stages

Work packages must be authorised and assigned. Project managers must then oversee and report on progress and step in to correct problems, while team managers will coordinate daily work and provide the communication link between teams and the project manager.

5.      Managing product delivery

This controls communication between the team manager and project manager, with the specific activities of accepting, executing, and delivering work packages.

6.      Managing stage boundaries

Stages must be reviewed by the project manager and project board, with lessons to be learned recorded, subsequent stages planned, and the project plan and business case updated.

7.      Project closure

The final process is to close the project, identifying follow-up actions, preparing reviews, freeing up resources that are unused/no longer needed, and handing over to the customer.

In my next blog post, I’ll start to examine these processes in more detail, beginning with starting a project. In the meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions or queries you may have: