Effective Control Routines
PRINCE2 recommends a number of levels of control routines designed to ensure the right people get the right information at the right time. These routines can be thought of as cycles within cycles, and are:
Checkpoint – the internal cycle that reviews status of individual products or deliverables, risks, issues and requests for change
Highlight Reporting – the cycle for reviewing and reporting information of interest to stakeholders such as budget, overall status, risk exposure and issue status for major issues
Stage Planning and Reporting – a cycle based on division of the project into manageable chunks that represent the level and duration of authority held by a project manager
End Project Reporting – based on reporting the outcome of the entire project compared to original plans
You can, if you wish, add your own daily routines to this model. Between them, these controls should largely generate the only reports that you need to provide during the project. Each layer of control should examine the same basic information – progress on deliverables, risks, issues, costs/budgets and potential changes. The difference should only be the level at which they are examined.
The checkpoint routine should be managed for each work package and go into quite some detail. Only the salient points – total cost, impact of changes on schedule, key risks and issues – need to be brought up to the next level which examines the status of the project from month to month. Likewise this information is used to report the end of each stage or phase of your project. Managing in this way allows you to keep one set of key data about the project and do all of your reporting from that.
OK, that’s probably Nirvana, but if you are including progress, budget outcomes, product status and quality, key issues and risks in your control cycle from the base level, there are few reasons why you should need to provide other reports.