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PRINCE2 Foundation

Lesson 7Plans Theme

Based on AXELOS PRINCE2 material. Reproduced under licence from AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

Based on AXELOS PRINCE2 material. Material is reproduced under licence from AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

PRINCE2 is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.

AXELOS is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
Copyright 2014, Simplilearn, All rights reserved.
1 The Swirl logo is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under the permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. Copyright 2014, Simplilearn, All rights reserved.
Objectives

After completing Define the Plans theme


this lesson, you will
Explain the PRINCE2 approach to Plans theme
be able to:
Define the roles and responsibilities in Plans theme

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Purpose of Plans Theme

The purpose of the Plans theme is to facilitate communication and control by defining the means of
delivering the products (the where and how, by whom, and estimating the when and how much).[1]

The plans are baselined to measure progress against it.


The targets are:
Time
Cost
Quality
Scope
Risk
Benefits
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Plans TermsDefinitions

The key definitions associated with Plans are:

Plan is a document describing how, when and by whom a specific target or set of targets is to be
achieved. It is the backbone of the management information system required for any project. A plan
requires approval and commitments of the relevant levels of the project management team.

Planning is the process of making and maintaining a plan. It should be product-based as


recommended by PRINCE2.

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Levels of Plan

Project Plan is created during


Initiating a Project process.
Initiation stage plan is created
during the Starting up a Project
process.
PRINCE2 recommends three
levels of plan to reflect the
needs of the different levels of
management involved in the
project, stage and team.
Team plans are created during
the Managing Product Delivery
process. Figure 7.1 PRINCE2s planning levels. Copyright AXELOS Limited 2013. Material is reproduced
under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Project Plan

The Project Plan provides a statement of how and when a projects time, cost, scope and quality
performance targets are to be achieved, by showing the major products, activities and resources
required for the project.[2]
It includes the following:

Costs Efforts Timelines

Baselines
Quality to monitor
milestones project
progress

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Project Plan (contd.)

The salient features of a Project Plan are the following:


Project Plan is created by the Initiating a Project process.
It lists the management stages.
It is used by the Project Board as baseline to monitor project progress stage by stage.
Project Plan is prepared in sync with the corporate or programme management plan.

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Stage Plan

The Stage Plan is similar to the Project Plan in content, but each element will be broken down to the
level of detail required to be an adequate basis for day-to-day control by the Project Manager.[3]

The salient features of a Stage Plan are as follows:


Stage Plan is required for each management stage
It is based on the Project Plan and exists for a shorter duration than the Project Plan
It depends on the performance of previous management stages and is created for the next
management stage and at the near end of the current one
Stage Plan is created by Managing Stage Boundary process except the Initiation Stage Plan

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Team Plan

A Team Plan is produced by a Team Manager to facilitate the execution of one or more Work
Packages.[4]

The different features of a Team Plan are as follows:


Team Plan are optional
They do not have a specified format
They are produced by the Team Manager
Team Plan is reviewed and approved by the Project Manager and Senior Supplier

! For composition of Plan please refer PRINCE2 Manual Appendix A.

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Exception Plan

Exception Plan is created to handle situations when the tolerances are forecasted to exceed or have
already exceeded.

Project Plan, Stage Plan, Team Plans and Exception Plans are different types of Plan.

The salient features of an Exception Plan are the following:


Exception Plan details the actions to be taken to control the situation in a project
It is produced by Project Manager
Project Board approval necessary for the Exception Plan if it replaces the Stage Plan
It is prepared to the same level of details as the plan it replaces
Exception Plan is not produced for Work Packages

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PRINCE2 Approach to Plans

The products required are identified first, and only then the activities, dependencies and resources
required to deliver those products identified. This is known as product-based planning.

Figure 7.2 The PRINCE2 approach to plans. Copyright AXELOS Limited 2013. Material is
reproduced under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Design the Plan

The features of design the plan step are the following:


Decisions need to be taken about how the plan can best be presented to the audience who will
use the plan and how it will be used.
Where the project is part of a programme, the programme may have developed a common
approach to project planning. This may cover standards, for example, levels of planning,
estimation methods, presentation layout and tools. These tools will be the starting point for
designing any Project Plan.

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Define and Analyse the Products

PRINCE2uses a technique known as product-based planning to identify, define and analyse the plans
products.

Figure 7.3 Product-based planning technique. Copyright AXELOS Limited 2013. Material is
reproduced under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Identify Activities

The activities required to create or change each planned product need to be identified to give a
complete picture of the plans workload.

The activities should include management and quality checking activities as well as the activities
needed to develop the specialist products.

A work breakdown structure is created, based on the product breakdown structure, to define the
activities required.

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Identify Dependencies

Any dependency between activities should also be identified. There are two types of dependencies:
internal and external.

As part of a project to build a desktop computer in under 150 Pounds, the RAM
cards will be designed only after the Motherboard is designed (internal
dependency). However, the mouse, supplied by the manufacturer, can be procured
before the design (external dependency) as they will fit into standard USB slots.

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Identify DependenciesExample

The 787 Boeing Dreamliner project involved multiple external dependencies including
wing manufacture (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan), cargo doors, access doors and
crew escape door (Saab AB, Sweden), software development (HCL Enterprise, India)
and floor beams (TAL Manufacturing Solutions Limited, India). Though the project was
supposed to be over before August, 2007, the project was delayed more than 5 times.
The reasons included fastener shortage and incomplete software.

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Prepare the Estimates

A decision about the time and resources required to carry out an activity to acceptable standards of
performance must be made by:

Identifying the type of resources required.

Estimating the effort required for each activity by resource type.

3 point estimating (best-case, most-likely and worst-case) and Delphi technique


(Questionnaire based).

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Prepare the Schedule

A plan can only show the ultimate feasibility of achieving its objectives when the activities are put
together in a schedule that defines when each activity will be carried out. The steps to prepare the
schedule are:

Define activity
Assess resource Level resource
sequence (Critical Assign resources
availability usage
Path Method)

Calculate total
Agree control resource Present the
Define milestones
points requirements and schedule
costs

Example of a scheduling tool: Gantt Chart.


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Prepare the Schedule (contd.)

A schedule defines when each activity will be carried out in a plan. A schedule is best presented in a
graphical form.

Figure 7.4 Simple activity-on-node diagram. Copyright AXELOS Limited 2013. Material is reproduced under
licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Analyse the Risks

The salient features of Analyse the Risks are the following:

Analyse the Risks is the planning activity that will usually run parallel with the other steps, as risks
may be identified at any point in the creation or revision of a plan.

Each resource and activity, and all the planning information, should be examined for its potential
risk content.

All identified risks should be entered in the Risk Register.

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Document the Plan

Document the Plan:

A narrative must be added to explain the planits constraints, external dependencies,


assumptions made, any monitoring and control required, the risks identified and their required
responses.

It is necessary to keep plans as simple as it is appropriate.

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Benefits of Product-based Planning Technique

The key benefits of product-based planning technique are:

Comprehensive identification and documentation of the plans products and the


interdependencies between them

Reduces the risk of important scope aspects being neglected or overlooked

Involves users in specifying the product requirements

Increases user buy-in and reduces approval disputes

Clarifies the scope boundary

Identifies external products

Helps in preparing the Work Packages for suppliers


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Product-based PlanningScenario

A project is required to organise and run a conference for 80 to 100 delegates. The
date and the topics of the conference have been provided. The conference has been
organised to bring members of a particular profession up-to-date on recent
developments in professional procedures and standards. All delegates will be
members of the profession, and a mailing list is available for use.
The project team is responsible for:
Identifying the venue
Finding out availability of the venue and facilities
Checking the price
The venue will be booked depending on the availability and price
The project team must identify the suitable speakers, contact them and book
them for the conference

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Product-based PlanningScenario (contd.)

A detailed agenda and programme must be identified after finalising the speakers.
Booking arrangements must be established, the programme must be agreed upon
and the venue must be selected and booked before the direct mail is sent out.
Once the venue is booked, a press release based on the programme must be
prepared and issued. The attendance list will be updated with the responses once
the press release has been issued and the direct mail distributed. Staff must be
recruited to help on the day, based on the finalised attendance list.

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Product-based PlanningScenario (contd.)

For the conference, it is decided that hand-out packets will be distributed. A hand-
out packet should reflect the selected topic or subject matter. One hundred such
delegate hand-out packets will be required.
The packets must contain:
A printed agenda covering the agreed upon program
Copies of slides and notes used by the speakers
A feedback form, based on the programme, to capture attendee reviews

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Example of Product-based PlanningProject Product Description

Project Product Description is one of the management products. The various sections of Project
Product Description are as follows:
Purpose
Composition
Derivation
Development skills required
Customers quality expectations
Acceptance criteria and project-level quality tolerances (in priority order)
Acceptance method
Acceptance responsibilities

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Example of Product-based PlanningProject Product Description (contd.)

Purpose:
The Purpose of conference project states that the conference is organised to bring members of a
particular profession up-to-date on recent developments in professional procedures and
standards.

Composition:
Conference venue
Attendees
Speakers
Publicity
Delegate hand-outs
Conference logistics

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Example of Product-based PlanningProject Product Description (contd.)

Derivation:
Selected Subject Matter
Marketing
Public Relations

Development skills required:


Conference management
Marketing
Public relations

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Example of Product-based PlanningProject Product Description (contd.)

Customers quality expectations:


Priority 1:
o Professional in style, funded by attendees and address the needs of the range of members
(from beginners to experienced professionals)
o The event should provide a forum for networking
o Repeat attendance at future conferences is generated from satisfied members

Priority 2:
o The speakers should be chosen on the basis of their knowledge, experience and expertise.
They are not delivering a sales pitch to the members
o The conference should be interactive in style
o The conference should be held at a central location, therefore minimising travel

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Example of Product-based PlanningProject Product Description (contd.)

Acceptance criteria and project-level quality tolerances (in priority order):

The cost of the conference must be covered by the attendance fees

Minimum 80 and maximum 100 delegates must attend the conference

More than 50% of the presentations should be interactive

The speakers and programme must be approved by the editorial board representing the interests
of the members

The attendees satisfaction survey should indicate that more than 75% will attend next years
conference and/or recommend it to their colleagues

The hotel venue should be within three miles of a main line train station

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Example of Product-based PlanningProject Product Description (contd.)

Acceptance method:
As the conference cannot be rerun if it is proven to be unacceptable, the project board will grant:
Preliminary acceptancebased on approval of the agreed programme by the editorial board and
independent assurance that the attendee numbers and conference costs re-forecast to be
acceptable
Final acceptancebased on the end project report providing evidence that the acceptance criteria
were met

Acceptance responsibilities:
The senior user and executive are responsible for confirming the acceptance

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Example of Product-based PlanningProduct Breakdown Structure

In the hierarchy chart, the products various components are shown in a hierarchical manner.

Project Product Description: Conference Project, contd.

Figure D.1 Product breakdown structure in the form of a hierarchy chart. Copyright AXELOS
Limited 2013. Material is reproduced under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Example of Product-based PlanningProduct Breakdown Structure (contd.)

Mind Map technique can be applied to prepare a product breakdown structure.

Figure D.2 Product breakdown structure in the form of a mindmap. Copyright AXELOS Limited
2013. Material is reproduced under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Example of Product-based PlanningProduct Flow Diagram

A product flow diagram must be created to identify and define the sequence in which the products of
the plan will be developed and any dependencies between them.

Figure D.3 Example of a product flow diagram for the conference project. Copyright AXELOS
Limited 2013. Material is reproduced under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Roles and Responsibilities in Plans Theme

The table depicts the responsibilities of Corporate or programme management, Executive and Senior
User in Plans theme.
Role Responsibilities

Set project tolerances and document them in the project mandate.


Corporate or programme
Approve exception plans when project-level tolerances are forecast to be exceeded.
management
Provide the corporate or programme management planning standards.

Approve the Project Plan.


Define tolerances for each stage and approve Stage Plans.
Executive
Approve exception plans when stage-level tolerances are forecast to be exceeded.
Commit business resources to Stage Plans (i.e., finance).

Ensure that Project Plans and Stage Plans remain consistent from the user perspective.
Senior User
Commit user resources to Stage Plans.

Text in box is from Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2. Copyright AXELOS Limited 2013. Material is reproduced under
licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Roles and Responsibilities in Plans Theme (contd.)

The table depicts the responsibilities of Senior Supplier, Project Manager and Team Manager in Plans
theme.
Role Responsibilities

Ensure that Project Plans and Stage Plans remain consistent from the supplier perspectives.
Senior Supplier
Commit supplier resources to Stage Plans.

Design the plans.


Prepare the Project Plan and Stage Plans.
Decide how management and technical stages are to be applied and design Stage Plans.
Project Manager
Instruct corrective action when work package-level tolerances are forecast to be exceeded.
Prepare an exception plan to implement corporate management, programme management or the project boards
decision in response to exception reports.

Prepare Team Plans.


Team Manager
Prepare schedules for each Work Package.

Text in box is from Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2. Copyright AXELOS Limited 2013. Material is reproduced under
licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Roles and Responsibilities in Plans Theme (contd.)

The table depicts the responsibilities of Project Assurance and Project Support in Plans theme.

Role Responsibilities

Monitor changes to the Project Plan to see whether there is any impact on the needs of the business
Project
Assurance or the project Business Case.
Monitor stage and project progress against agreed tolerances.

Assist with the compilation of Project Plans, Stage Plans and Team Plans.
Project Support Contribute specialist expertise (for example: planning tools).
Baseline, store and distribute Project Plans, Stage Plans and Team Plans.

Text in box is from Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2. Copyright AXELOS Limited 2013. Material is reproduced under
licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
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Quiz

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QUIZ Which of the following is used by the Project Board as a baseline against which project
1 progress can be monitored on a stage-by-stage basis?

a. Stage Plan
b. Project Plan
c. Exception Plan
d. Team Plan

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QUIZ Which of the following is used by the Project Board as a baseline against which project
1 progress can be monitored on a stage-by-stage basis?

a. Stage Plan
b. Project Plan
c. Exception Plan
d. Team Plan

Answer: b.
Explanation: Project Plan is used by the Project Board as baseline to monitor project
progress stage-by-stage.

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QUIZ
Exception plans are not produced for which of the following?
2

a. Stage Plan
b. Project Plan
c. Initiation Stage Plan
d. Work Packages

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QUIZ
Exception plans are not produced for which of the following?
2

a. Stage Plan
b. Project Plan
c. Initiation Stage Plan
d. Work Packages

Answer: d.
Explanation: Exception plans are not produced for Work Packages.

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QUIZ
Who is responsible for preparing the schedules for each Work Packages?
3

a. Team Manager
b. Project Manager
c. Project Assurance
d. Quality Assurance

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QUIZ
Who is responsible for preparing the schedules for each Work Packages?
3

a. Team Manager
b. Project Manager
c. Project Assurance
d. Quality Assurance

Answer: a.
Explanation: Team Manager is responsible for preparing the schedules for each Work
Packages.

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QUIZ
PRINCE2 recommends how many levels of plan?
4

a. Two
b. Three
c. Four
d. Five

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QUIZ
PRINCE2 recommends how many levels of plan?
4

a. Two
b. Three
c. Four
d. Five

Answer: b.
Explanation: PRINCE2 recommends three levels of plan to reflect the needs of the
different levels of management.

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QUIZ
Who approves the Project Plan?
5

a. Executive
b. Project Manager
c. Corporate or programme management
d. Project Assurance

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QUIZ
Who approves the Project Plan?
5

a. Executive
b. Project Manager
c. Corporate or programme management
d. Project Assurance

Answer: a.
Explanation: Executive approves the Project Plan. Corporate or programme management
sets project tolerances and documents them in the project mandate.

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QUIZ
Which of the following is not a correct step of product based planning technique?
6

a. Write the Project Product Description


b. Create the product breakdown structure
c. Write the Product Description
d. Create the Work Packages

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QUIZ
Which of the following is not a correct step of product based planning technique?
6

a. Write the Project Product Description


b. Create the product breakdown structure
c. Write the Product Description
d. Create the Work Packages

Answer: d.
Explanation: Create the Work Packages is not part of the technique. The correct four steps for product
based planning technique are: Write the Project Product Description, Create the product breakdown
structure, Write the Product Description and Create the product flow diagram.

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QUIZ
What is the advantage of product-based planning technique?
7

a. Reduces the risk of incorrectly scoping the project


b. Ensures the delivery of the product within agreed time and cost
c. Removes the need of activity sequencing
d. Depicts how long the team would take to develop the products

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QUIZ
What is the advantage of product-based planning technique?
7

a. Reduces the risk of incorrectly scoping the project


b. Ensures the delivery of the product within agreed time and cost
c. Removes the need of activity sequencing
d. Depicts how long the team would take to develop the products

Answer: a.
Explanation: The philosophy behind producing plans in PRINCE2 is that the products required are identified first,
and only then are the activities, dependencies and resources required to deliver those products identified. This is
known as product-based planning and is used for the Project Plan, stage plan and optionally, the team plan.

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QUIZ Team Plans are optional: their need and number will be determined by the size and
8 complexity of the project and the number of resources involved.

a. True
b. False

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QUIZ Team Plans are optional: their need and number will be determined by the size and
8 complexity of the project and the number of resources involved.

a. True
b. False

Answer: a.
Explanation: A Team Plan is produced by a Team Manager to facilitate the execution of one
or more Work Packages. Team Plans are optional.

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QUIZ ___________ is a plan prepared for the appropriate management level to show the
9 actions required to recover from the effect of a tolerance deviation.

a. Stage Plan
b. Team Plan
c. Project Plan
d. Exception Plan

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QUIZ ___________ is a plan prepared for the appropriate management level to show the
9 actions required to recover from the effect of a tolerance deviation.

a. Stage Plan
b. Team Plan
c. Project Plan
d. Exception Plan

Answer: d.
Explanation: An Exception Plan is a plan prepared for the appropriate management level to
show the actions required to recover from the effect of a tolerance deviation.

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QUIZ In a(n) ________ Plan each element will be broken down to the level of detail required
10 to be an adequate basis for day-to-day control by the Project Manager.

a. Project
b. Stage
c. Team
d. Exception

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QUIZ In a(n) ________ Plan each element will be broken down to the level of detail required
10 to be an adequate basis for day-to-day control by the Project Manager.

a. Project
b. Stage
c. Team
d. Exception

Answer: b.
Explanation: A Stage Plan is required for each management stage. The Stage Plan is similar
to the Project Plan in content, but each element will be broken down to the level of detail
required to be an adequate basis for day-to-day control by the Project Manager.

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Summary

Here is a quick The purpose of Plan theme is to facilitate communication and control by
recap of what we
defining the means of delivering the products
have learnt in this
lesson:
A Plan is a document describing how, when and by whom a specific target or
set of targets is to be achieved

Designing the plan is a pre-requisite of planning

Hierarchy chart and mind map are the two formats of product breakdown
structure

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Thank You

Based on AXELOS PRINCE2 material. Material is reproduced under licence from AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
PRINCE2 is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
AXELOS is a [registered] trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
The Swirl logo is a trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under the permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
60 Copyright2014,
Copyright 2014, Simplilearn,
Simplilearn, All rights
All rights reserved.
reserved.
References

[1] Based on Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, by AXELOS. Risk, Purpose.

[2] Based on Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, by AXELOS. Plans, The Project Plan.

[3] Based on Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, by AXELOS. Plans, Stage Plans.

[4] Based on Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, by AXELOS. Plans, Team Plans.

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