General Principles of Project Management

Whilst PRINCE2® advocates a set of seven principles upon which it is based, in the wider context of the word, key principles (or rules) for project management success can be summarized in the following statements.

Top management must actively set priorities.

Project managers must focus on three dimensions of project success (time, cost, quality).

Planning is everything … and ongoing.

Project managers must feel and transmit to their team members, a sense of urgency.

Successful projects use a time-tested, proven life cycle.

All project deliverables and all project activities must be visualized and communicated in vivid detail.

Deliverables must evolve gradually, in successive approximations.

Projects require clear approvals and sign-off by Sponsors.

Project success is correlated with thorough analyses of the need for project deliverables.

Project managers must fight for time to do things right.

Project manager responsibility must be matched by equivalent authority.

Project sponsors and stakeholders must be active participants, not passive observers.

Projects typically must be sold, and resold.

Project managers should acquire the best people they can and then do whatever it takes to keep them and keep distractions at bay.

What are the characteristics of project principles?

PRINCE2 states that the adoption of principles characterize whether a project is using a methodology and ensures that the method is not overly prescriptive but is sufficient to contribute to the success of the project.

Principles are:

Universal in that they apply to every project

Self-validating, having been proven in practice over many years

Empowering, giving confidence and ability to influence and shape how a project is managed