I was travelling home one evening on the train when I noticed the passenger next to me watching the film Oceans Eleven on his iPad and remembering the plot, having watched it numerous times in the past, I thought how poignant, having just finished the first day of a PRINCE2 course I was delivering.

I began to compare what happened within the film with the activities of the PRINCE2 processes, especially Starting Up a Project and Initiating a Project.

The Plot:

Following release from prison, Danny Ocean (aka Project Executive) has an idea and meets up with his friend Rusty Ryan (aka Project Manager) and they head off to Las Vegas to propose the caper to wealthy friend and former casino owner Reuben Tishkoff (to secure the funding).

The plan is audacious and involves simultaneously robbing The Bellagio, The Mirage and The MGM Grand casinos, all of which are owned by the ruthless entrepreneur Terry Benedict, who by the way, also has more than a passing interest in Danny’s beautiful ex-wife Tess.

The Project Mandate has only three rules to be followed: First: No blood. Second: Rob only who deserves it. Third: Do it as if you have nothing to lose.

But I think the reason (why) gets somewhat lost during the planning and as the team discovers that Danny’s ex-wife is Benedict’s girlfriend, Rusty urges Danny to give up on the idea, believing him incapable of sound judgment while Tess is involved.

Reuben however still agrees to finance the operation, considering this a good way of getting his own back, having lost a casino to Benedict in the past.

The story so far: We have the why and what and now need to address the who. Danny and Rusty recruit eight former colleagues and criminal specialists. A young and talented pickpocket, a casino worker and con-man, a pair of gifted mechanics, an electronics and surveillance expert, an explosives expert, an elderly con-man and an accomplished acrobat.

How: The planning begins as team members carry out reconnaissance at The Bellagio to learn about security, staff routines and behavior, the building layout itself, whilst others create a precise replica of the vault and practice maneuvering through its formidable security systems.

The plan is put into motion and is successful _ with no blood lost and only those deserving to be robbed are robbed.
Planning and preparation brings success and that’s what SU and IP are all about _ laying the foundations for successful execution.