Project Management Frameworks for SMEs (PRINCE2 or not PRINCE2?)

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Paul Naybour
Paul is a project management consultant and account manager with particular expertise in the analysis, process development, and implementation of change program management, risk management, earned value management, and bespoke project management training development and delivery. Paul is the Business Development Director of the company Parallel Project Training

Project management framework provides an organisation with a structured approach to delivery of projects. As described in my last post “what is a project management framework?” they include the following elements

  1. A common life cycle with defined stages and gates.
  2. A defined set of roles and responsibilities including the sponsor, project manager and users.
  3. A set of template products and processes to support the implementation of the project.

The benefits of a common approach are improved clarity about the different stage in a project, better control of the project and continuity for the project if it moves from one project manager to another. Overall the framework provide consistence for the organisation which reduced the overall risk to project delivery. The most commonly recognised project management framework (or project method) is PRINCE2. However many organisation consider the principles and processes in PRINCE2 to be over complex for the smaller and more agile projects which they manage and are looking for a simpler more rational approach.

Are Project Management Frame works just for large projects?

Most large project organisation have had project management frameworks for a number of years, the roles and project stages are well embedded in the business. Whilst many in the organisation see the framework as a restraint on their freedom to deliver, most would agree that life is better with a framework and would not withdraw it from use. However many smaller organisations an increasingly seeing the value of a structured approach to projects. Organisations are smaller, with less spare resources and yet they are trying to deliver more products to market in an efficient way. Frameworks can be really helpful in defining the path a project has to follow to get a new product of service to market. Knowing who is going to do what when and the controls to be applied can be very helpful for even the smallest of organisations.

Increased demand for project management frameworks (that are not PRINCE2)

We are seeing an increasing demand form organisations in fast moving industries for a structured approach to project, which is simpler and easier to apply than PRINCE2, and helps organisations to get product to market more quickly. These simple frameworks can be developed from a number so simple components, including a simplified lifecycle, simple short templates for the key project documents, with a bit of effort these can be reduced to just four or five streamlined documents, a clarity on the roles and responsibilities for the different lifecycle stages. To learn more about our experience developing simple but effective project management frameworks just get in touch with parallel project training at


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  1. Paul, I totally agree. Our experience over the last 5+ years is that organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the need for what we describe as the Post-PRINCE Era, and are finally realising that PRINCE2 does not make a project manager in itself.

  2. John
    Thanks for your comments

    I can’t agree more project management competence is very different from knowing a project management method. Like driving a car theory is very different from practice.


  3. […] Project Management Frameworks for SMEs (PRINCE2 or not PRINCE2?) – Project management framework provides an organisation with a structured approach to delivery of projects. As described in my last post “what is a project management framework?” they include the following elements A common life cycle with defined … […]


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