A plan provides a statement of how and when objectives are to be achieved, by showing the major products, activities and resources required for the scope of the plan. In PRINCE2, there are three levels of plan: project, stage and team. Team plans are optional and may not need to follow the same composition as a project plan or stage plan.
An exception plan is created at the same level as the plan that it is replacing.
A project plan provides the business case with planned costs, and it identifies the management stages and other major control points. It is used by the project board as a baseline against which to monitor project progress.
Stage plans cover the products, resources, activities and controls specific to the management stage and are used as a baseline against which to monitor management stage progress.
Team plans (if used) could comprise just a schedule appended to the work package(s) assigned to the team manager.
A plan should cover not just the activities to create products but also the activities to manage product creation, including activities for assurance, quality management, risk management, change control, communication and any other project controls required.
The following quality criteria apply to a plan:
- The plan is achievable.
- Estimates are based on consultation with those responsible for the people who will undertake the work, and/ or historical data.
- Team managers agree that their part of the plan is achievable.
- It is planned to an appropriate level of detail (not too much, not too little).
- The plan conforms to required corporate, programme management or customer standards.
- The plan incorporates lessons from previous projects.
- The plan incorporates any legal requirements.
- The plan covers management and control activities (such as quality) as well as the activities to create the products in scope.
- The plan supports the quality management approach, change control approach, risk management approach, communication management approach and project approach.
- The plan supports the management controls defined in the PID.