PRINCE2® processes explained: Activities
This diagram shows the PRINCE2 process model, including all 7 processes, the activities and triggers. It also shows the PRINCE2 management products and in which process they are created, updated, reviewed and approved.
The diagram does not show the details of where every management product gets updated, because the diagram would become too complex by doing this. Instead, the diagram focuses on where the products are created, reviewed and approved and the most important updates.
Each of the 7 processes are shown by the large coloured rectangles. These are: Directing a Project, Starting Up a Project, Initiating a Project, Controlling a Stage, Managing a Stage Boundary, Managing Product Delivery and Closing a Project.
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You can see that inside each process rectangle are several smaller rectangles. These smaller rectangles are the activities which form each process. Each of the activities has a name which is shown on the rectangle. An activity in PRINCE2 is simply a series of steps to be performed. The PRINCE2 manual describes who is responsible for each step, what should be produced and when it should occur.
A trigger in PRINCE2 is an event or a decision which triggers one of the 7 processes. Triggers on the diagram are shown by a pale grey lozenge shape. Each trigger has a name and an arrow attached to it. The direction of the arrow shows which process is triggered.
Inside each process rectangle are a list of outputs with letters after them. The letters indicate what happens to each output as follows:
A – the output is approved in the process
C – the output is created in the process
R – the output is reviewed in the process
U - the output is updated in the process
Some of the outputs have an asterisk (*) after them. This indicates that the output is not one of the PRINCE2 management products.
Attached to some of the triggers are coloured swirl shapes. These are meant to indicate the outputs which are used as inputs into the next process. The shapes contain numbers which indicate the outputs concerned and the colour of the shape indicates from which process it is an output.
For example, take a look at the arrow which comes out of the yellow process (Starting Up a Project). There is a trigger attached to the arrow called “Request to initiate a project”. You can see a yellow swirl shape attached to it. The yellow colour indicates that you must look up the outputs in the yellow rectangle (i.e. the Starting Up a Project process). In this case, the 2 numbers are 8 and 9. Looking these up in the list of outputs from Starting Up a Project tells us that the Project Brief and the Initiation Stage Plan are used as inputs into the process which is next triggered – in this case Directing a Project.
This diagram should be viewed in conjunction with the chronological view of the PRINCE2 process model which can be found here.