What’s in a name?

On a recent PRINCE® course of mine, one of my delegates asked me about the Project Plan. He wanted to know if this document was the same as the Blueprint document he used at his work. However as there is no such document as the Blueprint in PRINCE® he was unable to find the relevant document when trying to translate the terminology in his workplace to that in the method.


Now I also teach MSP® (Managing Successful Programmes) and the Blueprint is a key document in that methodology. And while the simple answer to the question is that the Blueprint is related to programme management, I wanted to check his understanding.


I asked him to outline what the Blueprint is as he understands it. He explained that it involved the activities to realise a particular objective, it defined what the objective is, and how people would measure it. In short it covered the activities of the project and the product descriptions (including quality criteria) – both of which are key components of a plan.


So it turned out that the answer to the question was that the Blueprint in his company’s workplace was the same as the Plan in PRINCE®’s method.


On the same course another delegate listened as I went through how the process flows of PRINCE® are used in the project lifecycle. He explained that he did not recognise the language I used, however the processes and objectives of them were identical to what he is used to – just with different names. It turned out that someone has taken PRINCE® and implemented it in the organisation however with different names for the processes.


PRINCE® does not have a problem with this – it is called tailoring and embedding and gets a section all its own. However, it does suggest one of the early activities you do on implementing PRINCE® is to write a Glossary. Initially this is so you can more easily implement the method – but it also allows you to help with later translating.

Why is that important? Well bring in a PRINCE® qualified Project Manager and they have one place to go to understand the terminology – and will get up to speed that much quicker. If you send someone on a good training course (try one of ours!) and they will be able to translate what is being talked about and therefore more efficiently understand PRINCE®.


PRINCE® is a (registered) Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.


MSP® is a (registered) Trade Mark of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.