How to manage fixed date projects in PRINCE2(r).

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Planning is an integral part of the job of project managers. Therefore, you would expect to find some information in PRINCE2(r), on how to manage fixed-date projects. It doesn’t.
Fixed-date projects are barely mentioned in the Managing Successful Projects Book. You’d have to search really hard to find a mention about managing time constraints in Directing Successful Projects.
Because PRINCE2(r), requires you to manage projects properly with sponsors who are willing to commit to realistic plans. They don’t expect you deliver the whole world by Tuesday lunchtime.
It is difficult to know when a methodology can be applied correctly. Project managers still need guidance on how to manage projects with a fixed deadline.
PRINCE2(r), which advises that the fixed-date time constraint be managed as a planning threat. It identifies planning risk based on fiscal limits (e.g., where the project budget cannot be moved from one financial year into the next) as well as calendar boundaries (e.g., delivering something before the tax year ends).
It cites the Millennium Bug Projects as calendar-bound planning risk, but there have been other recent examples like last year’s 53-week year that messed with some software.
If you do product-based planning correctly, you will have a schedule that clearly shows how long the project will take. This schedule should be presented to the sponsor for approval.
The Role of the Project Board
The Project Board members must make a commitment that they will provide sufficient resources to deliver the project successfully. There are many factors that could disrupt the agreement process, as the Directing manual acknowledges.
Because of their other commitments, it is possible that people are not available to provide sufficient resources to ensure the project meets the deadlines.
PRINCE2(r), advises that Project Board members determine how to best meet all organisational commitments and manage competing priorities.
The good news is that project managers can be assured by PRINCE2 (r) that the Project Board is instructed to endorse Stage Plans as realistic representations for the work required to achieve the deliverables.
They agree to a Stage plan and agree to provide all resources to make it happen.
They won’t agree on a Stage Plan, then take half of your project team away and then blame you for not getting the work done on schedule. Is this what your Project Board has done to you?
Point them to page 26 of the Directing Successful Projects Manual, which states: “Project Board members can not subsequently distance themselves from the planners.”
Your sponsor should read these 10 Tips to Be a Good Sponsor
Although there aren’t many tips for managing fixed-date projects in PRINCE2r, the point is that you shouldn’t be. PRINCE2 (r) is about managing in a controlled atmosphere (that’s the C & the E of PRINCE), and not one where everyone is running around panicking to get things done by some date that an executive has set on the golf course.
If you are asked to manage a fixed-date project in a PRINCE2 (r) environment, ask yourself how it fits with the method. It doesn’t.

How to manage fixed date projects in PRINCE2(r).
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