In any PRINCE2 project, it is crucial to defer to the ‘Continued Business Justification’ throughout. One of the seven Principles of PRINCE2 6th Edition, this refers to why a project makes sense from a business point of view. Does it offer a strong Return on Investment (ROI)? Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Will the project’s benefits be sufficient to keep stakeholders happy? In short, a project must have a strong Continued Business Justification in order to remain valid and viable.
The Continued Business Justification is linked to the PRINCE2 ‘Business Case’ Theme. This encompasses any knowledge relating to whether or not a project is both achievable and worthwhile. If, during a project, the potential costs fail to justify the rewards, the project can be swiftly and safely canceled in order to avoid wastage.
An important thing to keep in mind is that the Continued Business Justification in a project does not necessarily have to be related to profits. For example, if a project’s goal is to make a company compliant, the Continued Business Justification may refer to the potential penalties of not doing so, as well as the gains that the company can make in terms of PR. The common crucial detail is that every PRINCE2 project, even those which are mandatory, must have an adequate justification throughout.
Establishing a Continued Business Justification
As you might expect, creating a Business Case and establishing the Continued Business Justification will occur early on in a project. The resulting ‘Business Case Document’ will usually cover:
- Why the project should be undertaken
- The cost forecast (initial and ongoing)
- The expected benefits
- The timescale
- The associated risks
Needless to say, a project with inadequate justification will not (or should not) be started. The Business Case Document can also be amended over time. Because of this, while it is important to refer to the Continued Business Justification throughout a project, managers should also pay special attention to the changing circumstances of their work.
Using Continue Business Justification
Rather than being static, the Continued Business Justification will be referred to continuously throughout a PRINCE2 project, often after the completion of each Process or stage. Over time, it may well be updated in line with changing project requirements or environmental factors, such as new technology or client expectations.
Students of PRINCE2 learn about the key management products, roles, and responsibilities associated with the Continued Business Justification, along with the outputs, outcomes, benefits, and dis-benefits which can influence its utilization. This can help them to continue justifying projects in the long-term.
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