PRINCE2 Glossary of Terms

P - performance targets to proximity

This is an A-Z glossary of terms, from the 2009 edition. PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited. View the Agile Dictionary. Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) Dictionary. Project Office Dictionary (P30). Full ITIL glossary of terms. See also the Project Management Dictionary and the Risk Management Dictionary.

A - accept to avoid | B - baseline to Business Case | C - center of excellence to customer's quality expectations | D - Daily Log to DSDM Atern | E - embedding (PRINCE2) to exploit | F - H - fallback to host site | I - impact to Issue Report | L - O - Lesson Log to output | P - performance targets to proximity | Q - quality to quality tolerance | R - records to role description | S - schedule to supplier | T - tailoring to trigger | U - W - user acceptance to Work Package

performance targets

A plan’s goals for time, cost, quality, scope, benefits and risk.


A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something which specifies the what, when, how and by whom. In PRINCE2 there are only the following types of plan: Project Plan, Stage Plan, Team Plan, Exception Plan and Benefits Review Plan.

planned closure

The PRINCE2 activity to close a project.

planning horizon

The period of time for which it is possible to accurately plan.


All the programmes and stand-alone projects being undertaken by an organization, a group of organizations, or an organizational unit.

premature closure

The PRINCE2 activity to close a project before its planned closure. The Project Manager must ensure that work in progress is not simply abandoned, but that the project salvages any value created to date, and checks that any gaps left by the cancellation of the project are raised to corporate or programme management.

prerequisites (plan)

Any fundamental aspects that must be in place, and remain in place, for a plan to succeed.


A method that supports some selected aspects of project management. The acronym stands for PRojects IN a Controlled Environment.

PRINCE2 principles

The guiding obligations for good project management practice that form the basis of a project being managed using PRINCE2.

PRINCE2 project

A project that applies the PRINCE2 principles.


This is the evaluated likelihood of a particular threat or opportunity actually happening, including a consideration of the frequency with which this may arise.


A type of issue (other than a request for change or off-specification) that the Project Manager needs to resolve or escalate.


A series of actions for a particular aspect of project management established specifically for the project – for example, a risk management procedure.


A structured set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective. A process takes one or more defined inputs and turns them into defined outputs.


The person or group responsible for developing a product.


An input or output, whether tangible or intangible, that can be described in advance, created and tested. PRINCE2 has two types of products – management products and specialist products.

product breakdown structure

A hierarchy of all the products to be produced during a plan.

product checklist

A list of the major products of a plan, plus key dates in their delivery.

Product Description

A description of a product’s purpose, composition, derivation and quality criteria. It is produced at planning time, as soon as possible after the need for the product is identified.

Download a Product Description - Template in Mind map, Word or PDF format

product flow diagram

A diagram showing the sequence of production and interdependencies of the products listed in a product breakdown structure.

Product Status Account

A report on the status of products. The required products can be specified by identifier or the part of the project in which they were developed.

Download a Product Status Account - Template in Mind map, Word or PDF format

product-based planning

A technique leading to a comprehensive plan based on the creation and delivery of required outputs. The technique considers prerequisite products, quality requirements and the dependencies between products.


A temporary flexible organization structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organization’s strategic objectives. A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years.


A temporary organization that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to an agreed Business Case.
What is a Project? Comprehensive guide with examples

Project Management Templates

project approach

A description of the way in which the work of the project is to be approached. For example, are we building a product from scratch or buying in a product that already exists?

Project Assurance

The Project Board’s responsibilities to assure itself that the project is being conducted correctly. The Project Board members each have a specific area of focus for Project Assurance, namely business assurance for the Executive, user assurance for the Senior User(s), and supplier assurance for the Senior Supplier(s).

project authorization notification

Advice from the Project Board to inform all stakeholders and the host sites that the project has been authorized and to request any necessary logistical support (e.g. communication facilities, equipment and any project support) sufficient for the duration of the project.

Project Brief

Statement that describes the purpose, cost, time and performance requirements, and constraints for a project. It is created pre-project during the Starting up a Project process and is used during the Initiating a Project process to create the Project Initiation Documentation and its components. It is superseded by the Project Initiation Documentation and not maintained.

Download a PRINCE2 Project Brief template - Mind map, Word or PDF format

Download a generic Project Brief template - Word or PDF format

Project Initiation Documentation

A logical set of documents that brings together the key information needed to start the project on a sound basis and that conveys the information to all concerned with the project. Learn more about the purpose and contents of the PID.

Download a Prince 2 Project Initiation Document - Mind map, Word or PDF format

Download a generic Project Initiation Document - Word or PDF format

project initiation notification

Advice from the Project Board to inform all stakeholders and the host sites that the project is being initiated and to request any necessary logistical support (e.g. communication facilities, equipment and any project support) sufficient for the initiation stage.

project lifecycle

The period from the start-up of a project to the acceptance of the project product.

project management

The planning, delegating, monitoring and control of all aspects of the project, and the motivation of those involved, to achieve the project objectives within the expected performance targets for time, cost, quality, scope, benefits and risks.

project management team

The entire management structure of the Project Board, and Project Manager, plus any Team Manager, Project Assurance and Project Support roles.

project management team structure

An organization chart showing the people assigned to the project management team roles to be used, and their delegation and reporting relationships.

Project Manager

The person given the authority and responsibility to manage the project on a day-to-day basis to deliver the required products within the constraints agreed with the Project Board.

project mandate

An external product generated by the authority commissioning the project that forms the trigger for Starting up a Project.

project office

A temporary office set up to support the delivery of a specific change initiative being delivered as a project. If used, the project office undertakes the responsibility of the Project Support role.

Project Plan

A high-level plan showing the major products of the project, when they will be delivered and at what cost. An initial Project Plan is presented as part of the Project Initiation Documentation. This is revised as information on actual progress appears. It is a major control document for the Project Board to measure actual progress against expectations.

Download a Project Plan - Template in Mind map, Word or PDF format

project product

What the project must deliver in order to gain acceptance.

Project Product Description

A special type of Product Description used to gain agreement from the user on the project’s scope and requirements, to define the customer’s quality expectations, and to define the acceptance criteria for the project.

Download a Project Product Description - Mind map, Word or PDF format

Project Support

An administrative role in the project management team. Project Support can be in the form of advice and help with project management tools, guidance, administrative services such as filing, and the collection of actual data.

proximity (of risk)

The time factor of risk, i.e. when the risk may occur. The impact of a risk may vary in severity depending on when the risk occurs.

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