What are products?

One word often used on projects is the word ‘deliverable’. This is used to refer to those things that are ‘delivered’ from the project, for example, a new IT system, a new house, a marketing campaign etc. The features of these deliverables need to be specified by the users, and then need to be designed, developed and tested, or reviewed, to ensure they meet the users’ specifications. PRINCE2 does not use the word deliverable to refer to such items, but instead refers to these items as ‘products’.

Within PRINCE2 there are two types of product. There are ‘specialist’ products which require specialist skills to design and build. For example the new IT system, new house, or marketing campaign just mentioned.

There are also ‘management’ products. These are products which are used to help plan, manage and control projects. Some examples are a Project Plan, a Business Case or an End Stage Report. There are 26 management products defined in PRINCE2 and they are described in detail in Appendix A of the PRINCE2 manual.

These 26 management products are sub-divided into 3 basic categories. Firstly, there are baseline management products. These products define aspects of the project and, once approved, are subject to change control. One example of a baseline product is the Project Plan.

Firstly, as just described, projects are the means by which changes are introduced into the business.

Secondly, there are records. These are management products which are regularly updated with information about project progress. Some examples are the Issue and Risk Registers.

Thirdly, there are reports. These are management products which provide a snapshot of certain aspects of the project. They are used to communicate information about project progress to each level of management. One example is the Highlight Report, written by the Project Manager to inform senior management of progress within a management stage.