PRINCE2® & Change Management: How To Handle Project Changes

When it comes to project management, one constant remains: change is inevitable. Navigating these changes effectively is crucial for the success of any project. PRINCE2® (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a structured project management method that provides a comprehensive framework to handle project changes adeptly.

This article delves into the principles of PRINCE2®, its approach to change management, and how to efficiently manage project changes using this methodology.

Understanding PRINCE2®

PRINCE2® is a process-based approach for project management, offering a customisable and scalable framework that suits projects of all sizes and complexities. It is built on seven principles, seven themes, and seven processes, each of which contributes to the effective management of projects. The principles guide the project, the themes provide the necessary project controls, and the processes outline the path from the project’s inception to its conclusion.

The PRINCE2® approach to change management

Change management within the PRINCE2® framework is managed primarily through two themes: the Change Theme and the Progress Theme.

The change theme

The Change Theme in PRINCE2® ensures that all changes to the baseline project plans are identified, assessed, and controlled. This theme emphasises the importance of handling changes without disrupting the project’s objectives and maintaining the project’s scope, time, cost, and quality.

Key elements of the Change Theme include:

  • Issue and change control procedure: This formal procedure captures, assesses, and manages all issues and changes. It involves logging, evaluating, and deciding on the appropriate course of action for each change request.
  • Configuration management: This ensures that all aspects of the project’s products are identified, controlled, and tracked.

The Progress Theme 

The Progress Theme focuses on monitoring and controlling the project, ensuring it remains on track. This theme encompasses the following aspects:

  • Control stages: Projects are divided into stages with defined review points to assess progress and decide on necessary changes.
  • Exception plans: These are created when the project exceeds tolerances set for time, cost, or scope, ensuring that deviations are managed appropriately.

Handling project changes with PRINCE2®

Effectively managing project changes within the PRINCE2® framework involves several key steps:

1. Capturing change requests 

Every change request must be documented formally. This includes identifying the origin of the change, its nature, and the potential impact on the project. A change log is maintained to track all requests and their statuses.

2. Assessing the impact

Each change request is evaluated to understand its implications on the project’s scope, schedule, budget, and quality. This assessment involves:

  • Impact analysis: Determining how the change will affect project deliverables, resources, and timelines.
  • Risk assessment: Identifying any new risks introduced by the change and assessing their potential impact.

3. Decision making 

The Project Board or Change Authority is responsible for making decisions on change requests. This body reviews the impact analysis and decides whether to approve, reject, or defer the change. Decisions are based on the project’s priorities and the overall business case.

4. Implementing the change 

Once a change is approved, it must be planned and implemented carefully. This involves updating project plans, reassigning resources if necessary, and communicating the change to all stakeholders. Proper documentation and configuration management are crucial during this stage to ensure that all changes are tracked and controlled.

5. Monitoring and reviewing

After implementation, changes must be monitored to ensure they achieve the desired outcomes without introducing new issues. Regular reviews help to assess the effectiveness of the change management process and identify any areas for improvement.

Best practices for managing project changes

Adopting the following best practices can enhance the effectiveness of change management in PRINCE2® projects:

Clear communication: Ensure all stakeholders are informed about the change management process and their roles within it.

Stakeholder involvement: Engage stakeholders early in the process to gather insights and foster buy-in for changes.

Documentation: Maintain comprehensive records of all changes, decisions, and their impacts to provide transparency and facilitate audits.

Training: Equip project teams with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle changes effectively. Investing in a PRINCE2® online course can be beneficial for team members to understand and apply the methodology effectively.


Managing project changes effectively is essential for the success of any project, and PRINCE2® provides a robust framework to achieve this. By following the structured approach of the Change and Progress Themes, project managers can overcome flaws and handle changes systematically, ensuring minimal disruption to project objectives.

For organisations and individuals looking to deepen their expertise in project management and change management, training and certification courses are invaluable. BridgingMinds offers comprehensive PRINCE2® online courses, equipping professionals with the skills needed to manage projects efficiently. Additionally, BridgingMinds provides a variety of other training programs, including CEH training, to enhance your proficiency in IT and cybersecurity.

By leveraging the structured approach of PRINCE2® and investing in continuous learning through providers like BridgingMinds, project managers can adeptly navigate the complexities of change and lead their projects to successful outcomes.