Design principles

  • What design principles were adopted?

    After a period of consultation the decision was taken that the new project management approach needed to be:

    • specifically tailored to meet the project management challenges that Brookes staff had identified, whilst
    • meeting current professional good practice requirements.

    How is the approach bespoke to Brookes?

    It is recognised good practice to adapt methodology to work with the culture and challenges of the organisation.  Even organisations that decide to wholly adopt a named methodology will nuance and emphasise elements to meet their particular needs.

    Our approach has been trialled with a number of projects and project managers across Oxford Brookes during 2015 and found to make a significant positive contribution to project delivery.

    We expect the guidance and documents to evolve further as time goes by and welcome comments and feedback on how to further meet the agreed design principles.


  • Brookes is a large and complex organisation.  We are all busy.  The approach was required to provide good control and management and to gain consistency of project management methodology across Brookes. 
    Whilst good project management undoubtedly needs teams that understand what is good practice and the principles behind it, we have focussed on providing a step by step process that walks users through the stages.  We will continue to develop the tools and techniques that support each step of the process and support users to understand how to get the best out of the project toolkit.

    The document suite of project templates has been developed as simple as possible whilst providing the controls and management that we need.

    Each template includes guidance notes tailored to the current project management maturity level of the organisation.

    Each template is set in a structured format that can be used by all projects and scaled up with additional content where appropriate.

    Applying the project management methodology will support Project Managers to develop a structured approach to the planning, control and reporting of projects.  It will also support Oxford Brookes, and its Programme and Project Boards, to be presented projects for review and for decision-making within a consistent framework.

  • How is the approach unified with generic Project Management


  • Our approach is fully aligned with current best practice recommendations of the Association for Project Management, (APM), of which we are a corporate member.  Based on these sound foundations we can begin our journey towards professional project management at Brookes.

    We need to share a common language with the rest of the project management world so that we can communicate effectively with our suppliers. This common language also helps our developing Project Managers translate into practices at Oxford Brookes what they learn when gaining formal qualifications. A standard glossary also facilitates the integration of newly recruited project management professionals into Oxford Brookes.

    The most widely understood terminology in project management is that of the first of the industry-wide adopted methodology, PRINCE2 and this is therefore the terminology and glossary which we use.

    Our adoption of PRINCE2 terminology should not be construed as an adoption of the PRINCE2 methodology itself.   Whilst the Oxford Brookes approach does adhere to the basic principles of PRINCE2 and would be easily understood by anyone familiar with it, our approach has been streamlined and adapted to meet our needs.