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What is Agile?

Agile is an umbrella term for a collection of frameworks and techniques that together enable teams and individuals to work in a way that is typified by collaboration, prioritization, iterative and incremental delivery and timeboxing. There are several specific methods (or frameworks) that can be classed as Agile including Scrum, Kanban and SAFe.

What are characteristics of Agile methods of working?

Agile methods of working can be defined by a number of characteristics:

  • Delivery-focused – The method is generally best suited to delivery of products, services or change
  • Iterative – Iterations ensure the regular delivery, review, feedback and redefinition of the deliverable, service or change
  • Incremental – Delivery of product, service or change occurs in a stepwise or incremental fashion
  • Time-driven – Timeboxes remain fixed by flexing deliverables
  • Simple processes – Flexibility and speed are favoured over control and governance.

What is the difference between “Agile” and “agile”?

Axelos recognizes the difference between Agile (upper case ‘A’) and agile (lower case a). The lower-case 'agile' is defined as a mindset and style of working that is characterized by quickness of response, flexibility and adaptability. 

Agile (upper case ‘A’) is mostly concerned with the method an organization uses to deliver new products, services or outputs, whereas agile (with a lower case ‘A’) is a description of the mindset or culture that an organization adopts when undertaking the work. 

Organizations that aspire to be truly agile focus on meeting the constantly evolving customer and market needs by leveraging technology, people and assets.

What is agile project management?

Agile project management has grown in prominence due to the need for organizations to blend the control and governance of a project management approach with the flexibility of Agile ways of working. 

Agile project management focuses on: 

  • Breaking the project down in smaller iterative delivery stages to ensure value is delivered regularly and changing requirements can be incorporated 
  • Close and regular collaboration with the customer to ensure that the product meets the desired (and sometimes changing) requirements 
  • Ensuring effective governance is in place so that visibility is provided to the wider organization or business 
  • The incorporation of Agile tools and techniques into everyday project management approaches.

How do I become an Agile project manager?

To support project management and agile professionals, Axelos developed PRINCE2 Agile®. PRINCE2 Agile is the world’s most complete agile project management method, combining the benefits of agile ways of working with the governance and structure of the PRINCE2® project management method. 

It offers extensive guidance on how to use the PRINCE2 project management method in an agile context by applying well known agile techniques, concepts, behaviours, focus areas and frameworks to their projects. 

While the current PRINCE2 method is agile-enabled, and the update in 2017 added considerations to applying PRINCE2 in an agile context, it does not explain in detail or provide additional guidance on how to tailor the method in an agile way. 

It is supported by a PRINCE2 Agile manual and certification scheme, including PRINCE2 Agile Foundation and PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner examinations, for everyone who would benefit from guidance on delivering, managing or working within agile projects and project teams regardless of their prior knowledge or use of PRINCE2.

Learn more

Want to learn more about the practical application of agile project management methods and techniques? 

Search for “agile” in our Resource Hub to read our case studies, white papers and blog posts.