The future’s bright for PRINCE2 Agile

The word agile spelled out in yellow in texture bricks on a black textured brick background

When PRINCE2 Agile® first arrived on the market in 2015, it explicitly addressed a deep-rooted misunderstanding. It challenged the assumption that PRINCE2® should be used to facilitate project delivery solely through a Waterfall process. But this focus on the Waterfall was not the original intention.

In fact, PRINCE2 is built to be a flexible method which can be tailored to the most suitable delivery mechanism. The historical association with Waterfall is simply due to the lack of a valid alternatives at that time. So the advent of Agile hasn’t changed PRINCE2, but rather prompted a re-evaluation of an important aspect of the platform that had always been there.

Changing perceptions

Duncan WadeAdvocates at the extremes of the project management-agile debate have confused the issue and made it seem like a binary choice; a case of either or. I passionately believe that this is not the case and the truth is somewhere in the middle.

It is not a question of “out with the old and in with the new”. A smart project manager knows that what matters most is how to create the optimum environment for a project to succeed. This means selecting the most fitting tool for the project at hand. And whether the answer is Waterfall or Agile, PRINCE2 can be tailored and fine-tuned accordingly to facilitate this. It does both perfectly well.

In my experience, organizations are desperate to stop having the conversation about which tool is best and instead focus on getting the job done to best effect – which, after all, is the fundamental purpose of any project.

Understanding PRINCE2 Agile

Blending PRINCE2 and agile working practices together takes some thought, but PRINCE2 has been created with the intention of being tailored and that helps things enormously. The PRINCE2 Agile manual talks us through the whole process and provides guides and recommendations that really do let us gain the best of both worlds.

It offers a new way of thinking about how to get the best out of Agile, while still maintaining the governance of PRINCE2. In my view, its real strength is that it does so intelligently without being prescriptive. It’s also well aligned with recent updates to PRINCE2.

Alongside this, the introduction of the PRINCE2 Agile Foundation qualification is a big step, but one which I’m delighted AXELOS has taken. It means that anyone with an interest in this combination – whether from the Agile community or with qualifications other than PRINCE2 – can get involved.

It opens up access to a much broader audience; something which hasn’t been possible until now and can only be a good thing for the industry.

Read more AXELOS Blog Posts by Duncan Wade

Getting things done – with inspiration from PRINCE2 project management

PRINCE2® 2017 Update: balancing minimum requirements and tailoring

Agile and traditional project management – a meeting of minds?

Are organizations failing to harness the value of project management?

Project management – can you be agile and strategic?

Project management – what is agile and is it strategic?

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