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PRINCE2 Agile for uncertified project managers

Project manager sitting at desk at work with laptop and two screens

In the third instalment of our blog series looking at why PRINCE2 Agile® offers a suitable best practice guidance and certification option for people working in project management, Julia Gosse, trainer at SPOCE Project Management, considers project managers who hold no certification in a project management method and are interested in understanding agile approaches.

How can a project manager operating on experience alone rather than training and certification benefit from PRINCE2 Agile?

In many organizations project management is still not a recognized profession. Instead, people often move up the ranks from being a technical specialist or product manager to take responsibility for a project.

They may well have subject knowledge, skills and want to improve an organization’s product range but they have little management experience; then they are thrust into the role of project manager, having to manage and influence people, build relationships, understand how to negotiate, build and lead a team, work under pressure, make decisions without all the facts, etc.

Not all product managers make good leaders and project managers. So, they would gain more by having a better understanding of what a project is about through training and certification.

In times of economic uncertainty (such as now) the job market can be tough and people seeking work in project management can obtain a competitive edge through a certification.

Speaking the same language

Uncertified project managers working with teams of people trained in PRINCE2 or in agile delivery methods will have to deal with a lack of common language and understanding of the approaches teams are using.

For example, agile delivery teams might claim they don’t need to report progress to the project manager and, without having the necessary understanding, the project manager won’t know this actually runs counter to the spirit of agile!

Therefore, the project manager needs to understand more about the methods in play to be both aware and have the transparency to manage effectively.

PRINCE2 Agile – training and certification for the uncertified project manager

Moving into the future, agile delivery methods are becoming more and more popular; though it’s still early days, there is a growing appetite for using agile beyond the IT/software environment.

So, for the as-yet uncertified project manager PRINCE2 Agile – particularly at Foundation level – provides training and guidance highly focused on the agile environment.

Studying and certifying in this would mean project managers taking back to their workplace both a fundamental understanding of PRINCE2, an appreciation of what a project manager should be doing plus an understanding of the agile delivery methods; how they can be incorporated within a project and how a project manager can collaborate with people in standard agile roles.

For the project manager in today’s evolving organizations looking more to agile methods,  this is highly desirable: in an agile environment, agile teams tend to believe that because they’re self-organizing they don’t need a project manager. In these circumstances, the project manager needs to understand that such an approach is fine in day-to-day product development, but not in a project environment.

Read Julia Gosse's other posts in this series

PRINCE2 Agile for large projects

PRINCE2 Agile for agile delivery practitioners

PRINCE2 Agile for PRINCE2 practitioners

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