PRINCE2 vs PRINCE2 Agile – which one is right for me?

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For the uninitiated, what is the simplest distinction between PRINCE2® and PRINCE2 Agile®?

PRINCE2, now in its sixth edition since launch in 1996, is a comprehensive evolution of project management approaches. The guidance shows practitioners how to use a project management method to deliver change effectively, efficiently, on time, on budget and satisfying customer requirements.

In simple terms PRINCE2 Agile – introduced five years ago – is PRINCE2 in an Agile context. If an organization wants to use Agile delivery methods for developing products, then PRINCE2 Agile is the complementary project management approach, containing insight into Agile methods and behaviours.

But why, if PRINCE2 has always been adaptable to Agile projects, is it necessary to have the separate sets of guidance?

Bringing good governance and Agile together

The genesis of PRINCE2 Agile was based on feedback from PRINCE2 practitioners who felt they sometimes lacked knowledge and experience of Agile approaches in projects.

Also, we knew they needed guidance to help understand what senior management wanted in terms of reassurance when organizations were turning to Agile methods.

Therefore, we took an optimum amount of PRINCE2 governance and combined it with agile concepts, frameworks, behaviours, focus areas and techniques; showing how they are effective when used together. As well as helping project managers function in an Agile context, it also meant organizations could build on their existing investment in PRINCE2.

In the context of our pandemic world, organizations will be responding to the economic impact and addressing problems like loss of market share. Therefore, they need to work smarter and avoid knee-jerk responses to any operational or product changes.

While Agile approaches help deliver change on time, within budget and to desired quality, PRINCE2 Agile gives stakeholders more confidence in what’s being delivered for their investment.

Assessing which certification is right for you

If you have to choose between either PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile, you need to consider your business context.

If the C-suite wants to change the way the organization operates and embrace agility, then PRINCE2 Agile gives effective and controlled governance as the enterprise shifts to agile ways of working. This also involves understanding vital behaviours such as collaboration,  transparency and offers an in-depth focus on agile delivery, frameworks, focus areas and concepts. If agility is not preferred, then PRINCE2 is probably the option for you to provide controlled governance in non-agile environments.

And, in addition to the core guidance, supporting documents like white papers are available to help ensure new methods are sponsored and directed effectively.

This supplementary content – which is worth reading before deciding whether PRINCE2 OR PRINCE2 Agile is the more appropriate certification – is important for organizations to get the most from best practice. That includes having a project board that works well in tandem with a project manager – making the right decisions about and authorizing resources and funding.

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Good read. For the person new to project management and considering which one to choose, it would have been helpful to give examples of businesses/industries using Prince2 and/or Agile contexts.
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