An Agile way of working with PRINCE2®

An Agile way of working with PRINCE2®

PRINCE2 Practitioner training and how it has evolved

Paul Thomas, QA LTDIt’s been a while since I first discovered PRINCE2 Agile™ I was part of a delivery team that I had just joined in a technical/development role and we were implementing a new DBMS (database management system) and data warehouse. Work would be carried out as a team, all collaborating and truly working together and being ‘open’ to change. No; this wasn’t exactly using the Scrum framework, but someone had heard about an ‘Agile way of working’ and tried their best to bring it into the team.

Breaking away from the “Waterfall” method of Project Management

Liking the way the team worked, I tried to take what I’d seen forward, learn more about it and get the teams I was leading to use a more ‘Agile way of working’. As time progressed and I evolved to Project Manager and also started to incorporate more formal ways of working. I’d been mentored by those used to either the ‘Waterfall’ methodology or who’d used PRINCE2 but thought it needed to be tightly controlled. For me, when I saw the revision of PRINCE2 2009 ‘Purple book’ back then, it really came alive - I was excited. It just felt like it truly came together as a project management best practice. And what’s more it was ‘Agile Enabled’!  Yes I was truly excited!! (Yes, a bit sad I know… Agile here we come)

PRINCE2 Agile training

Now, there is a new kid on the block - PRINCE2 Agile. I work for QA LTD and we always strive to deliver the best courses. AXELOS has done a fantastic job (acknowledgements to Keith Richards and his colleagues) in writing a superb course. Now we have guidance on applying PRINCE2 and Agile together and getting the strengths of both worlds.

The PRINCE2 Agile course and PRINCE2 exam allows you to take your existing PRINCE2 Practitioner knowledge (Please note: to take the exam you MUST be a PRINCE2 Practitioner) and see how PRINCE2 can be tailored to the agile environment.

We want our delivery teams to be able to communicate, be self-empowered, self-organizing and be open to change in direction. We need to allow our project management method to reflect this, to give people the autonomy to work in an iterative and incremental fashion. The PRINCE2 Agile course will provide a refresher on PRINCE2 and then ask the question ‘What is Agile?’ giving an overview of the ‘agile methodologies’ and some specific frameworks. Then as we look at principals, themes and processes we’ll think about how they can be tailored to fit into an agile environment. Again thinking ‘How much?

PRINCE2 Agile Training Course

Compared to other project management courses as we progress through the course, popular frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban and Lean Startup will be covered in much more depth to see how these can be integrated into the project at the delivery level of PRINCE2 providing a best practice to follow. These frameworks will bleed into the managing and directing levels too. There are even help/tips on contracts for customers/suppliers wanting to use Agile and needing flexibility over what we deliver.

For anyone thinking of wanting to use Agile in more than just a business as usual (BAU) environment, but in more of a project environment, or for those currently using PRINCE2 and wanting a better understanding of how to integrate with the delivery teams using an agile approach, then I believe this is the course we’ve been waiting for. A knowledge packed three days!

PRINCE2 Exams

“Great so far” you may be thinking, but what about the PRINCE2 exam? If you are a PRINCE2 Practitioner you may also sit the PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner exam.

First thing I would say is refresh your PRINCE2 knowledge. You’ll need to be able to recognize a ‘default’ PRINCE2 environment and apply your existing knowledge. If you recognize this to be an agile environment then just like your PRINCE2 exam you can call on your newly acquired knowledge AND use the PRINCE2 Agile book.

The overall format is similar. An open book objective exam based around a scenario. Question types are similar too. Though some will be glad to hear that at the time of this writing there are no Assertion/Reason type questions. 

I thoroughly recommend the PRINCE2 Agile course and hope to see you on it soon….

For more information, visit the PRINCE2 Agile section of our website.

Have you used both PRINCE2 and agile techniques to manage projects? How do you feel the two methods complement each other? Please share your thoughts or project management experiences in the Comments box below.

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