PRINCE2 Agile Foundation: a practical approach to project success

Project management trainer explaining course before flipchart in front of student sat at desk

Clare Gibbs delivered projects for 10 years before certifying in PRINCE2®. In this latest blog post in our short series about people newly-certified via training with Logical Model, she discusses the value of combining PRINCE2 and agile knowledge by certifying recently in PRINCE2 Agile® Foundation.

We had tried and tested ways of running projects in my organization but there were no expectations of working in a particular way or working with a specific method.

Through dealing with people in other organizations who use PRINCE2, I felt I was missing out. After certifying in PRINCE2 in 2015, I realized we’d been working largely in a PRINCE2 way, but without the full understanding through training and certification. This understanding gave me the confidence that we were using global best practice and helped me to better articulate our ways of working.

Meanwhile, our common language in software development was becoming increasingly agile-based and was, at times, at odds with wider project workings. This is where my job as project manager became more interesting!

Working with agile

One of my many challenges was in how to adapt my framework and methods to work with agile teams. While agile makes perfect sense for their work, I still need to manage the overall project and keep stakeholders abreast of progress as part of a larger project or programme being run with PRINCE2.

Having worked in this blended PRINCE2/agile style for some years, I decided to certify in PRINCE2 Agile Foundation this year. It felt like the missing piece of the jigsaw; I loved it from the moment I started and knew that if I’d had this body of knowledge five years ago, life would have been much easier.

Taking the certification was personally satisfying – it felt like an endorsement of what I was already doing – and has given me the terminology to explain better what we’re doing and why. It’s a way of reaching across to agile-based developers while applying more structure in larger projects.

As I move into my next role, this knowledge is grounded in my psyche; I can be passionate about both approaches while understanding where each of them sit in wider commercial projects.

And I think that this knowledge and ability would work for anyone employed in software development or larger business change projects with elements of software. Equally, it’s relevant for someone who has been a project manager for a while and who will immediately recognize examples from their experience of where agile methods will work or not.

Projects = people not process

Everyone has an element of project management in their role and people deliver projects, not a process. You are missing something if you become hung up on one method or style. Anything that challenges people to reflect on what they do, how it’s done, and the needs of each team is better than channelling everyone to work the same way.

PRINCE2 Agile Foundation is a very practical solution to a prominent problem: how to blend two bodies of thought and apply them to achieve project objectives.

Read more AXELOS Blog Posts in this series

PRINCE2 Agile Foundation: best of both worlds

PRINCE2 Agile Foundation: a pragmatic approach to project success

Viewpoint: PRINCE2 Agile Foundation certification

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