The financial sector, in the 10 years since the financial crisis, has seen an end to limitless expenditure.
With the main constraint now being financial, projects have to be delivered very much on budget.
When making investments, organizations are now very mindful of the timeframe. They want tangible results and don’t want to waste time, budget or resources. This means having to work in a more incremental way, such as releasing tranches every week and testing in stages; in effect working in an agile way.
In such an environment, it’s important to have project managers trained, skilled and empowered – and to have the ears of the management.
In my case, the many soft skills I’d developed led me into more client-facing roles and managing emergencies. However, I had no formal training in project management beyond some study in company management at university.
PRINCE2 Agile® – standardizing project management
This year, I decided to certify in PRINCE2 Agile as a way of learning recognized standards and formalizing my common sense approaches.
Though I was already implementing agile techniques with the tools I had and my existing knowledge I needed rules, concepts and frameworks so I could also speak clearly with top management.
Now, having completed my certification, I can say I’m updated and equipped with something that specifies rules and behaviours and has made my approach even more efficient. And I have much more knowledge and ability with rich communication and transparency, which ensures I can speak with greater clarity and insight.
As mentioned before, the current constraints on budgets mean that a method such as PRINCE2 Agile enables project managers to deliver in short cycles without spending a lot of time planning.
Taking the view that an organization is like a big project, the skills of transparency, clarity and trust make a difference to project success – and remind project team members and management that rich communications is key.
Projects don’t necessarily fail without these behaviours, but there is a risk of ending up with technical debt, which means missing functionality and people trying to hide contentious issues. The cost of such debt is often more than the customer is paying for the project!
Career development with PRINCE2 Agile
Certifying in PRINCE2 Agile is already helping me in my job search in the Middle East.
Clearly, PRINCE2® and PRINCE2 Agile open doors, because it demonstrates you can manage projects of any size or shape in either the private or public sector.
And, I believe, I will be much more confident in my next role. Previously, I was sometimes unsure when having to support a decision in a project and knowing what evidence to present and how to present it.
Now, with the backing of a best practice certification, I’m more convinced that what I’m doing is valid, valuable and provides a view that fits within the organizational “big picture”.