PRINCE2 Agile: Clear, Effective and Flexible Project Management
As the name may suggest, PRINCE2 Agile is a combination of the ‘Agile method’ and ‘PRojects IN Controlled Environments 2’, better known as PRINCE2. Released back in 2015, it has proven extremely popular with project management teams across a multitude of different sectors and industries.
But what about the parts that make it up? Let’s start with Agile. Speaking generally, this refers to a process based around iterative development. Cross-functional and largely autonomous teams work together on projects in order to provide solutions which meet evolving requirements. Practitioners know how and when to adapt without losing sight of their goals or established best practices. The result is often a much faster development process which remains more closely aligned with the needs of both businesses and customers. There are several frameworks which fall under the umbrella of the ‘Agile Manifesto’, including Scrum and Kanban.
PRINCE2, on the other hand, is a process and product-based methodology. It offers seven ‘Processes’, ‘Principles’ and ‘Themes’, which respectively form the ‘How’, ‘Why’ and ‘What’ of project management. Combined, they create a flexible yet comprehensive approach which can be applied regardless of a project’s size, scale, industry, purpose or anything else. Practitioners also establish and retain a focus on the ‘business justification’ for a project, using it as an overarching driving force.
While Agile and PRINCE2 are each highly effective in their own right, they are still somewhat lacking in certain respects. The latter focuses more on strategic-level project management, with a consistent focus on the business justification of complex projects. Agile practices, meanwhile, are more flexible and incremental, delivering results on the ground in a way that provides earlier benefits and continuous improvement. One focuses on strategic-level project management, while the other focuses more on delivery-level work. Neither perspective is wrong, but it takes both viewpoints to create a truly holistic framework.
PRINCE2 Agile is designed to deliver the comprehensive management of PRINCE2 mixed with the flexibility and responsiveness of Agile environments. It offers a holistic approach, leading AXELOS to name it “the world’s most complete agile project management solution.”
How Does PRINCE2 Agile Work?
PRINCE2 Agile is a combination of two styles of project management. PRINCE2 has a focus on strategy and upper-tier decision making, while Agile is more about responsiveness, autonomy and swift benefits realization. Generally speaking, PRINCE2 Agile ‘works’ by applying Agile practices and concepts to PRINCE2. It could even be described as a form of PRINCE2 that is simply better suited to Agile project environments.
Many critics of the framework have argued that its pieces are too different to be compatible. However, this point of view overlooks the fact that there has always been a certain degree of overlap between them. Agile encourages users to clearly define a number of points within a project, PRINCE2 encourages flexibility, and so on. In its best form, the PRINCE2 Agile project management method simply has the two frameworks bringing out the best in each other.
For example, PRINCE2 Agile offers a ‘Hexagon Model’ which mixes clarity and control with flexibility. It has six points of focus: ‘Time’ and ‘Cost’, which should not be varied during the project management lifecycle, ‘Benefits’ and ‘Risk’, which may be flexible, and ‘Quality’ and ‘Scope’, which are highly flexible.
This model, in turn, is linked to five ‘Targets’:
Be on time and hit deadlines
Protect the level of quality
Keep teams stable
Accept that the customer doesn’t need everything
These targets, again, are flexible. However, they must still remain paramount points of focus throughout a project. As a whole, the method means that practitioners can alter aspects of a project without impacting the budget or deadlines. Practitioners can be flexible, while still working according to clear management priorities.
For practitioners who are already used to using either PRINCE2 or Agile, the combined framework could simply be seen as an add on. Indeed, you can even qualify to take the PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner exam by first gaining a PRINCE2 Foundation certification.
There is no need to start from scratch - instead, why not consider PRINCE2 Agile an opportunity to build on what you already know?
How can a PRINCE2 Agile Certification Help my Business?
PRINCE2 Agile can help your business because it fully accommodates the needs of modern project management. On the one hand, project management is becoming far, far more complicated. Requirements are always changing in terms of technological capabilities, stakeholder priorities, customer expectations, competitive needs and so on. To achieve high-quality results, project managers must have the capacity to accommodate these complex requirements and keep projects aligned with strict business justifications.
At the same time, businesses cannot afford to sit still. With competitors always circling, organizations must remain flexible enough to enjoy the benefits of change management without having to wait the months required to complete complicated projects. They must also be capable of altering projects, at least to a certain extent, in order to address any changing requirements.
PRINCE2 Agile fits these needs very well. It offers a number of significant benefits, including:
Adaptability - The framework is generic enough that it can be applied to virtually any industry, sector or location. That is not to say PRINCE2 Agile provides a simple to-do list which anyone can use without thinking. Rather, it outlines crucial factors and points of focus which can apply to any project. At the same time, practitioners have the flexibility to adapt the framework further if necessary
Easy to incorporate - PRINCE2 is already the most widely used project management framework in the world, and Agile isn’t exactly a new contender either! If your business already utilizes one of them, upskilling your staff in PRINCE2 Agile can help you enjoy a more holistic project management style without having to start from scratch
Faster benefit realization - Agile is about completing projects in increments, generating benefits which can be enjoyed at several stages, rather than just at the conclusion. This can be a great perk for projects designed to empower rapid change management, as well as those in competitive industries where companies cannot wait for benefits to come all at once
Greater control - Agile project managers are excellent at getting things done at a delivery level, but this point of view can be limited. There must also be an upper tier of management to ensure project success at a strategic level. This is where PRINCE2 really shines
Collaboration and communication - This is a common perk for popular corporate standards and frameworks. Practitioners will all be familiar with the same terminology and methodology, making it far easier for them to collaborate and communicate on project development teams. Not only does this keep projects streamlined, but it can also result in speedier completion without having to sacrifice quality. In the case of PRINCE2 Agile, this is enabled by clearly defining roles, responsibilities and lines of communication at the start of each project. For this reason, many businesses will choose to upskill multiple staff at the same time
Why Gain a PRINCE2 Agile Certification with Good e-Learning?
At Good e-Learning, we understand the difficulties that come with traditional training. A PRINCE2 Agile certification might transform your business, but what about getting to this stage? Instructors, transport and accommodation can all be expensive, and as employees undergo training they will likely have to take a great deal of time away from their desks.
We aim to solve this problem with easily-accessible and highly engaging online training courses. We cover many of the world’s most popular frameworks, including PRINCE2 Agile, MSP, ITIL 4 and Lean. All of our courses are also available online, allowing users to access them on computers, laptops and even mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
Good e-Learning offers a variety of top-tier and fully-accredited online project management courses. Our award-winning portfolio covers the most popular standards on the planet, and we work to ensure that our students can enjoy the best quality training possible.
Key features of our project management courses:
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Want to learn more? View our full portfolio of Project Management courses, or find out more about our corporate training offers!