Project management has become a vital and increasingly high-regarded skill in modern business. There are always opportunities for organizations to change and develop, whether this means refining their internal structures, improving their offerings, or anything else. Solid project management is simply a way for organizations to achieve these changes on time, within budget and with a maximized level of quality.
The growth of project management as a defined discipline has led to the widespread acknowledgment of two important truths. The first is that corporate projects come with a myriad of different risks, requirements and considerations. Trying to juggle everything without a clear framework or methodology is an almost surefire way to not only drag a project out, but also inadvertently sabotage the quality of the end product and waste important resources.
At the same time, project managers must maintain a degree of flexibility. This could refer to adapting in the face of unforeseen issues, diverting resources, or even amending a framework in order to better accommodate certain industries, sectors or project types. Not every unknown can be predicted and prepared for, so managers must leave themselves with enough freedom to adapt and keep projects on track.
This mixture of control and flexibility is expertly delivered by PRINCE2 Agile. The combination of PRojects IN Controlled Environments 2 and Agile, the framework emphasizes structured project management alongside agile project delivery. It is the trademark of AXELOS Limited, which described PRINCE2 Agile as ‘the world’s most complete Agile project management solution’.
Many have argued that, on the face of things, the two frameworks seem incompatible. PRINCE2 is prescriptive, while Agile is more about flexible project delivery. However, the reality is that PRINCE2 Agile offers the best of both standards, with the flexibility and responsiveness of Agile enhancing PRINCE2’s proven methodology, and vice versa.
It is also worth pointing out there has always been a degree of overlap between the two. PRINCE2 project management, for example, encourages ‘tailoring’ so that users can amend the framework to make it suit their own requirements. Agile, meanwhile, offers clear instructions on a number of common aspects, such as risk, quality, planning and change management, and so on. This leaves the two standards better able to bring out the best in each other for the sake of creating a much more effective overall approach to project management.
Of course, having been released by AXELOS in June 2015, PRINCE2 Agile is still a relatively new creation. Many project managers are dubious about its effectiveness, as well as the value of PRINCE2 Agile certifications.
Best of two project management worlds
So, are the perks of studying PRINCE2 Agile worth the costs? What advantages can individuals and organizations enjoy from utilizing the PRINCE2 Agile methodology? Let’s take a look at the biggest benefits of PRINCE2 Agile.
Part of the argument against PRINCE2 Agile is that the two standards that make it up seem to be too disparate. However, this is actually one of the biggest reasons why they work so well together.
PRINCE2 provides a solid framework for upper-level project management, while Agile focuses on successfully completing projects in small increments. They have different yet equally useful perspectives which, together, create a more holistic and effective framework.
Much of the guidance within PRINCE2 Agile is also new, rather than simply being recycled. For example, Agile adds five behavioral components which work alongside the seven PRINCE2 Principles: Transparency, Collaboration, Rich Communication, Self-Organization and Exploration.
It is also worth pointing out that PRINCE2 itself has never been immune to Agile ways of thinking. Indeed, the PRINCE2 manual goes into detail on several Agile practices, such as SCRUM and Kanban.
Rather than decreasing the value of each framework, the combination enhances their effectiveness, providing practitioners with a much greater approach to managing projects.
Wide adaptability and applicability
As we mentioned previously, one of the biggest reasons behind the need for flexibility in project management is the fact that no two projects are the same. Factors such as risks and stakeholder requirements can vary significantly, even between two projects at the same company. When looking at the number of differences between projects in different countries, sectors or industries, it should be clear that a top-tier project management framework must have a significant degree of adaptability in order for it to be relevant.
The Agile aspect of PRINCE2 Agile lends itself well to this necessity. It gives managers the scope to reduce risks, boost transparency and adapt to changing circumstances with relative ease, even during active projects. PRINCE2 also encourages users to practice ‘tailoring’ the framework in order to make it suit them, rather than try to make every project work to the same stencil. PRINCE2 Agile builds on this adaptability by encouraging practitioners to vary which framework they emphasize, depending on their own project requirements.
Any company can benefit from using the shared framework, and potential students will find no shortage of case studies which relate to their own needs. PRINCE2 Agile can also be applied to different project types. Regardless of the benefits or key deliverables that a project is aiming towards, the PRINCE2 Agile methodology can ensure that project management teams can reach their goals on time, on budget and with high quality.
Ease of adoption
If your organization already utilizes either PRINCE2 or Agile, you should find the combined framework relatively easy to take on. You will not be required to relearn anything from scratch, and you can add to what you already know in order to create a more effective methodology overall.
Granted, there are always growing pains when adopting new standards, especially if you are completely unfamiliar with the new ground you mean to trend. Because of this, many companies choose to upskill employees in PRINCE2 Agile on a small scale at first. This allows them to create PRINCE2 Agile project teams which, depending on the success of their work, can then be expanded at a later date.
Faster benefit realization
One of the biggest points which set Agile apart is that the framework is iterative. Projects are completed in increments, allowing users to start enjoying the benefits more quickly, albeit in smaller helpings.
This kind of speed can be essential for companies in dynamic industries. For these businesses, long and drawn out projects can leave them dangerously stationary. While they will still be able to enjoy the benefits at a project’s conclusion, waiting this long could cause them to lose a significant amount of business to competitors in the meantime.
PRINCE2 Agile makes it simple for organizations which are used to PRINCE2 style project management to benefit from Agile thinking. Trying to incorporate this kind of thinking with a less compatible framework can require much more time and effort. The opposite is also true for Agile users, who may lack experience in higher-level organization for long term projects.
Communication and collaboration
A common advantage of internationally recognized standards is that the tens of thousands of global practitioners will all share the same knowledge and terminology. This makes it easier for them to collaborate and communicate when working together on individual projects. It also means that practitioners from different industries, sectors and locations can still make project management contributions in unfamiliar territory.
This is particularly effective when it comes to the methodologies of PRINCE2 and Agile. PRINCE2 has practitioners clearly define roles, responsibilities and lines of communication at the start of projects. Meanwhile, Agile boosts the visibility and transparency of projects, especially at the delivery stage. The result is projects which are far more effectively organized, with zero delays caused by lacking clarity or confusion over who has what responsibilities.
Why pursue a PRINCE2 Agile certification with Good e-Learning?
Good e-Learning sets a global standard in online training. Our award-winning portfolio covers many of the world’s most popular corporate standards, including PRINCE2 Agile, MSP and ITIL 4. Thanks to our in-house team of industry experts, we can also offer these courses at highly competitive prices, all without having to sacrifice quality.
We understand the difficulties of upskilling employees who are in full-time work. To help with this, we make our courses fully mobile-accessible. Because they can reach training materials even on mobile phones and tablets, it is easy for students to fit studying in whenever they have the time. We also provide months of course access, giving students all the time they need to stagger training around busy schedules.
Our goal is to make our online training courses as engaging as possible. As well as downloadable posters and study cards, our courses also come complete with interactive videos, gamified quizzes and audio-narratives. Students can even enjoy 24/7 tutor support from our in-house experts.
Want to find out more about our e-courses? Visit our free online training resource library, or contact Good e-Learning today.