Until recently project managers followed either the PRINCE2® methodology or were advocates of agile. Any gathering of project managers would be painfully like a school disco, with agile aficionados lining one wall and PRINCE2 cliques lining the other. Of course, in reality everyone had shared goals – to dance and have fun at the meeting of project managers and to run successful projects at the school disco. Or should that be the other way round?
History is full of examples of people who essentially want the same thing constructing differences and finding themselves facing each other from two opposing camps. Leaving aside war and politics, people have argued across the Mac versus PC divide, debated violently the merits of ketchup versus brown sauce and taken a stand for Betamax or VHS.
PRINCE2 naysayers say it is bureaucratic and document-heavy – in fact, PRINCE2 is as flexible or inflexible as organisations choose to make it. Agile is akin to herding cats and no way to run an enterprise standard project or programme, say the PRINCE2 camp – in fact, it is a very effective way of structuring business as usual processes.
In June 2015 AXELOS launched PRINCE2 AgileTM . At a stroke the two competing camps were thrown together and it has become clear that the combined approach has a lot to offer. Keith Richards, PRINCE2 Agile lead author, comments, “When compared, they were commonly viewed as ‘chalk and cheese’, but they are complementary, just like salt and pepper.” PRINCE2 and agile were always about solving the same problem – now their combined power provides a much more effective solution. The cost per week of a project going over schedule is significant, especially when multiplied across the organisation. The savings on this aspect alone contribute massively to the business case for introducing PRINCE2 Agile.
Although 60 percent of organisations have already had some exposure to agile – a solid 10% increase from last year – PRINCE2 Agile is not for everyone. It is an extension module aimed at organisations and individuals already benefiting from PRINCE2 that would like further guidance on how to apply agile methods to the world’s most recognised project management method.
The combination of the proven processes of PRINCE2 and the flexibility of agile promises much – in this new nirvana. Individuals are predicted to benefit from improved job prospects and career progression, while organisations will see more projects completed successfully. In fact, if PRINCE2 Agile even provides a stepping stone for organisations and individuals to build the skills to communicate across the great divide that will be a welcome starting point – allowing agile and PRINCE2 practitioners to begin to break down the false barrier between methodologies and work together to bring projects to fruition.
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PRINCE2® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Limited
PRINCE2 AgileTM is a trademark of AXELOS Limited