Tuesday, 7 July 2015

The new PRINCE2 Agile and why it matters

The eagerly awaited PRINCE2 Agile framework was released on the 24th June. PRINCE2 Practitioners and project managers will now be considering whether this is a framework they should begin using, in order to stay up to date with the latest project management methods.

What is PRINCE2?

The marriage of PRINCE2 and Agile is intriguing. They are both very different ways of thinking. PRINCE, which stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, provides a framework for project managers to track the construction and delivery of products against a plan. With it you’ll get a proven process that allows everyone on your team to approach the project with the same mind-set.

However, despite being a gold standard project management framework for over a decade, it is occasionally dismissed as being unrealistic. This is because there is no such thing as a truly controlled business environment, and so many of the practises are difficult to employ in the real world.

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile Project Management is very much the opposite of this. It’s a flexible way of thinking, making it better for producing deliverables, without substantial changes or reworking required. Tasks are broken down into smaller stages allowing risk to be reduced, with early assessment testing and analysis. Agile trains people to think quickly and come up with solutions to issues on the spot. Ultimately saving money and time as problems are overcome more quickly.

Agile also divides responsibility amongst a team, meaning you’ll achieve more, faster. A well-known example of this is the SCRUM method where responsibility is divided between the Team, Scrum Master and Product Owner.

The merge of PRINCE2 and Agile means that those with knowledge of the framework will get the best of both worlds. PRINCE2 offers the ability to use a well-tested approach to projects and Agile lets you bring the more dynamic and fluid side of project management to the table.

Learn the skills to apply PRINCE2 Agile

The framework is ‘Industry Agnostic’, meaning no matter what projects you undertake, you will be able to apply the processes. In terms of structure it is roughly 20% PRINCE2 and 80% Agile and concentrates on where the two types of thinking meet. This means that you are able to use Agile techniques to tailor how you use the PRINCE2 framework to suit the size and type of project you are undertaking.

One of the best ways to understand and gain the skills required to apply the framework is to get certified in PRINCE2 Agile. The new PRINCE2 Agile course from AXELOS, does exactly that.

On a Prince2 Agile course you’ll learn how to:

  • Apply basic concepts of common Agile ways of working
  • Purpose and context for combining PRINCE2 and the Agile way of working
  • Apply and evaluate the focus areas to a project in an Agile context
  • Fix and flex the six aspects of a project in an Agile context
  • Apply and tailor the PRINCE2 principles, themes, processes and management products to a project within an Agile context
  • Learn through the use of theory and practical exercises
  • Prepare for the PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner exam

To get certified in PRINCE2 Agile you have to sit the exam. It consists of two and a half hours of a multiple choice questions based on scenarios, with a 60% pass mark. In order to take the course you must have the PRINCE2 Practitioners qualification.

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