Choosing Between PRINCE2 or Agile Courses
- 22nd August 2014
- Posted by: Stacie Jansen van Vuren
- Category: Project Management
At some point in their career, most people will reach a cross roads when they begin asking themselves how they can develop their skills and best demonstrate and solidify their skills and knowledge on their CV for present and future ventures.
In project management and indeed many other sectors, having formal certifications is a brilliant way to do this and in the current job market, putting yourself ahead in the recruitment process is imperative for those looking to climb the career ladder.
It also provides an important safe guard career wise to ensure that you always have job options if your current situation changes and provides much greater opportunities to increase salary prospects.
A common question asked by people looking to get in to project management and even those who have vast experience in the project management sector is ‘why do I need certifications?’
As well as putting yourself ahead recruitment wise and giving yourself an edge when it comes to internal promotions, having certifications will really help your long term prospects. It shows dedication, that you learn and pick concepts up quickly and that you can perform under pressure by taking formal exams. These are all skills that employers will look for and having certifications will help to show them that you are the right person for the job.
Once the decision to get certified has been made, prospective project management students face another crucial decision in choosing the right course for them. For those already in project management this may be a straight forward choice and many people find that they are thrown in to adopting a certain methodology that is already widely used by their current employer.
However, for those people who are not currently in project management or working in an environment with a standardised methodology, the decision may not be as easy to make and there are a few factors that need to be considered.
What do PRINCE2 and Agile courses involve?
The best place to start with this is a brief overview of what each methodology entails. PRINCE2 is a waterfall style of project management. After one section is complete, you move on to the next and after that section is complete you move on to the next and so on. This is a great approach for industries where there is a lot of bureaucracy involved, where there is a set deadlines for the project completion and where a lot of intricate planning is needed.
For this reason, the PRINCE2 methodology is very popular in industries such as construction.
Agile Project Management is generally seen to be a more flexible approach to project management as it allows a greater capacity for review. Characteristics include short increments and frequent delivery, continuous involvement of staff across different roles, delivery on time and to budget and a cooperative approach. Because of this, it is highly favoured over PRINCE2 in the IT, finance, insurance and banking industries.
PRINCE2 is a predictive, plan based approach where as Agile uses short term, incremental objectives that are not determined by a master plan so is more adaptable. This results in different project focuses.
For example, a PRINCE2 approach to a project is likely to revolve around the original business plan and goals where as Agile will be more responsive to changes in technology or requirements that may crop up at short notice during the project and outcomes will not be dictated by an over arching plan. This arguably makes Agile less rigid than PRINCE2 and in the climate of technology that we are currently in is making Agile more and more appealing.
Many people will base a decision on what style of project management is best for them on the kind of environment they are working in and the dynamics of their team. Agile requires a higher investment in the project from team members, where as PRINCE2 requires little of the project workers and focusses more heavily on corporate, managerial control.
The success of Agile depends greatly on having a dynamic team who are willing to put more in to a project than they might be with PRINCE2. This is certainly something to consider.
What course should I choose?
PRINCE2 is still very much the HR tick box certification of choice but Agile is beginning to gain more momentum in the project management world and is arguably becoming the course of choice for prospective employers in certain circumstances.
The choice between the two needs to be made based on the team you are working in and the environment and situation the project methodology will be applied in. Certain industries favour different methodologies and it will be clear when working in these sectors which path to choose.
Do I have to choose?
The majority of people studying towards a project management qualification will choose one path or the other but there is increasing evidence and experience from professionals in the industry to suggest that the two methodologies do not necessarily clash and can be moulded in to a hybrid methodology depending on the situation. This is something worth investigating further.
Choosing whether to study a PRINCE2 course or our Agile courses is often a personal decision, based on current job role, end goals, team dynamics and career industry. There is often a clear cut path to take but where there is not, many people will study both to cover all bases and maximise the opportunities open to them in project management.
It is worth considering the features of both PRINCE2 and Agile courses to further your studies if there is not an obvious choice to make in your current line of work.