PRINCE2 Agile vs PRINCE2 for new Project Managers

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When searching the job marketplace, you may find you struggle to land on a project management job description without the requirement for PRINCE2, or at the very least the integration of training into your role. Put simply, if you want to build a career in a project management environment, you need PRINCE2.

Since PRINCE2 was launched in 1996, it has led the way in project management and is the world’s most widely used project management methodology. It is excellent at managing projects that deliver change efficiently, on time, on budget and fulfil customer requirements. But if PRINCE2 seemingly has the project management world wrapped up with a bow, why did Axelos launch PRINCE2 Agile in 2015?

What is PRINCE2 Agile?

PRINCE2 Agile is an evolution of PRINCE2 focusing on a more agile and flexible approach. It was designed in response to feedback from users who were struggling to apply PRINCE2 project management methodology to Agile projects. It is centred around working on smaller parts of the project in an agile way. Think of it as managing all the small pieces of the puzzle at once. By using short-term goals and objectives, PRINCE2 Agile is more flexible and adaptable to change. It suits those who are used to Agile methods and behaviours as well as those who are new to Agile approaches.

PRINCE2 Agile aims to work flexibly and in real-time. It can react quickly and change direction if necessary, whilst keeping the project on track and running smoothly. It is aimed at projects that are subject to sudden changes and those that need to be responsive and reactive.

What are the differences between PRINCE2 Agile and PRINCE2?

For those who are new to project management, you may be confused as to which methodology is right for you and your project management objectives. Put simply, PRINCE2 Agile provides all the same benefits as PRINCE2, but in an Agile context with more flexibility and responsiveness.

Projects can change quickly and when they do, making the right decisions is key to project progress and success. This is where Agile thrives. The main differences between PRINCE2 Agile and PRINCE2 are:

  • Works adaptively rather than predictively
  • More focused on fulfilling customer requirements
  • Concepts are based on the product rather than the plan
  • More flexible and adaptable
  • Responds quickly to change
  • Encourages continuous improvement through regular reviews
  • For team members, it promotes self-organisation and collaborative working. In turn, this creates a more empowered and positive project environment that keeps everyone on the same page
  • Agile has 12 principles where PRINCE2 has 7

Before deciding on PRINCE2 OR PRINCE2 Agile, it is also worth reading the supporting documentation from Axelos.

Which project management methodology should you choose?

Since its launch, there has been a lot of talk about which is best. The answer is subjective.
When deciding on PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile, you first need to consider your business style, project objectives, and business justification. In today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable market, using a project management methodology that is adaptable and reacts well to sudden changes can be a huge benefit, but it is not always needed.

If you are working in a controlled environment and your project does not require the use of Agile methods, then PRINCE2 is the best option for you. In non-agile business environments, PRINCE2 will be the best tool to manage your project successfully. If you are a new project manager who lacks knowledge and experience of Agile approaches and concepts, or are working in an Agile project environment, becoming certified in Agile will provide this. Agile is the best choice for new project managers who need guidance on how to tailor PRINCE2 principles in an agile environment.

Agile supports existing Agile project delivery methods in a range of business environments, but it needs to be right for your environment. If a project requires the use of Agile methods, then PRINCE2 Agile will provide a better platform for this.

Can you use PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile together?

In short, yes. Both PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile perform in different ways, but they can complement each other. By using both together for your project management, you can combine the structure of PRINCE2, combined with the flexibility of Agile.

It is advisable to complete the PRINCE2 certification first. You can then progress to PRINCE2 Agile with a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding. PRINCE2 Agile is a complex method, so the more understanding and confidence you have will benefit you greatly as you progress. Gaining the PRINCE2 Agile certification can only heighten your knowledge and make you a more valuable asset.

We offer a range of project management courses to suit your career goals. If you want to become a certified PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile practitioner, get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you take the first step today.

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