3 The rationale for blending PRINCE2 and agile
PRINCE2 is the most commonly used project management approach in the world, and it is increasingly being used in conjunction with agile. As more organizations adopt agile, the need for specific guidance on how to use PRINCE2 in an agile context has grown accordingly.
In simple terms, PRINCE2 and agile each have their own strengths and when combined they complement each other and create a holistic approach to managing projects in an agile way.
The strength of PRINCE2 lies in the areas of project direction and project management. However, it provides little focus on the field of product delivery.
Conversely, agile has a very strong focus on product delivery but relatively little on project direction and project management (see Figure 3.1).
Therefore, when PRINCE2 and agile are combined, all three areas in Figure 3.1 are addressed.
It is essential to see this combination as a blend and a mixture as opposed to PRINCE2 and agile working in parallel. Those directing and managing a project in an agile context need to adopt agile disciplines and behaviours. Equally, those using agile to deliver need to integrate seamlessly with the PRINCE2 ethos of staying in control by empowering people and ensuring that the project remains viable.
Historically, the majority of the applications of agile related to ongoing product development, and this would typically be in an IT context. However, the use of agile has now gone beyond IT and is being used in more challenging situations. Therefore, as the need for agile to work in a project context increases, the established and internationally recognized methods for project management have needed to provide guidance on how they work with agile.
PRINCE2 Agile provides guidance for tailoring PRINCE2 to work in the most effective way in an agile context.