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This question has raised a debate within my organization with multiple points of view.

Several Project Managers think that they are completely different things aiming for different results whereas other colleagues believe that both methodologies could be combined.

I would be interested in understanding what makes PRINCE2 and SCRUM compatible and what makes them opponents.

What are your thoughts?

31

Absolutely!

Prince 2 is on project level, as Scrum can be done on 'managing product delivery' level within PRINCE2.

The Scrum process is all about delivery. Fast and effective delivery is key. Within PRINCE2 the delivery process is a black box. PRINCE2 is all about managing the project’s process.

enter image description here

This makes Scrum a natural fit to the PRINCE2 ‘Managing Product Delivery’ process. This also makes PRINCE2 the project management wrapper around Scrum. I think this is a great combination.

Here is more info on this: whitebook

  • I have done so on a series of projects, didn't work smooth from the first try as the PM wore 2 hats a time the SM and the PMs, so we had besides the sprints retrospect some other deliverables had to be produced. – Adrian B Sep 12 '11 at 13:58
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    Be very carefull in being PM and SM or PO at the same time. As I have seen from my own experience and those of colleagues, I wouldn't recommend mixing up the different roles. Read more on this in following post: pm.stackexchange.com/questions/3347/… – Kennethvr Sep 13 '11 at 6:27
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    ... According to prince 2. Here, "Controlling as stage" contains stage forecasts, milestones, pre-defined large work packages and centralization of decision making. These are all things that rob Scrum of team ownership and responsiveness to change. The people who made this diagram very much think "whatever, scrums is just standup's right?", it's not. – Nathan Cooper Jul 7 '15 at 8:36
  • The Scrum Guide: "Scrum makes clear the relative efficacy of your product management and development practices so that you can improve." From the article: "Implementing ‘Scrum by the book’ in my opinion won’t always work, because there are too many problems to resolve ... The problem with changes is that you can’t change instantly to an ideal." Instead of embracing the possibility of change, Scrum shall be constrained within the comfort of our top-down structure. I agree with Nathan Cooper, there is a lack of understanding of or disregard for Scrum and agile software development. – Alan Larimer Aug 20 '16 at 16:56
6

A Prince2 practitioner might view Scrum as being contained neatly within the delivery level. A Scrum practitioner, on the other hand, might see Scrum extending into multiple aspects of the management and executive levels.

So, Prince2 can use parts of Scrum, but Scrum, as a complete package, may not be able to comfortably co-exist within Prince2. Scrum practitioners will tell you that it's either Scrum, or not Scrum, but not "partly-Scrum".

2

Absolutely.

A project can remain Prince2 for as long as it adheres to the 7 prince2 principles. I have a detailed PDF on this found at Master Business Chronicles Blog

1

This is just wrong. It goes against the principles of Agile and SCRUM. PRINCE2 would be 'waste' in this context. There is no role and no need for it. It leads to a 'scrum-but' situation at its best.

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    Taking into account other answers go against your opinion, would you mind sharing some resources reinforcing your answer? – Tiago Cardoso Nov 19 '13 at 16:36
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    Yes, please. Could you elaborate? I get this kind of answers quite often but if you look into the detail, Scrum is an iterative and incremental Agile software development framework focused predominantly in delivering. Projects required certain level on management and governance which could be nicely joined up with other Project Management methods or frameworks such as PRINCE2 or DSDM. One of the key characteristics of "Agile" and "being agile" is flexibility. I don't think Scrum rejects any additional support to run projects efficiently and successfully. – M0N4K0 Nov 19 '13 at 22:37
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In my opinion, Scrum and be used with PRINCE2 as described above. PRINCE2 just becomes the Management Layer above Scrum which is fine. PRINCE2 can be used to communicate with the management while Scrum is used by the teams who create and reviews the products.

An alternative to the PRINCE2 management layer is Scrum of Scrum.

0

Probably, but I think it leads to idea-fall and Scrum factories.

Project idea's and requirements come from people with the least knowledge, but are committed to on a project road-map. The Scrum team here is just an iterative factory. Instead of giving teams high-level objectives and letting them learn and coming up with innovate solutions, what I think being Agile and Lean is all about.

Although unrelated to Prince2. See this video of Marty Cagan about idea-fall, only the build steps are iterative. Not the product design, which often leads to failed products.

enter image description here

I like his idea of doing Dual-track Scrum to facilating the discovery and delivery process.

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