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I have recently heard about a new methodology that mixes PRINCE2 and Agile called PRINCE2 Agile. I was wondering what could be the benefits and reasoning behind this?

As I understand PRINCE2 is a greatly traditional approach while Agile is quite the opposite – can two opponents actually make a great match?

  • I will await some further answers but the core 7 principles of PRINCE2 map almost perfectly to the Agile principles. agilemanifesto.org/principles.html Bear in mind that PRINCE2 does not call for meetings and reports; it calls for information and updates (exactly the same as an Agile team) however years and years of tradition have devolved those statements into traditional waterfall materials. A PRINCE2 Project can be run largely through face to face communications and a product review every so often and a few small documents. – Venture2099 Apr 21 '16 at 10:07
  • I strongly doubt they can be a good match though because PRINCE2 has a long and entrenched history of being delivered in a certain way; any attempt to combine the approaches by an organisation is likely to end in disaster not to mention being initiated for the wrong reasons (fear of "real" Agile, lack of organisational change, adherence to the "old ways", poor HR understanding). – Venture2099 Apr 21 '16 at 10:09
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Most agile frameworks, especially Scrum, are very light and tend not to focus on project delivery (favouring instead a very lightweight approach to product delivery). This isn’t a problem in many environments, but where a project involves governance processes (in regulated environments for example), complex dependency arrangements, multiple vendors, offshore locations etc, you need something that offers a little more structure.

Prince2 Agile focuses on agility at the delivery level (Scrum, Kanban, etc etc), whilst still enabling/facilitating project type controls at high management levels - thereby ensuring a delivery that regularly tests a business case and stays within compliance.

Standard Prince2 tends to ignore actual delivery, so has often been used in a very heavyweight way - the new course tries to fix that deficiency, and broadly does that well.

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I have worked in organisations that attempt to mix Prince2 with Agile. The reason for this approach was that there was pressure to do Prince2 from the executive and from an external client.

There are a number of conflicts between the Prince2 and Agile approaches. Most telling of these are:

  • In Agile we favour responding to change over following a plan. Prince2 is very plan focused.
  • In Agile we favour individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Prince2 is very process driven.

It is possible to do Agile and include some aspects of Prince2 (such as the risk log). However, even this can dilute the value of the Agile approach.

As an example, on one occasion I was working as a Scrum Master on a project that was also required to follow the Prince2 approach. The reporting and documentation needs of Prince2 meant that I had less time to spend on resolving the team's impediments. The team's performance suffered as a result.

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    I would certainly say that Prince2 has suffered from that in the past, but the agile variant is far more principle focused than being focused on a process/plan. The Prince2 Agile training spends more time talking about bringing agility through all layers of the project than anything else, and just requires that projects constantly validate work against a business case. Agile talks about delivering value, but is rather vague around ROI etc. P2A won't be good in all environments, but it's a good tool to be aware of. – Gregg Barron Apr 26 '16 at 8:16
  • That's fair Gregg. Sounds like you are more up to speed on the current Prince2 process than I am. – Barnaby Golden Apr 26 '16 at 9:41
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we have a comprehensive comparisons of the two (with multiple references) that concludes they are like oil and water and explains why in practical terms here: http://www.pmis-consulting.com/combining-agile-with-prince2-msp/

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