Ask the trainer, PRINCE2 Agile® with Julia Gosse

Welcome to another SPOCE 'Ask the Trainer' session, where we pose a handful of the most frequently asked questions from our clients and delegates about a course approach that they specialise in. This month is PRINCE2 Agile® month and our trainer of choice is delegate favourite Julia Gosse. 

1.  What would you say are the key things that this method of project management will bring my organisation over any others?

Agile has strong product focus. PRINCE2® has a strong project focus. Most of the agile delivery methods were not developed for use in a project context and projects need a level of control that agile approaches, on their own, don’t deliver. PRINCE2 Agile® has been created to provide guidance for blending the PRINCE2® project management approach with agile delivery methods. The PRINCE2 Agile® approach brings together the strength of PRINCE2® and the flexibility of agile delivery methods that can be used across all industry sectors. PRINCE2® has structure and when blended with Agile delivery methods it offers organisations more observable governance than just using Agile methods on their own.

2. What would you say are the key challenges facing a project manager that wishes to work in the PRINCE2 Agile® way?

The challenge a project manager faces is to tailor PRINCE2® so that it does not constrain the agile development and slow down delivery. The guide gives great guidance for scaling and adapting PRINCE2® as well as great advice on getting the most out of SCRUM, Kanban and Lean Startup, although any agile delivery can be accommodated within PRINCE2®.

Another challenge is the organisations readiness to embrace agile. This often requires a significant mind shift in attitudes to things like requirements gathering and allowing the development team to shape the product as it is being developed rather than having a very detailed specification up front.  A project manager in an agile environment is less command and control and much more of a facilitator, ensuring that the team have everything they need to work collaboratively to create and shape the product. This style of project management is often a challenge to a more traditional project manager.

3.  What can PRINCE2 Agile® do for my organisation that PRINCE2® can’t?

The question isn’t necessarily should my organisation move to an entirely agile approach to development because not all products can be developed in a totally agile way but how can it add value in most cases. All projects can benefit from some form of agile approach. It is also possible for some elements of the project to be developed in an agile way and other elements in a more waterfall approach. Agile has been proved to bring benefits in terms of quicker delivery so that an organisation can start to see value from what they deliver much more quickly.

If you are using any form of agile delivery but also appreciate that you need a level of control over your projects, then the guide helps you to blend the two together. The current PRINCE2® 2017 gives some basic advice on how to tailor to suit an agile environment but it doesn’t explain how the agile approaches work and the further nuances of the blend of the two. In my opinion you get the best out of PRINCE2 Agile® when you have good knowledge of PRINCE2® so I would advocate taking both courses.

5. What is the future for PRINCE2 Agile®?

Project management becomes more Agile, that is the message from the PMI and we are seeing the integration of several agile methods into standard project methodologies. Organisations are increasingly looking to use multiple approaches to deliver projects and programmes on time and on budget.

Agile is growing in popularity both in it’s traditional IT environment and in many other areas.  Agile methods that can be used for any type of project, not just software.  This can only be good for those who wish to take the PRINCE2 Agile® qualification as it aids in preparing organisations for new working models.

6. Who is this method for and what are the first steps for me?

Practitioners, thus a valid previous project management certification is required. Any one of the following qualifications are accepted to meet the pre-requisite - PRINCE2® Foundation, PRINCE2® Practitioner, Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), IPMA Level A®(Certified Projects Director), IPMA Level B®(Certified Senior Project Manager), IPMA Level C®(Certified Project Manager), IPMA Level D®(Certified Project Management Associate).

About Julia Gosse

PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile®, Agile PM, APM (PFQ & PMQ), MoP®, Accredited Trainer

Julia is a highly experienced and senior member of the SPOCE Project Management Ltd Training Delivery Team. She has a wealth of experience in the Project management training delivery and has the delivery of a number of PM approaches under her wing including PRINCE2 Agile®.

Over the past 25 years she has provided project management consultancy and training to a wide range of organisations both public and private sector, including a number of overseas assignments. She has gone on to undertake a wide variety of consultancy and implementation roles with various SPOCE clients including the development of project and portfolio training with; Poole Council, Ordnance Survey, Moorhouse Consulting, Oxford University and British Airways, to name but a few.

Julia holds a Bachelor of Education Degree.

About SPOCE

SPOCE Project Management Limited is a global leader in delivering best practice training for project programme and risk management. We offer a wide range of courses which can be tailored to suit any form of training need. For example, public courses e-Learning, blended learning and client workshops. SPOCE is the flagship training provider for PRINCE2® and MSP®.

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