PRINCE2 Vs Scrum Vs AgilePM
When it comes to project management certification, the debate about the best course available is still ongoing. Fans of the three main different types of project management course will fiercely defend their choice.
This can make it difficult for those new to project management to discover which is best for their needs between PRINCE2, Scrum and AgilePM. However, others will tell you that there is no need to stick to just one. The principles learned in one can be applied to another and there is a common thread that runs through them all: project management.
While they might all have their own processes and methodologies, the common goal unites them. Each of these methods helps to keep the project manager on track as assists them in increasing their chances of running a successful project.
Project management principles also help to keep things on budget, which is a key concern for those who know just how easily costs can spiral out of control. And finally, project management principles help to deliver projects on time. Given that all three project management qualifications will address these primary concerns, how does one go about choosing between the main 3 available?
In this article, we will look at the three main project management qualifications available, PRINCE2, Scrum and AgilePM. We will look at what unites them and what sets them apart. And finally, we will help you to decide which one will be best to further your career.
This methodology has nothing to do with royalty. Instead, it is a contraction of PRojects IN Controlled Environments (v2). It was originally developed for the IT industry to help keep IT projects on track. Other industries soon recognised that the same principles could be used to keep their projects on track. After all, other projects could be considered to be taking place in controlled environments, not just IT projects.
PRINCE2 offers a structured approach to project management which some have criticised for being too rigid. But this is largely unfounded. Since the 2009 revamp, the methodologies are far more streamlined and easily tailored to suit any project.
The PRINCE2 methodology now consists of:
- 7 PRINCE2 project management principles
- 7 PRINCE2 project management themes
- 7 PRINCE2 project management processes
- Tailoring to any industry or situation
Similar to PRINCE2, Scrum also arose from an IT background. Scrum is most often used in software development in which teams of people work towards iteration releases. Scrum also has a lot in common with AgilePM since it is flexible, relatively easy to implement and easy to understand.
Scrum moves away from traditional project management roles and instead only has three roles which need to be fulfilled: product owner, team and scrum master.
The principles of Scrum value communication and collaboration above anything else. The project moves forward in something known as “sprints”. This is why it is particularly suited to technical fields, IT and software. At the end of each sprint, there needs to be a tangible and workable product. This offers an incredibly flexible approach which can be adjusted to suit a number of different fields.
Developed as the antithesis of the “waterfall” project management process, AgilePM focuses on incremental movement rather than on big-picture planning. It recognises that the scope of a project isn’t always known at the beginning, which can make it difficult to plan the lifecycle of a project. Instead, flexibility is hardwired into the principles of Agile project management.
It might sound more risky, but like Scrum, AgilePM moves forward in sprints. This means that the tasks are short and concise and this helps to keep the project on track. The sprints aim to produce a high level of productivity in a short space of time. Collaboration is highly valued, as team members will have to work together in order to reach the end of each sprint.
The AgilePM manifesto values the following principles:
- Adapting to change over following the plan
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Working product over documentation
- Individuals and interactions over project management processes and tools
For those actually working in project management, they will recognise that these are all project-forward goals that prioritise the project over the management. AgilePM allows for changes at any stage, with a continuous process of feeding back into the project to refine the future goals.
How well recognised is each project management method?
When choosing a qualification to further your career, you should first think about how well recognised the method is in your chosen field. When choosing a method to adopt within your organisation, you would instead need to look at which one is best suited to your needs.
The needs of an individual and organisation are vastly different. While an individual might be looking to bring new skills into the workplace, an organisation will be more focussed on what skills are already present and how they might best be utilised.
At the moment, PRINCE2 is the most recognised project management methodology in the UK. It is also used in 50 countries around the world. The method and the qualifications are both internationally recognised, so there is wide appeal for this particular branch of project management. This type of methodology is also suitable for international projects as there is no need for face-to-face contact. This means that practitioners can be spread out across different geographical without impacting the progress of the project.
PRINCE2 is also very generic, meaning it can be applied to many different situations. It’s incredibly versatile and can be adapted to any number of situations.
Scrum is technically a subset of AgilePM. It is one of the most popular methodologies among the AgilePM processes. It is also favoured by Fortune 500 companies all over the world. Both the methodology and qualifications are globally recognised.
Scrum is well suited to complex projects as it allows them to be broken down into sprints. In companies with high turnover, this can be hugely beneficial as new people can join and leave the scrum at the start of every new sprint. They don’t need to know where the project has been in order to get up to date.
Like the other 2, AgilePM is also internationally recognised. It is also growing in popularity thanks to the flexible nature of the leading principles. In projects where the needs of a product are always changing, AgilePM can help to keep the project relevant and current.
AgilePM is also suited to situations where the scope isn’t known at the start. Changes can be made throughout the development process with little impact on the budget or timescales. It’s also highly adaptable, which means you don’t have to be working in IT or software development in order to make the most of the founding principles.
Can these methodologies work well together?
With different training and qualifications out there, you might be wondering how well the systems will work together.
For example, perhaps you already implement PRINCE2 methodologies in house and you want to know how well a team member with AgilePM training will be able to adapt and bring something new to the table.
First and foremost, the idea that these different methodologies cannot be blended successfully is a myth. PRINCE2 recently released an Agile methodology, which proves that the different schools of thought are not mutually exclusive. In many ways, making the most of all the options available to you can actually make your organisation stronger. Likewise, an employee with more than one certification is not going to find themselves at a disadvantage.
Scrum is very closely related to AgilePM. And while PRINCE2 might be more rigid in its approach, there is a way to bring Agile methodologies to PRINCE2 projects. In general, PRINCE2 is the best option for safety and security. While AgilePM and Scrum are the best options for versatility and adaptability.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t take elements from each principle to create something that works for your business. For example, you can create an overall structure using PRINCE2 and then introduce Agile methodologies for the unexpected. And finally, working in sprints can help you to keep your project moving forward on time and on budget.