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The marriage between PRINCE2® and agile – An ATO’s view

It was the marriage they said could never happen but AXELOS has managed it. What were thought to be two polar opposites, PRINCE2 – symbolizing control, accountability, order – and agile – symbolizing self-organization and equality, have been reconciled in the new PRINCE2 Agile™ guidance.

What is perhaps most surprising about this is how relatively few feathers have been ruffled on either side of the fence. A PRINCE2 vs agile conversation can escalate quickly in certain circles, as testified by the many heated discussions you will find across project management-themed internet forums. Yet beyond the outlying apprehension, there has not been an almighty wave of backlash greeting PRINCE2 Agile. This has been in no small part down to the amount of thought and consideration Keith Richards and his team have put into this. By thoroughly examining and honouring the ethos of both schools of thought they have shown how they can be thought of as natural bedfellows. What’s even more surprising and, indeed impressive, is that no principles on either side have been compromised; no square pegs have been forced into any round holes. Remarkably, nothing in PRINCE2 has had to be surgically removed in order for it to work in an agile context. All the principles, themes and even processes remain. For this feat alone, the authors deserve applause.

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