PRINCE2® Agile – Axelos announces new ways to become qualified

Back in February we provided an article (below) on the value of considering the benefits of mixing PRINCE2 with Agile and how the apparently conflicting methodologies can work positively together.

At the time Axelos (the organisation behind PRINCE2) required that you needed to be full PRINCE2 Practitioner qualified before proceeding to acquire the PRINCE2 Agile qualification.

As of 1 October 2016 Axelos have announced that the PRINCE2 Agile examination can be taken if you hold any of the following certifications:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner
  • Project Management Professional® (PMP)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management® (CAPM)
  • IMPA Levels A,B,C and D® (Certified Projects Director).

This represents an extension of the prerequisites for PRINCE2 Agile and will initially run until 31 December 2017.

This is great news for those that have completed the PRINCE2 Foundation element only and now want to move forward in the Agile world through the PRINCE2 Agile extension.

Following this move Focus on Training has launched a new PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Agile Bundle at a special Offer Price – click here for more details

We can also help with most of the main elements for those who want to take a different route or are already part qualified.

From Focus on Training Blog – February 2016

Can you mix PRINCE2 with Agile? In the real world few projects do not involve some blending of project methods and philosophies to produce a solution which is right for a given set of circumstances.

In recognition of this the organisation behind PRINCE2 (Axelos) has published a set of best practice guidance. Regular accredited courses are also available. If you come from a PRINCE2 background you will find the insights in PRINCE2 Agile help show how blending can be implemented – without compromising the best features of each.

The 3 day PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner course explains how to tailor PRINCE2 to work in the best way possible in an agile context. It looks at how to weave the principles, processes and themes of PRINCE2 with many of the common ways of working in an agile way. It examines how to configure PRINCE2 when in different situations and how to incorporate the agile frameworks, behaviours, concepts and techniques in the best way possible to increase the chances of successful project delivery.

You need to be a PRINCE2 Practitioner (Update October 2016 as above) to take the course and in fact there is very little time spent on recapping PRINCE2 so those with out-of- date knowledge or gaps in understanding will be at a disadvantage.

The PRINCE2 Agile manual is over 300 pages long and provides a valuable overview of Agile and Scrum topics. We cannot do justice to it here other than sample a few salient extracts.

What to Fix and What to Flex?
PRINCE2 Agile is built on the concept of prioritising what is delivered. In PRINCE2 language this means applying flexible tolerances to the quality criteria and the scope of deliverables. The tolerances for time and cost however are fixed.


The reason for this is that Agile accepts that change is inevitable. There must be a response and this must be in a controlled way which protects the level of quality and does not compromise deadlines.

PRINCE2 Agile Behaviours
PRINCE2 incorporates a lot of definition of structured processes – each with its own set of inputs and outputs. PRINCE2 Agile adds a greater emphasis on behaviours.

Share information; make it visible; encourage openness

Motivated and empowered teams working closely together, and with the customer

Rich Communication
All means of communication are not equal. Keep face to face where possible but use a blended approach – each form of communication has its merits.

Scrum teams often have a real “buzz” and it has a lot to do with being trusted to deliver with minimum external control

Learn from frequent iteration and feedback

ScrumMaster and Project Manager Roles
Common Agile guidance does not have a project manager role. “Agile delivery teams should be led and coached as opposed to managed”. In practice there is always some degree of management structure and PRINCE2 Agile suggests options for integrating the Agile and PRINCE2 roles. For instance, if the Team Manager is highly collaborative and facilitates self organisation of the team he or she may be embedded within the Agile product delivery team.

Both PRINCE2 and Agile place emphasis on planning – they have many similarities but they also support different perspectives and time horizons.

Agile planning is often steered by experience or empiricism and it is at the product delivery level where a series of Sprints predominate. Concepts such as “velocity” provide guidance as to rate of progress. This concept of empirical or emergent planning fits less well with a traditional mentality where a project plan with fully defined end date is the norm.

PRINCE2 is built to support any approach to a project and the tailoring of PRINCE2 Agile allows it to embrace the delivery focused planning approach whilst at the same time placing this within the total project context.