Using PRINCE2 and Agile in Hybrid Projects and Programs

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on November 10, 2022

PM Methodologies: Waterfall, DAD, SAFe, LeSS, Scrum@Scale | Toptal

What possible benefits can projects and programs experience by using PRINCE2 and Agile methods?

Organizations can prioritize strategically when they are agile, chunking tasks and objectives into time periods that are long enough to produce something of value but short enough to undo if necessary. With agile approaches, you can reorder priorities or even put projects on hold altogether, providing you more flexibility to respond to customer and business needs.

Despite the advantages of the Agile method, there is also value in developing so-called hybrid work conditions in change initiatives.

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Using PRINCE2 and Agile in hybrid project and program approaches

Agile for “Agilistas” is a way of life, yet more traditional project management methods like PRINCE2 are still needed.

For large-scale Government contracts, for example, a more “waterfall” strategy usually works well. To deliver government projects, at least in the UK, the PRINCE2 methodology and qualified personnel are usually needed by contracts.

The business needs to decide the best technique or approach to use that can work effectively with a primarily waterfall-driven organization working with ad hoc Agile pockets of excellence, for example in digital transformation.

The problem arises when a company has numerous initiatives going at once, some of which are using the Agile method, others PRINCE2, or a hybrid of the two.

So, how can you manage hybrid working methods inside the same organization?

New approaches to provide benefits and working using PRINCE2 and Agile

One strategy is to develop and implement a longer-term, multi-year roadmap for change in quarterly increments, but with a more conventional waterfall governance structure overlay.

In addition to a program board focused on the delivery plan and managing resources, costs, quality, risk, and scope on a monthly cycle, this may also include a steering group to agree on strategic priorities and release investment each quarter.

In this way, regardless of the method used by specific initiatives, organizations can create a consistent and repeatable governance framework across their portfolio.

Reaching the tipping point where the organization’s innovators, early adopters, and the early majority know enough to see the approach will work and that it’s worthwhile to do, and managing disruption to initiative delivery while transitioning to the new model, are key challenges in adopting a hybrid approach.

Developing knowledge and skills for hybrid projects and programs

Some senior managers believe switching to Agile or hybrid working paradigms will be as simple as flipping a switch. Sadly, no, it doesn’t.

Instead, businesses should invest in educating key staff members about the agile method and offering corporate coaching. They can’t lead what we don’t understand, after all!

People are more likely to understand the benefits of the new business model, be able to contextual it for the organization, and realize that their employer is investing in their abilities, professional growth, and ability to contribute to the organization’s future if this occurs.

In the end, it’s important to establish the proper mindset, culture, and idea of a learning business where everyone aspires to be highly effective.

And those in positions of leadership need to show this. As the director of the transformation program, for instance, they must develop a learner’s mindset to comprehend the new change model we are adopting and set an example for the culture and mindset of constant learning that is a characteristic of high-performing teams.

Scaling up  in an organization

Agile-working efforts usually begin small, for instance, with a covert Agile team developing a digital product.

Instead of attempting a wholesale adoption of Agile methodologies, you may road-test the strategy, demonstrate what works, gain experience, and improve/adapt as you go. This not only gives the project team and senior management the assurance that the strategy will be successful, but it also develops a repeatable model to test out on additional initiatives.

As a result, it shifts away from a “big bang” strategy and toward evolution.

If you do it well, it will encourage staff and boost morale. The possibility that the organization’s appetite will be awakened before it is truly prepared and before senior leadership is certain that an Agile strategy is sound must also be managed.

Stephen Covey, a management author, uses the phrase “sharpening the saw” to describe the idea of investing in oneself, picking up new abilities, keeping one’s edge, and practicing. These are necessary for thriving in an Agile or hybrid workplace.

Overall, agile project managers and agile certifications have an impact and will undeniably only grow to be more in demand. Visit all our courses on Agile here, and get certified.

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