Viewpoint: PRINCE2 Agile Foundation certification

22 Oct 2018 03:29 PM

Blog posted by: Shane Keown – Projects Management Officer – Valtech UK, 19 October 2018.

Two project managers assessing project progress using Post-It notes on a clear board

Following the launch of PRINCE2 Agile Foundation certification earlier this year, we caught up with members of the alumni for their feedback. Here, Shane Keown of Valtech UK – who took the course through Logical Model– explains what he learned from the experience.

What made me take PRINCE2 Agile® Foundation? I knew I wanted to take a certification which would complement my practical experience.

In my case, I already had a basic understanding of PRINCE2 project management – gained through working as a PMO consultant – as well as exposure and training in an Agile working environment thanks to my current role. But I didn’t have any formal qualification in either, so finding a course which offered a combination of the two different approaches was ideal. It meant I could develop my understanding of the theory behind each platform and find out if I could apply it to my day-to-day work.

Building knowledge

To be honest, I went into the course unconvinced about the realities of PRINCE2 and Agile working effectively together because you often hear that they are two completely different ways of operating.

Completing PRINCE2 Agile Foundation certainly changed my perception. It gave me new ideas about when it’s beneficial to combine the two – but was equally helpful in determining when to keep them separate. Set procedures and timeframes around regulations, for example, generally benefit from PRINCE2 governance. On the other hand, the iterative and timeboxed approach of Agile can show the progress of project delivery.

I now have a solid understanding of how to differentiate between the two, but also how they can be used to complement each other to a positive effect. For example, GDPR demands that things are done in a certain way which is likely to make PRINCE2 the immediate choice, but there can also be an advantage in combining elements of Agile too.

In fact, one of the most beneficial parts of the course is the capability and confidence it gave me to speak about either PRINCE2 or Agile. This means I can now relate and work effectively with someone who is more inclined to use one methodology over the other. So, even though my knowledge may not be as good as theirs, I am in a better position to build a positive working relationship.

Broad appeal

Based on my own personal experience, I think that being familiar with either Agile or PRINCE2 before certification would definitely be helpful – I certainly benefited from having practical Agile experience.

That said, I think that this certification is equally suited to someone at entry level or who just wants more exposure to help develop a more rounded understanding.

My advice to anyone signing up for the course would be to give yourself a deadline and stick to it. That was my approach and it worked well. I found it incredibly motivating to have everything timeboxed and an end goal in mind – otherwise the temptation is to put off the exam and keep going over the material instead. Put the date in your diary and focus.