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What are the Differences Between PRINCE2 and Agile

In the UK, the average PRINCE2 salary is £54,634, according to Indeed UK This is remarkably 57.0 per cent higher than the average for the country! By all accounts, an excellent wage demonstrates the importance of project managers earning their PRINCE2 certification. Eventually, most people face a dilemma in their jobs regarding how to advance their abilities and most effectively present and consolidate their skills and expertise on their resume for current and upcoming endeavours. 

Having official certificates is the best approach to accomplish this goal in the Project Management industry, among many others. It's also critical to realise that standing out from the competition throughout the hiring process is necessary for the present employment landscape if you want to advance in your profession.

Without a doubt, PRINCE2 Agile and PRINCE2 are indeed the two most well-known Project Management methodologies. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these Project Management methodologies, especially when seen in a specific project setting. Each of these approaches has a distinct audience. Choosing between PRINCE2 or Agile can be difficult, mainly if you are new to the Project Management Industry. Explore the key differences between PRINCE 2 vs Agile. Choose which one suits your career and organisation with this comprehensive blog.

Table of Contents

1) What is PRINCE2? 

2) Origin of PRINCE2 

3) Who uses PRINCE2?

4) What is PRINCE2 Agile? 

5) Who uses Agile?

6) Why do you need Certifications? 

7) PRINCE2 vs PRINCE2 Agile — Key Differences 

8) Conclusion  

What is PRINCE2? 

PRINCE2 is basically a methodology designed in Project Management to help Project Managers focus on organisation and control of their software development lifecycle. Abbreviated as ‘PRojects IN Controlled Environments’, PRINCE2 was designed as a framework that is linear and process based. 

It helps an Agile team focus on moving their project initiatives through predefined stages. Moreover, PRINCE2 also encompasses key principles in Project Management such as drafting an outline of the project’s scope and budget, which makes it suitable for beginners.

By breaking down projects into achievable stages, PRINCE2 provides a flexible procedure with which companies may manage their projects. Employing a common language, coordinating processes, and offering templates and structure fosters crucial connectivity inside an organisation. Seven principles, seven themes, seven PRINCE2 phases, and the project environment itself are all included in PRINCE2. All of these work together to build a supportive environment for projects.

 Agile Training

Origin of PRINCE2 

PRINCE2 was first established in 1989 by the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). The Project Management methodology was originally based on a framework used by the United Kingdom’s government, known as Project Resource Organization Management Planning Technique (PROMPT). 

The UK government utilised 'PROMPT' primarily for projects pertaining to Information Systems. PRINCE2 started out as just PRINCE, and was the first iteration that focused on managing IT projects. 

Moreover, during the 1990s, managers realised that PRINCE’s techniques were applicable to any type of project, apart from just IT. After a rewrite was done to remove any mention of IT-specific jargon, PRINCE2 was launched in 1996. 

Now PRINCE2 is a general Project Management Methodology applicable for projects across all industries and for both public and private businesses. More than 1 million applicants had taken the PRINCE2 exam by the end of 2012, indicating that the world was ready for the framework it provided.

Looking through any Project Management job listings, you'll notice that PRINCE2's exponential rise to become a global standard didn't end there. It is currently accessible in nine languages, and its demand is still high.

AXELOS introduced PRINCE2 Agile in 2015. Complementary to PRINCE2 and compatible with the first approach. For businesses to maintain a competitive advantage in a rapidly changing world, they increasingly require the agility and responsiveness that PRINCE2 Agile offers with the precision and framework of PRINCE2.

Who uses PRINCE2?

PRINCE2, the first choice for various organisations in the public sector, pertains to Project Management certifications. These organisations invest in PRINCE2 because of their primary aim to focus on the customer. PRINCE2 is designed as a system that comprises of many processes and guidelines to help Project Managers cherry pick the best projects.

Additionally, the PRINCE2 approach helps managers better comprehend the benefits of their projects which are directly correlated with the project’s costs and expenses. The approach especially helps them manage their project by making it more accessible despite any alterations or modifications such as its environment or conditions. 

The industries that implement PRINCE2 approaches span across IT, Construction, Engineering, Manufacturing and Oil and Gas. The usage of PRINCE also extends to law enforcement agencies like the Canadian Mounted Police, who utilises it to improve the proficiency and interactions among various departments. Their aim behind using PRINCE2 is to encourage the exchange of data, thereby harmoniously organising crime prevention projects and making them more successful.

Moreover, the Oil and Gas industry also implements the PRINCE2 approach, so as to improve the chances of project success and their financial security. Owing to the declining economic climate and pricing regulations, the Oil and Gas industry faces requirements of complex projects like never before.  Such requirements encompass financial viability and the optimal utilisation of resources.

The methodology of PRINCE2 assists these organisations in ensuring that their budgets are not spent on possibly wasteful practices, with the support of productive planning and accountability of team roles. The industry of Oil and Gas is increasingly reliant on the expertise of technical experts with the growing demand for qualified Project Managers that are credentialed with the PRINCE2 certification. Shell and Transpower New Zealand are two big names in the Oil and Gas industry who reap the benefits of the PRINCE2 certification.

What is PRINCE2 Agile? 

The PRINCE2 Agile framework is more of a collection of rules for modifying PRINCE2® for an Agile setting. This package was developed for businesses and people who already utilise PRINCE2 but understand the advantages of using Agile methodologies. Because it applies PRINCE2 administration and Project Management aspects, but with an Agile twist, it could be referred to as a "bolt-on" to PRINCE2 instead of a brand-new Project Management Methodology. Even more reason why it’s essential to know more about PRINCE2 vs Agile.

Join our Agile Project Management Foundation and Practitioner Course to learn more about Agile Methodology! 

Who uses Agile?

Agile is an approach designed for industries where organisations want to address concerns with software projects that are facing regular time problems, going over the budget or delivering software services of low-quality. Many industries even outside the software domain implement Agile approaches.

Additionally, Agile approaches are not related to the worthiness of a project or if its benefits are realisable in the future. These approaches are however pivotal on the delivery of value to the customers of an organisation in an incremental manner. 

Now the products developed are designed with the intention of satisfying customer requirements. The customers have a significant involvement as they have been included in the iterative phase of defining and prioritising project requirements. They have also been included in the development, testing and feedback loop during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Moreover, the Agile approach to software development facilitates the rapid modelling of business solutions, incorporation of customer feedback and adjustment of scope as required in the lifecycle. The Agile approach, moreover, is meant to support a project’s evolving requirements as fresh developments arise through the lifecycle.

Agile is now utilised by not just the software teams, but also for any project of a large-scale across any industry. The project team’s must be capable of handling rapidly evolving business deliverables and in proximity with the customers and other external parties.

Why do you need Certifications? 

'Why are certifications required?' is a common question posed by those wishing to enter the field of project management and by those who already have extensive expertise in the area.

Having certifications will aid your long-term chances and provide you with an advantage when it comes to internal promotions and hiring. By taking official examinations, you may demonstrate commitment, how quickly you pick up concepts, and your ability to perform under pressure. Employers will be looking for all these talents, and having certifications will assist you in proving to them that you are qualified for the position.

Prospective Project Management learners need to make another critical choice after deciding whether to pursue certification, i.e., which course is best for them. This may be an easy decision for individuals already involved in project management. Still, many people discover that they are forced to utilise a specific methodology currently popular in their workplace.

Become a certified Agile Project Manager –register for our Agile Programme Management Course now!  

PRINCE2 vs PRINCE2 Agile — Key Differences 

Numerous frameworks should be employed in every project. Selecting one of these frameworks is challenging. It can be a bit tricky and difficult to make a decision. The Agile and Prince2 frameworks are currently two of the most widely used. PRINCE2 Agile is a software development approach that aids in creating software through iterations that can last anywhere from one week to four weeks, ensuring that the development process is always in line with all business requirements. Projects IN Controlled Environments is the abbreviation for Prince2. This technique aids in defining and designating roles for various team members.

Before comparing PRINCE2 vs Agile methodologies, it is crucial to understand that their underlying principles are very different and the difference between PRINCE2 and Agile. 

While PRINCE2 is a project management methodology, Agile is a framework that gave rise to project management methodologies like Scrum and Kanban. The following are the critical differences between PRINCE2 and Agile-

1) Operational structure and function

PRINCE2 Agile- Numerous organisations now frequently adopt agile approaches. This is primarily attributable to flexibility and pivotal abilities. PRINCE2 Agile is also often referred to as scrum. It applies to any project. These tasks could be simple or complex. Scrum is primarily concerned with project execution. Clients, users, and other stakeholders must develop this method. This is done to determine whether all client needs have been adequately addressed and included in the project. It can be described as an ongoing process where customers' feedback is continuously received and integrated into the system to produce a better product.

PRINCE2- The key emphasis of PRINCE2 is the significance of the processes that must be followed. It involves all phases, including beginning and continuing the management process once the project has been started and initiated. After the project is completed, it is transferred to regular business operations. The best way to define it is as a linear process that moves through many stages one at a time. PRINCE2 can be characterised as a predictive plan-based methodology primarily concentrating on the project's larger objectives. The management team's tasks and responsibilities are established in advance and centre on the calibre of the output. PRINCE2 can be changed at any time to fit any project and can aid in keeping the project's budget in check.

2) Who are PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile aimed for? 

PRINCE2 Agile- Both working teams and suppliers can adopt  PRINCE2 agile approaches. These teams may consist of project participants or not. They primarily focus on what must be provided the following week, what the customer requires, and how to make the software function. The PRINCE2 Agile technique facilitates teamwork and customer collaboration among project participants. The different criteria are defined and prioritised, then developed and tested to ensure they meet the requirements and give appropriate feedback in continuous cycles known as iterations. Software engineers appropriately developed it to address specific issues with the software projects' repeated delays and over budgeting.

PRINCE2- The project management approach PRINCE2 is customer-focused. It offers a collection of guidelines, concepts, and procedures that assist organisations in managing and defending projects. Its key objective is to manage the project successfully and ensure it continues to be a wise investment in this dynamic commercial environment.

3) What do PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile focus on?

PRINCE2 Agile- The continuous and incremental delivery of projects is the core goal of the  PRINCE2 agile methodology. It also emphasises how effective and efficient the product being constructed is. In addition to doing what the clients want, these goods are engaged in a continuous cycle of identifying and prioritising requirements, creating, and giving feedback to users.

PRINCE2- Essentially, PRINCE2 is based on seven guiding principles for the various methodologies. It aids in outlining the duties and responsibilities of each team member for the project. All project participants, even those at a higher level, like project managers, are also included. The elements of project management that are also emphasised include business cases, structure, change, risk, planning, quality, and progress. A project's success is determined by the benefits it has made possible and how those benefits will assist the company. It includes the entire project management lifecycle, enabling decision-makers to be identified throughout challenging project phases. PRINCE2 does not specify how employees should conduct themselves at work. Instead of doing this, it merely tends to outline how the project interacts with these concepts of reporting, responsibility, and the work that needs to be done

4) Project nature and flow  

PRINCE2 Agile- PRINCE2 Agile, by nature, is adaptable. Teams do not plan out the entire project. Instead, they focus on one product version, make it available to the public, and then continue to the next.

PRINCE2- PRINCE2 has foresight. Teams employing the PRINCE2 methodology proactively identify possible risks and develop a plan of action to reduce them.

Hopefully, this comparison of the difference between PRINCE2 and Agile will significantly help decide between the PRINCE2 vs Agile approaches. 

Want to become an Agile Project Manager? Register for our AgilePM Foundation Certification Course today!   

Which is better of PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile?

Teams that are deciding between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile, need to consider the context of their business deliverable. If their organisation is actively aiming to bring about change in the organisational operations, they will need to embrace agility. This is because PRINCE2 Agile aids especially in providing governance in an effective and controlled manner.

The transition of an organisation from a traditional to an Agile environment involves an extensive understanding of the important behaviours like transparency and collaboration while simultaneously offering a comprehensive emphasis on the software’s delivery in an Agile manner. 

If agility is not in the business plan of the organisation then PRINCE2 Agile would be the appropriate choice to help you practice controlled governance in a non-Agile environment.  The organisation needs to keep its personal and organisational goals in the long-term perspective. 


PRINCE2 focuses on business justifications and whether a risk is appropriate, where the business is still the most valuable asset. It assures that projects move forward with solid business judgement.  PRINCE2 Agile significantly benefits the project in its capacity to respond to customer needs. 

PRINCE2 and Agile are two separate concepts, and it can depend on your current job role, your career ambitions, the needs of your company, the dynamics of your group, the sector you operate in, and a plethora of other considerations whether you decide to take PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile courses.

Want to become an Agile Project Manager? Register for our Agile Project Management Green Belt today! 

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