PRINCE2® vs. PRINCE2® Agile: These are the differences

Both methods are used successfully in project management and are based on the same framework concept. However, there are important differences between the two approaches.

PRINCE2 ("Projects In Controlled Environments") stands for classic project management. The method offers a structured approach for the organization, risk assessment, phase planning and resource management of projects. PRINCE2 is divided into various processes, topics and principles that cover all aspects of project management. The current version, PRINCE2 7, places greater emphasis on the aspects of humanity, sustainability and change management and puts them at the center of attention.

PRINCE2 Agile, on the other hand, is an extension of PRINCE2 that integrates agility into the method. PRINCE2 Agile combines the clear structures of PRINCE2 with agile practices that originally come from software development. The aim of PRINCE2 Agile is to merge the best of both worlds and create a flexible yet well-controlled project environment.

Classic PRINCE2® vs. PRINCE2® Agile: What is different?     

Some of the key differences between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile are:

  • Agile elements: PRINCE2 Agile extends the PRINCE2 method with agile concepts such as iterative development, continuous delivery and adaptation to changing requirements. This enables the team to react flexibly to unforeseeable situations while keeping an eye on the project context.
  • Scalability: PRINCE2 Agile is versatile and adapts to projects of varying size and complexity. It can also be used in a portfolio of projects to ensure a consistent approach.
  • Flexibility: While PRINCE2 is more formal and structured, PRINCE2 Agile offers greater flexibility and adaptability to meet the requirements of agile projects.
  • Roles: PRINCE2 Agile introduces additional roles such as the Agile Coach to ensure that the project team properly understands and applies agile practices.

PRINCE2 vs. PRINCE2 Agile: Which method is suitable when?

The decision between PRINCE2 vs. PRINCE2 Agile depends largely on the individual project requirements and the nature of the project. Both methods have their advantages and can be used for different project scenarios.

The classic method is particularly suitable for projects that ...

  • are designed for short periods of time,
  • have clearly defined goals,
  • presuppose a fixed output,
  • take place under concrete, predictable conditions and
  • without sudden changes.

The agile variant is ideal for projects ...

  • without clearly defined output,
  • that are characterized by vague requirements or frequent changes
  • and start with a vision that can and should develop over the course of the project.

PRINCE2 Agile is therefore particularly suitable when there are no fixed structures. Agile projects are characterized by changes - from the market and customer requirements to the framework conditions within the organization. The power of agile development lies in reacting flexibly to such changes.

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