Does make sense to combine the project management framework (PRINCE2) and the agile development framework (Scrum) into a single integrated framework?
What I am missing in PRINCE2 is the guidence how to organize agile development team and how to manage changing business requirements in a less bureaucratic way. In Scrum I am missing some basic project management themes like business case, risk management, roles including RACI and project governance.
Hi Emmanuel, yes you are right that PRINCE2 wraps around Scrum. Actually I found some other web pages and forums where this topic is discussed. However I cannot find any research papers where the combination of PRINCE2 with Scrum is discussed. Do you have any real experience with combining both these frameworks?
Hi Maya, thank you for your answer. It is quite helpful. I read your paper and I agree with your conclusion. It is similar approach when combining PRINCE2 and Scrum. Because the PRINCE2 framework only wraps around the Scrum then agile engineers will not need to change radically their daily work. However some change might be required but it is always very specific because PRINCE2 needs to be tailored to meet the stakeholders` requirements. I am also glad to read that compliance to a standard can improve the satisfaction and quality of products that are developed in the agile way.
PRINCE2 is based upon the traditional waterfall approach; SCRUM is an approach with another paradigm. So PRINCE2 and SCRUM are probably conflicting. When integrating PRINCE2 and SCRUM one might introduce 'waterfall aspects' into a SCRUM approach and therefore reduce the power of SCRUM. So my advice is to be very carefull with integrating SCRUM and PRINCE2. Instead, I would like to prefer to scaled agile methods, like Scaled Agile Framework or Disciplined Agile Delivery. These scaled approaches are trying to tackle the issues organizations are facing when scaling agile to the program or even the enterprise level..
Hi Jeroen, thank you for your answer, very appreciated. You are right that we should be very careful when combining those two approaches. I work in the company where PRINCE2 and waterfall development framework were introduced many many years ago and it worked well. However to be more competitive we also introduced the agile development approach based on Scrum. Our biggest challenge was to respect the fact that all project managers were trained and certified in PRINCE2. Also we invested a lot of money into project management tools, trainings and processes. This is the reason why we want to combine these two approaches into some hybrid one which would combine the strenghts from these two approaches. I am just curious to know if other people have similar challenge and think about the combination of PRINCE2 and Scrum. I will definitely check the Scaled Agile Framework and Disciplined Agile Delivery, thanks.
I don't believe the conflict between PRINCE2 and SCRUM is the methodology. The conflict is a deep philosophical disagreement about control. My opinion is based on industry experience in government and larger business projects under PRINCE2 / PMBOK and Agile styles, not on any proper research. I'd be interested if someone has looked at this more methodically.
PRINCE2 is all about control - Is the project under control? We don't want any supprises. Do we understand all the costs ahead of time? Can we remove all errors? PRINCE2 assumes someone actually knows what is required. Can the stakeholders (here meaning management) direct the project in the way they wish.
Scrum (and Agile) is all about reliquishing this control - Ready, Go, Aim. Let's make some errors, but let's make small errors and correct these. Set aside some money and trust the team. Scrum assumes the stakeholders (here more the actual system users) don't really know what they want and will only find out when they see somthing.
These approaches are like oil and water - they don't mix well.
Scrum and other Agile methods are cheaper and better in delivery - but remember that development costs may only by 10% of lifetime costs of the system for a business.
Scrum is not perfect - it tends to be only locally optimal. It lack sustainability - the "no paperwork" approach sometimes means only those who created the system understand it. And it can creare some unmaintaible messes unless there is more disipline (hense the need for "Disciplined" Agile Delivery).
If developers are driven by the users (Agile philosophy) but the PM is driven by the higher management (PRINCE2 philosophy), you can have some major failures. I've seen a Scrum based project which was presenting to the business team fortnightly still fail to exit user acceptance testing when senoir managers rejected the application as unmaintainable. I've seen another developing whole new platforms rather than using software already purchased or developed by the company. The development teams wanted to prove they could "do it better" rather than focussing on meeting the company's core needs.
Hi Alan, thank you very much for your comments. The sufficient amount of documentation in agile development projects is always a question. Developers don't like the documentation and they consider it as waste. Do you want the software fast and cheap without documentation you don't understand at all? But when the developers leave the company and take the knowledge about the application with them then the management will face to problems with architecture and low maintainability and sustainability. In this case the project manager or ideally the product owner might help to balance the need of management for maintainability and agile developers' attitude. Therefore I see the combination of PRINCE2 and Scrum as potential mitigation of this problem. What do you think?
Hi Barani, what is the difference when managing Scrum and Waterfall projects? In waterfall projects do you focus more on the project plan and in agile development projects do you focus more on the team cooperation?
I don't think you could integrate two different approaches within a single endeavour without any relative issues if they have ideological divide. I think you probably need to adopt a middleground or framework such as an approach, for example, Model-Driven Architecture. You could use the MDA-MDE approach and argue for layers of management for specific stakeholders, identified by their vocations.
You could then suggest Agile for engineering due to a specific philosophical alignment and Prince2 for everything beyond iterations. It is common that Agile may be preferred for user stories level (minimal documentation) that is engineering-level. MDA allows for integration of these approaches.
In fact, merging different approaches is reality. It just happens. Just have a look at the attached paper - we are about to present the details at this year's Profes in Bolzano. Prince2 was, however, not on the list, but the trend is quite clear. And especially Barbara is right. Both approaches are PM methods - so, why not?
The only thing that matters: do the integration right ;)
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