June 2018 sees AXELOS finally make PRINCE2 Agile® certification available to ALL. P2-A is now available to all without being locked-up behind a pre-requisites barrier.
P2A is the credentialed merger of two irresistible forces into one SUPERB solution.
- Agile ways of working – in the non proprietary sense of any agile product development approach you care to use from scrum and or kanban and or… in agile methods in NON-Software contexts
- Senior leadership use of stage gates – to give oversight and approval to the organizations’ responses to adaptive pressures – Modern governance in a VUCA* world.
Here are the benefits to you and some explanation of why p2A on your resume/CV helps project participants and owners and PMO staff
Logical Model Ltd’s participation in the April pilot was very successful. We took over two dozen candidates through their exams to a pass using JUST our video based eLearning Course.
*VUCA is Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous – it contrasts with the too often presumed project start point of a Stable Certain Simple Clear response to change in the world around us. The arrival of change is nonnegotiable, but while response is optional being unresponsive is normally detrimental.
Until this month a p2a credential was only available to project managers already holding PRINCE2 or similar certifications.
Now the P2A-Foundation certificate it is available to everyone, easy to acquire and puts both PRINCE2 and Agile credentials on your CV/ Resume.
What Agile Brings to the Union
Agile has been sweeping all before it because (used well) it forges energetic teams who can achieve fantastic results to fixed deadlines despite high uncertainty.
BUT agile has failed to breach the bastion edges of many organisations.
Any movement with high velocity has to have its zealots, its vocabulary, myths and beliefs. That is how it grows momentum. But these very elements are alienating for some. Over the past 17 years agile has been continually morphing to emerge in many guises and to venture outside of the software development groups of organisations. As a ‘young family of methods’ often deployed by the younger members of the workforce agile’s exuberance’s, its fuzzy definition and its rejection of many ‘sacred’ rules has sat uneasily with those in organisations with more to lose when things go wrong or whose personal kudos is eroded by alien practices that reduce their hold on authority.
Undoubtedly the change in the nature of change affecting our organisations requires the rules of engagement for responding to change to change. I.E. How We Do Projects has to evolve. Our procedures must accommodate new ideas while de-emphasising or removing some of what was once best practice. Embracing agile is the catalyst for needed, timely adjustments. P2Agile is a sound collection of the better elements of many insights and frameworks, it is the justifiable ‘excuse’ to escape from some ‘traditional’ outmoded notions –bureaucracies – and the wisdom to keep some tried and trusted ‘old’ ideas.
Benefit to Agilistas
For people and organisations experimenting with agile P2A gives you a way to scale agile use to cross team use and hybrid use, to link to the organisations decision makers and to balance technical creativity with bringing the non-technical community with you. You may be past this need though. P2A is mature enough to say “If you already have agile working at scale and linked to strategy (road-map) then we have little more to tell you”. But if you have then you’d probably be wise enough to say “new perspectives always help add a little more understanding and sometimes aid breakthrough thinking”. ShuHaRi.
What PRINCE2 Brings
P2 is a control structure – The organisational plumbing to deliver decision making information to leaders and managers and technicians at key decision points. P2 provides framework and hollow piping within which agile’s (and PMBoK-Guide 6th Edition’s) structures and tools and techniques dove-tail and through which agile and PMBoK-G’s information sets flow from and to the right decision makers.
P2 is like fuel without oxygen nor spark – useless until we add to it. P2 requires the mechanisms to define Vision, to set constraint or build schedules and budgets that agile (and PMBoKG) provide. Better still P2 is entirely agnostic about what methods and techniques (plural in most cases) you select. P2A also accommodates predictive work-streams alongside agile efforts. The whole integrates well so long as P2’s seven principles are followed:
- Continuing Business Justification – Have a solid, current justification for your actions. Typically a financially sound ‘business case’ but a realisation plan aimed at any form of benefit is acceptable
- Focus on Products – Translate objectives to deliverable products and behaviours in business as usual operations
- Manage by Exception – Give people freedom within defined limits and an escalation route to seek re-authorisation when constraints are threatened in unanticipated ways
- Define Roles and Responsibilities – Agreed roles, decision making duties and interfaces for all levels of Investment owners / Leadership oversight/ Management/ Technical Delivery
- Manage by Stages – Defined points in time at which we review status and intention and reaffirm or revise direction
- Learn from Experience and Tailor 2 Suit the specific local needs – Continuously react to circumstances to apply the best responses to achieve tomorrow’s targets with our combined resources of skills, will, energy and experience
The change in the nature of change means solutions are required. PRINCE2 on its own has a reputation for adding unjustified admin. effort. P2A links agile to the organisation with the minimum necessary admin effort but not less.
Benefits of PRINCE2
For people and organisations recognising that current wholly non-agile approaches need to be either justified or at least researched with potential for amendment P2A provides the guidance to add agile to the organisation’s tool-kit. It is not a free lunch. Adopting agile requires adjustments by everyone. That can be hard.For example senior leaders are invested in ‘current’ ways of working and experimentation that interrupts shareholder benefits is threatening to them personally. If you have agile in use but struggle with frustrations attempting to secure engagement from the leadership and operations then the P2 elements will help you migrate agile up the hierarchy.
When P2 and agile are combined we have a PRODUCT development regime and a project (INVESTMENT) control regime that fit together hand in glove. Between them they are a very solid 60% of our needs.
Agile builds products in a pragmatic manner that plans for what we know and does not suffer the stupidity that arises when predictive methods are applied to uncertain futures. If the world is Volatile then a pre-written plan is a bad way to pretend to be in control. In these circumstances our organisations (that is role holders in leadership, management and technical positions) have to know how to exercise REACTIVE control. Agile gives us the mindset and permission. P2 the structures and aufitability. Nothing here is new but agile has made its existence something explicit and talked about. P2 casts the agile conversation in terms that are familiar and acceptable at the organization’s top table.
PRINCE2 connects the pragmatic development approach’s event driven needs to the calendar driven, decision orientated worlds of annual budgets, sources of capital, legal frameworks and market place pressures.
P2 and agile are not enough on their own because we also need Portfolio and Program. Portfolios are the collections of all our uses of resources (forms of capital).
Agile often brings with it a technique called Kanban (notice board in Japanese) which is a “when we have capacity” Right to Left view of scheduling – the only sensible way to run a portfolio. Portfolio decision making precedes commitment to projects with selection of the right combination of uses of resources. Program adds and coordinates the pre- and post- technical development project activity with staff (and supply chain and customer) behaviours that together move agile’s deliverable into operational use for benefits generation. An agile development group without a nimble business is simple better at spending money not at realising benefits.
Adding agile mindset to portfolio and program wrapper to project development efforts add another 30% of the total. The last 10% is the collection of tools and techniques that enable ‘Mess-Management’ to use Prof. Russel Ackoff’s term or help solve ‘Wicked-Problems’ to use Prof. Horst Rittel’s label. This 10% needs to provide the means for leadership to translate market place plus mission and resources into vision and thence to definitive testable targets thence SMART objectives, Tipping Points, Work-Packages, Activities and tasks – this last bit is the reality of Right to Left Planning – also known as Back-Casting. Activity and task are the second half of sprint planning. Tipping point and Work-Package are cross over vocabulary for backlog grooming and Epics but this is getting into detail best reserved for the training course and post course Back@Work discussion.
Logical Model Ltd and The AXELOS Foundation Credential
LML offer Axelos exam preparation courses through a combination of Instructor Led Training (ILT) formats including traditional face-to-face, ILT video based e-Learning and blended approaches plus self-directed virtual environment learning. Our course materials are accessible on phone, tablet and desktop platforms.
A 30 minute video overview of the P2a Foundation credential is available >>>here<<<. Registration for the full online course is >>>Here (or click the picture) <<< or if you would like to discuss on-site/ in-person training please contact use through the contact form on this site, by eMail or call +44 (0) 84 52 57 57 07
Our p2a practitioner bundle is >>>here<<< to join this one you need to hold a qualifying credential such as the P2A Foundation certificate, a PMP or CAPM or IPMA-ABC or D
On a closely related note Simon, our lead trainer recently presented a one hour networking session on Agile, Governance and Gates.
Axelos FAQ & further resources PRINCE2 Agile – ATO Toolkit – Fact Sheet