- Daily Zen
In the ever-changing digital age, defined by globalised connectivity and advancing technology, user demand and expectation is increasing. Customers are less prepared to put up with outdated products or services and expect increasingly instantaneous value and enhanced customer experience. Businesses are having to adapt to keep up with the rate of demand. To be able to respond to changing markets and launch new products quicker, part of the solution is to introduce agility into the organisation, particularly the project management function. In a 2019 survey run by AXELOS Global Best Practice, it reported that almost 50% of all organisations have adopted -or are in the process of adopting- agile ways of working, with 56% of project management functions operating using agile, both with growing trends year-on-year. The opportunity project management agility offers is substantial. But the most important – and most sought after – are “increased customer satisfaction”, “greater transparency” and “greater efficiency”.
In today’s hypercompetitive markets, where organisations are constantly elbowing fast-growing start-ups and other growing competitors, the prospect of delivering projects in an agile way is highly appealing. As tempting as this vision is, organisations often get bottlenecked by limitless expenditure. Organisations can scale up effectively by training project managers to deliver in short cycles without wasting time, budget, or resources. This can be done by putting more value on Agile project management.
Originating in software development, Agile techniques focus on delivering work through an incremental and iterative approach, framed around collaboration and prioritisation and adding value at each stage. Agile project management fuses these delivery techniques and concepts with the fundamentals of project management. Agile project management is a growing trend; Google has tracked a 250% increase in the search term ‘agile project management’ in 2019.
“When an organisation talks about scaling agile, what they really mean is introducing governance”, says Margo Leach, AXELOS Chief Product Officer. “Agile, at its core, it is for dedicated self-organising, cross-functional delivery teams formed for the sole purpose of developing a new or updated product/ service. As this way of working scales, the delivery team, and other teams they interact with, need to introduce tailored, relevant governance to ensure that resources and investment are being appropriately managed.”
Agile project management does just that. It is about understanding the benefits – and risks – of agility; qualifying which, and how much, agile techniques should be applied on a case-by-case basis to ensure a truly adaptive and responsive approach each time. By adopting this tactic, teams and organisations can keep their stakeholders both confident and engaged. A critical point of agile project management is that the governance is relevant and streamlined. This is to allow the ability to innovate, learn and adapt, whilst not abandoning the core focus areas of project management: resource management, risk management, quality management and return on investment for the business.
AXELOS has developed PRINCE2 Agile, an agile project management guide and certification scheme which ensures that project managers and delivery teams have the tools to be able to deliver in this way. By introducing PRINCE2, this framework safeguards the project within the lens of time, cost and quality. When developing the scope, this is where agile delivery techniques are introduced to bring to life the innovation and responsiveness that agile working nurtures.
There are many agile techniques and frameworks on the market which all focus on slightly different elements – Scrum, Kanban and Lean Start-up being some of the most common examples. PRINCE2 Agile is agnostic in its approach to agile, covering all these popular approaches to allow project managers and delivery teams to lift the most suitable elements for their own projects rather than constricting themselves to one approach. In the digital age, adaptability is key – for both the individual and the organisation.
“PRINCE2 Agile facilitates operational and business transformation through a truly flexible approach, comprehensively covering all major agile techniques and encouraging project managers to unpack the best approach for their specific project, team, and organisation.”