I’ve been looking around at Agile recently to see if what I knew about project management was now old hat and things had passed me by. I chatted to a lady working in an Indian hospital who extolled the virtues of Agile, but near the end when talking about the ease with which Agile takes in late changes compared to PRINCE2® I realised that her project was never going to end. Changes were coming in all the time, so it had become a perpetual maintenance job, not a project with a defined end point. It might be fine for her work, but anathema to those who are working to a budget, especially where a third party is paying the bill. I appreciate that PRINCE2 appears to have a cumbersome procedure to handle change, but that depends on how you apply the procedure in practical terms. You certainly keep a good track of the changes and their impact. I still remember that the first project I took over had been destroyed financially by not controlling change and its associated cost.
Another concern I have is the lack of control of risks offered by Agile. Lack of risk identification and management can kill an otherwise good project, and PRINCE2 does offer an excellent set of procedures to keep risks under control.
About the Author:
Colin Bentley started in data processing in 1965 with English Electric-Leo-Marconi, rising to chief programmer. He moved to IBM in 1969 as a development manager. He moved to be a Director of Simpact Systems in 1975, working on the development of the PROMPT II project management method, the predecessor to PRINCE.
He has written over twenty books on project management and authored the original PRINCE2 manual. He was Chief Examiner for PRINCE2 for eleven years until 2009 when he retired. Before his retirement his clients included The Stock Exchange, Tesco, NHS in Northern Ireland, the BBC, Microsoft and Ordnance Survey.