Monthly Archives: December 2008

Is mangling PRINCE2 and SCRUM Agile?

This week I attended a session of the Agile users-group in Belgium. The topic was about: how to mangle SCRUM and PRINCE2. 

The discussions were held following the fishbowl technique. The advantage of  this technique is that it allows the entire group to participate in a conversation.   Five chairs were put in the middle, this was the fishbowl and the rest of the people attending the event were arranged in concentric circles outside the fishbowl. Any member of the audience could, at any time, occupy the empty chair and join the fishbowl. The concept was a real success as everyone went at least once inside the fishbowl.
Interesting thoughts were exchanged. This is what I personally will keep from this evening:
Because PRINCE2 isn’t prescriptive about how the implementation will be performed it perfectly fit with AGILE methodologies. If your management is reluctant to try Agile methodologies like SCRUM you can refrain their fears by using PrinCE2 as a harness for SCRUM. The project manager and the higher management can use PRINCE2 as a governance framework while the developers and testers can use SCRUM practices and values. 
 The risk is to generate a lot of waste. As PRINCE2 is highly document driven your team and especially the project manager will have to generate lots of documents that are not really adding value to an agile team. Another risk is that your whole team would break apart. Developers will naturally tend to adopt the Agile principles and values and the chickens (PM & Customer & Management) will be more comfortable with Prince2. The danger is that the 2 groups will use different vocabulary leading to confusion. The two groups will be less cohesive and you risk ending with the worst of both worlds.
My advice is that you should try to stick to the pure Agile values and practices but if you’re really forced to adopt Prince2, fake it! Prince2 prescribe a min. set of doc and practices, simply adopt this min. set and do the less possible.