PRINCE2 vs Scrum: A Comparison of the Two Methods

The project management methodology most widely recognized across the globe is undoubtedly PRINCE2. Job specifications of project management have PRINCE2 qualifications as a standard feature. Hence, it is vital to acquire training in it to get any job role aligned within an organisation. But there are many managers who are flexible and adaptive in their approach. With the increasing popularity of the agile methods, they are keen to implement it into their own business environment which leads to SCRUM practice. It is therefore imperative for project managers to know both the methodologies. This is the key to ensuring project success and regular employment.

Here is a Comparative Analysis of the Key Differences between Scrum and PRINCE2

PRINCE2 is essentially a project management methodology. While the agile development approach the teams use is referred to as Scrum. Scrum enables the working together of teams of people with their customers collaboratively. This is achieved through defining and prioritizing the requirements, testing, developing and providing continuous feedback and repetitive cycle of iterations. Scrum guides the team members on how to effectively conduct this. Scrum would basically help the team answer questions like what requires to be delivered next week, the efficacy of the working software etc. Although Scrum started its journey in the software industry, it is now used in other sectors too.

Now, PRINCE2 is a methodology enabling better management and control of the projects for different organizations. The key stakeholders are guided here on ways to manage projects more effectively by dividing them into manageable parts. The stakeholders are helped to answer questions like the cost to benefit ratio of the project, the purpose of doing the project etc.

Main areas of focus in the two methodologies: All the varied aspects in the  PRINCE2 training  with regards to its methodology are guided by a set of 7 principles. As a project management method, the roles and responsibilities of each member of the project management team is clearly defined. It also covers different project management themes like planning, change and risk management, progress monitoring and organization etc. The success of a PRINCE2 project is evaluated by whether it has helped the sponsoring organisation realize its benefits. It recognizes that in a project people with varied specialist skills come together to produce outputs. However, this does not guide them on how to do their work. Instead it simplifies the aspects of accountability, responsibility and work to be done. Scrum simply focuses on delivering products incrementally as effectively as possible. Customers are involved in the constant cycle of defining the requirements and prioritizing them, testing, developing and giving feedbacks. Hence, the products delivered by Scrum are likely to provide what the customers need.

Predictive and adaptive approaches: The fundamental difference between  PRINCE2 certification  and all agile methods generally and Scrum particularly is that one is predictive and the other is adaptive. PRINCE2 is a plan based approach which is largely predictive. Its projects focus more on the original business goals. Scrum aims at short-term incremental achievements devoid of an over-arching plan. Scrum is essentially adaptive and more responsive to changes in customer requirement and project environment. As one of the most popular agile software development frameworks, Scrum operates on the principle that the process of development is unpredictable.

Self-organization of teams: As already discussed, PRINCE2 is hardly concerned with how teams organize or the methods employed by them. In plan oriented methodologies like PRINCE2 a project or team manager is required to plan, monitor and allocate tasks. Assignments here are not determined by an individual’s special skills but his membership to a particular team. In a Scrum-aligned project however, all the tasks are up for grabs. A list of tasks to be completed during a Sprint (cycle of product development) is displayed on a task board or a burn-down chart. Any available task can be taken up by any member of the team based on their skillset or available time.

Responding to changes: The Scrum principle believes that customer requirements are bound to change over the course of a project. Hence, in collaboration with their clients the developers need to have a flexible and responsive approach. Whereas, PRINCE2 requires the features of the final product to remain unchanged over the course of a project. There is a strict filtration process by a change control authority for any proposed changes to the product. Here developers do not deal with inconsistent customer demands and customers know what to expect.

However, generally both PRINCE2 and Scrum have been described as adaptable and flexible frameworks. Neither of them yields step-by-step instructions to ensure the success of the project. PRINCE2 relies more on the role of a project manager, while Scrum allows the team members a freer reign. Both the methodologies have unique functionalities. In the concerned field having proof of your expertise like a PRINCE2 certification can really help. In order to avail agile or PRINCE2 training, you can enroll in a professional course.