Which Certification is Better, PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile? (2023)

Project management practices have actively changed the execution and delivery of projects and created a methodology and set of best practices for managing all aspects of a project. The evolution of project management as a discipline has enabled individuals and enterprises to refer to standardized practices and scale up their operations in the pursuit of efficiency and customer delight. PRINCE2 and Agile are two of the world’s leading, recognized project management practices that are utilized by leading enterprises to ensure smooth project delivery. While the two have existed independently until a few years ago, the unique collaboration of PRINCE2 and Agile PM opens new paths for organizational success. It also raises several questions for project management practitioners. Such as,what is the simplest way to distinguish between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile?

For all we know, PRINCE2, launched in 1996, is a comprehensive evolution of project management approaches. The practices of PRINCE2 provide guidance to practitioners on using project management methods effectively and efficiently while maintaining the quality of products without exceeding budget, enabling on-time delivery, and satisfying customer expectations, implementing5 whys root cause analysisand requirements at the same time. It is based upon seven principles

Now to talk about PRINCE2 Agile - in the simplest words, it is PRINCE2 in an Agile context. For businesses wanting to use Agile-based methods for delivering products, PRINCE2 Agile provides a complementary project management approach incorporating valuable insight into Agile methods and practices.

At the core, PRINCE2 Agile is essentially the same as PRINCE2- both methods rely upon the same principles, themes, and processes. The key difference is in the guidance that PRINCE2 Agile elaborates on, guiding the use of these elements for Agile projects.


PRINCE2 is one of theproject management coursesthat cover a myriad of key project management themes, including, business case, organization, transition, risk, planning, quality, and progress. It also includes an entire project management lifecycle explaining the roles and responsibilities for taking important decisions at crucial times in theprocess of project development.

PRINCE2 Principles

PRINCE2 foundation and practitioner training coursefollows a set of seven guiding principles which supervise all the aspects of the PRINCE2 methodology. These principles provide a framework for good practice when used collectively. The trick to remember the seven principles of PRINCE2 is to use the acronym P-JESTER:

  • Focus on Products (P)
  • Continued business Justification (J)
  • Learn from Experience (E)
  • Manage by Stages (S)
  • Tailor to the environment (T)
  • Manage by Exception (E)
  • Define Roles and Responsibilities ( R ).

The downside of PRINCE2 is that it is merely an interface between the project and the development teams in terms of reporting, accountability, and the task without providing guidance on the process of working. The success of a PRINCE2 project is defined by how well the customer organization realized the benefits of the project.


PRINCE2 Agile describes what to 'fix or flex' for the six performance targets in PRINCE2 methodology, namely, time, cost, quality, scope, risks, benefits. This means that the performance targets of time and cost are fixed in the PRINCE2 Agile approach, the scope and the quality of the product can be flexed based on the requirements of the customer.

The other two performance targets of PRINCE2- benefits, and risks, can be fixed or flexed depending on the needs of the customer. Typically, whatever needs to fix or flexed is decided upon by agreeing with the customer, which is then achieved by using Agile prioritization techniques. OurPRINCE2 Foundation classroom training deals extensively with these concepts.

PRINCE2 vs PRINCE2 Agile – A Comparison

Let's look at some key points of difference that will help in understanding the concept of these two,and approach project management by using PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile, better.

The fundamental difference betweenPRINCE2and PRINCE2 Agile is that PRINCE2 is a project management methodology whereas PRINCE2 Agile refers to numerous software development approaches used by development teams in an organization.

PRINCE2 is a customer-focused project management methodology that offers a set of principles, approaches, and processes to enable project managers in an organization working on a project to justify their points in the project. PRINCE2 is based upon a set of 7 principles that guide all aspects of the methodology.

PRINCE2 Agile, on the other hand, aims at the supplier and the teams doing the work- whether or not part of the project. It enables teammates to work together collectively with the customers which are achieved by defining and prioritizing requirements, developing, testing, and providing feedback in a continuous and repetitive cycle of iterations.

Let us take a look at the table below for a comprehensive side-by-side comparison of the two approaches- PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile.

PRINCE2 focuses on the management of projects effectively to ensure it remains a worthwhile investment in a changing business environment.PRINCE2 Agile focuses on delivering products incrementally, in the most efficient and collaborative way possible.
It is a waterfall method that works by completing and approaching tasks one after another.PRINCE2 Agile is more flexible in its approach.
A PRINCE2 methodology is a plan-based approach that allows to make and follow a large, all-encompassing plan.PRINCE2 Agile is an adaptive approach that helps in focusing on short-term goals and progress.
Consists of three different levels of the plan which cover various phases and division of objectives in a hierarchy.A project following this methodology will be divided into stages across particular time periods.

Now that we are aware of what PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile do in the field of project management, it is important to understand why it is necessary to have a separate set of guidance as is the case for PRINCE2 Agile.

Explore ourtop project management certifications including PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile.

Get The Best of Both Worlds- Good Governance and Agile

The origin of PRINCE2 Agile is based on the feedback from practitioners using PRINCE2 methods who felt the absence of knowledge and experience of the Agile methodology approach in managing projects. It also worked as a reassurance to project managers to help understand the transition process when organizations have been turning to Agile methods.

An optimum amount of PRINCE2 governance combined with Agile concepts, methods, frameworks, behaviors, and techniques exhibited their effectiveness incorporated into project management course collectively. This in turn helped project managers work in an Agile environment using its context as well as organizations could now build further based on their existing investment inPRINCE2 methodology.

The pandemic hit the market would be a good example to show how organizations will be responding to the economic impact on business and address problems like loss of market share. Smart work combined with calculative decisions on operational and product changes will bring them good results. While Agile approaches help deliver change on time, without exceeding the budget or compromising on the quality, PRINCE2 Agile will boost confidence in stakeholders of an organization on their investment into the business.

Business Focused and On-Time Delivery

People on teams working on a PRINCE2 project are free to use any development approach, including the Agile method of approach. Given that they comply with the interface defined by PRINCE2, project management teams can reap the fruits of Agile which includes on-time product delivery with desired quality, and at the same time, customers can get the benefits of PRINCE2 methods which focuses on business justification.

Choosing the Right Certification For You

For choosing between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile, you would need to consider your business context.

If your company management is looking for changing the organizational operations and embracing agility, PRINCE2 Agile might be the one you should be looking for, as it provides effective and controlled governance within the organization which is transitioning itself into an Agile environment. This transition using PRINCE2 Agile involves understanding vital behaviors including collaboration and transparency while offering an in-depth focus on Agile delivery, frameworks, and concepts.

If agility is not in the plan then PRINCE2 might be the one for you to help provide controlled governance in a non-Agile environment.

Now that you have an idea of what is what and what works where you might be able to make a decision based on your personal and organizational gains in the long term with or without incorporating Agile in your PRINCE2 based business.Enroll inKnowledgeHut PRINCE2 foundation and practitioner training course and prepare for your certification now.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. Which is better PRINCE2 or PRINCE2 Agile?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. The choice between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile is entirely dependent on the organization’s business goals and growth objectives. For organizations that are keen on achieving agility, PRINCE2 Agile is the way to go.

Q. Should you do PRINCE2 before PRINCE2 Agile?

If you wish to go for the PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner Certification, you need to have either of the PRINCE2 Foundation, or the PRINCE2 Agile Foundation certifications. The PRINCE2 Agile Foundation does not have any formal prerequisites.

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