Agile Software Development & PRINCE2

by David Booth

in it-support,

November 4, 2009

The majority of projects that I have managed have been software development projects. At PicNet we use an agile software development methodology.

We like the Agile approach because it allows us to get feedback from the business on the system in development at a very early stage, thus enabling us to fix business logic and usability issues early in the project lifecycle.

This reduces the possibility of costly late functional requirements changes and also facilitates more business involvement in the development of the system, which fosters a culture of system ownership in the business. Ever since I start project management I have been curious as to how software development methods such as Agile fit with into the larger picture of project management, in particular how do they relate to methodologies such as PRINCE2?

I recently attended a PRINCE2 course and it was established that software development methods such as Agile, RAD, waterfall etc fit into the delivery layer of the PRINCE2 method. As PRINCE2 is a universal project management methodology, it provides great detail for directing and managing a project, but is deliberate silent on the method for actual product delivery. Software development methods such as Agile compliment overarching project management methodologies such as PRINCE2 and in fact the DSDM-Atern agile software development methodology is fully compatible with PRINCE2. A white paper on DSDM-Atern and PRINCE2 can be found here.

We are still in the early stages of incorporating our agile software development approach with the PRINCE2 method, and I would be interested in hearing from people who have gone through the process already.