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Trying to know which Project Management Certifications to choose – PRINCE2 Agile or AgilePM? Get ultimate understanding of how they work and how they can be the best fit for your career. Project management certifications are rising in demand all over the world. People and workplaces alike are slowly but surely understanding the value of having professionally-certified individuals managing their projects. While a certification is not a must in order to master the science of project management, having a professional qualification provides valuable insights especially when it comes to certain frameworks. A certification also adds credibility to a person’s repertoire of project management abilities, which self-learning might not be able to provide.
There are many project management certifications such as PRINCE2, PMI, CAPM etc which are immensely popular and globally-recognised, Additionally, there are also subsets like agile project management certifications, programme management, portfolio management etc which are sometimes considered under the project management umbrella.
With the vast multitude of project management certifications available in all shapes and sizes, it is easy to get overwhelmed by choice. There are hundreds of agile project management online certifications which have seemingly popped up overnight. However, it is not possible to select one certification as the best or even say one is better than the other. While most project management certifications are similar in terms of objectives and even their contents, they mostly differ when it comes to scope and other factors. Therefore, when selecting the best project management certification, you should opt for whichever is the most suitable for you and/or your company.
Agile project management is an iterative method of handling projects by breaking it down into multiple steps; therefore, agile projects are completed in multiple stages. These stages are popularly known as sprints. The key benefit of opting for agile project management is that its stage-wise approach allows for greater adaptability, flexibility and its general ability to change project velocity in a short period of time. It also means that any benefits can be reaped periodically through the project rather than only at the conclusion. Agile project management is extremely common in software development and similar industries, being the preferred method.
Two of the most popular agile project management certifications currently available in the market are PRINCE2 Agile and AgilePM.
Released in 2015 as the agile iteration of the immensely-popular PRINCE2 framework, PRINCE2 Agile has quickly grown into one of the most preferred agile project management certifications today. The PRINCE2 Agile project management certification combines agile principles with the original PRINCE2 framework to offer a highly process- and project-based methodology focused on seven processes, principles and themes. While the PRINCE2 framework was initially developed as a strategic project management method, the incorporation of agile principles allows it to be more task-oriented. Therefore, PRINCE2 Agile can be considered a perfect fusion of long-term and short-term approaches. The PRINCE2 Agile project management certification (like the original PRINCE2) can be obtained in two stages: PRINCE2 Agile Foundation and PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner.
AgilePM is arguably the most popular agile project management certification in the world. Released in 2010, it is based on the ‘Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)’ developed by the Agile Business Consortium and accredited by APMG. AgilePM combines the fundamentals of project management with agile methodologies to offer a highly-flexible yet effective project management framework. It is centred around eight principles and combines forward-planning with enough flexibility. While this combination is the crux of most agile project management certifications, AgilePM focuses on breaking down projects into short-term goals and deriving iterative benefits, while re-evaluating projects based on any changes (in requirements, resources etc.). Like PRINCE2, AgilePM is also divided into two stages: AgilePM Foundation and AgilePM Practitioner.
Both PRINCE2 and AgilePM offer facilities to obtain the agile project management certification online.
While both the AgilePM and PRINCE2 project management certifications are globallyrecognised and share many similarities, they also differ in ways which might factor into your decision.
Here are some of the key differences between the two certifications.
PRINCE2 Agile is developed by incorporating agile principles into the existing PRINCE2 framework; this means that it will suit projects and businesses which can support the PRINCE2 framework. Project managers also need to have substantial knowledge about the PRINCE2 framework in itself as well to fully reap the benefits of this approach. AgilePM has no such restriction and its methodologies can be applied in almost all instances. Therefore, it can be said that PRINCE2 Agile is less flexible than AgilePM and less welcoming to newcomers of project management.
The PRINCE2 framework is generally known to have very rigid methodologies, coming with pre-made templates for implementation. While it does have practices to increase its ability to be tailored according to the project or business at hand, it can be said that PRINCE2 is harder to customise. Conversely, AgilePM is more overarching and is more about basic principles – this means it can be easier to apply in any situation, but doesn’t go into too much depth.
Companies that already use the PRINCE2 framework will have no difficulties in adopting PRINCE2 Agile methodologies. Those who are not familiar with the PRINCE2 framework might find it very complex to understand, where AgilePM is relatively easy to grasp and application is even simpler if a business has no existing project management system.
The PRINCE2 framework is a strategic one, which means it is very future-oriented; the agile components allow for flexibility and focus on tasks but at heart, it is primarily a long-term approach to project management. AgilePM is agile to its core and is more focused on immediate concerns. Neither approach is bad in itself but certain businesses would benefit more with one or the other.
It must be reiterated that neither the AgilePM nor PRINCE2 agile project management certification is inherently better than the other. When selecting the most suitable one, you should consider things like ease of adoption in your business (any existing project management systems will greatly impact your decision) as well as other factors such as the preferred project management framework in your line of work or which can add more value to your CV. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong choice as each carries a host of benefits and the potential to transform the way your business operates.
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