The battle is on….
PRINCE2 is running out of steam, having been around since 1985. Many people now feel that it’s complicated and bureaucratic, but many others still think it’s the market leader and they choose it because they’ve heard of it and it’s a safe option. They have now added MSP (Managing Successful Programmes) which I think is even more complicated and even less useful, but that’s just my opinion!
Agile/Scrum is the latest trendy thing, and might be good for software where a lot of creativity is involved, but once the trendiness wears off, will it stand the test of time? My objection to it is that all the risk is with the customer – Agile people just work until they finish (time and cost unknown at the start) or until the time/money runs out (deliverables unknown at the start), and in my opinion that’s not project planning or project management, it’s “making it up as you go along”!
And then there’s good old APM – The Association of Project Managers, known as PMI in America, and their qualification called PMP – Project Management Professional. The exam is quite tough and quite boring, but you can’t argue with 100 years of project managers can you? Over the years they’ve gradually perfected their way of doing projects. I personally think this is the one to choose, and it’s the one I teach.
So, summing up the pros and cons:
Gives an overview of all projects
Gives control of projects – they can’t be started or progress to next stages without sign off
Forces management to engage with the PM process
Great if you are doing one big project and you a full time PM
Expensive to learn and to implement
Too complicated (just google it and see for yourself)
Doesn’t tell you HOW to do anything e.g. how to estimate tasks. Not even how to use Gantt charts. Just certifies that there is a plan, signed off by the board.
Too boring for normal staff to engage with
I’ve never seen it work successfully
Agile / Scrum
Acknowledges the variability and unknowns involved in creative processes.
Sounds fun and exciting: Sprints! Scrum master! Burndown charts!
Not able to predict finish time or total cost, unless these are fixed and the deliverables are allowed to be completely flexible.
So not really a plan at all, more a weekly time management meeting. (Those are good, but not enough!)
All the risk is with the customer
Tells the PM everything they need to do in the process of planning and implementing a project
Allows you to forecast finish time and cost at any point during your project
Recognised in USA as well – they call it PMI over there.
The PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge) can be too complicated – needs to be boiled down and just the good bits used, (which is what my taught course or on-line project management course does)
Does require a list of all tasks, and estimates of all tasks, at the start – though risk planning recognises that some of these will change during the project.