Introducing the PRINCE2 Agile behaviours
When the project management team tailor PRINCE2 to an agile project context, the project manager and the project board must monitor the five PRINCE2 Agile behaviours exhibited by the project management team and the product delivery teams.
Together, these behaviours contribute to the effective implementation of PRINCE2 Agile, leading to efficient project delivery and better outcomes.
The five PRINCE2 Agile behaviours are:
Transparency is vital in agile ways of working and goes beyond mere visibility. It involves a shared understanding fostered by the core Agile values of honesty, integrity, trust, and respect. This openness allows for swift decision-making, clear communication, and effective engagement, even when facing challenging situations.
Consider, for instance, a scenario where a team’s progress is graphically displayed using a burn-down chart. If the actual rate of progress continually deviates from the planned rate, transparency demands that the team addresses the issue head-on, investigates the cause of the delay, and communicates openly about it. This approach ensures no unexpected surprises and enhances the team’s problem-solving capability.
Collaboration is the foundation of a high-performing team. It implies working cohesively, supporting each other, and achieving more collectively than as individuals. Collaboration isn’t just limited to the team; it extends to all stakeholders, especially the customers. Actively engaging with customers and working alongside them fosters a shared understanding of goals and expected outcomes.
Imagine a scenario where a team member is struggling with a technical problem, causing a delay in the project. A fellow team member, who is ahead of their schedule, steps in to assist, reflecting the essence of collaboration. This reciprocal assistance not only strengthens team dynamics but also improves overall productivity.
Effective communication is paramount to the success of an Agile team. Employing face-to-face interactions and visual aids for communication can be significantly more effective than relying solely on written words. Creating an environment conducive to open and rich communication fosters a culture of trust and commitment. While documentation still holds value, using more interactive channels of communication can supplement and even minimize the need for extensive documentation.
An instance of rich communication can be seen when team members choose to discuss a design change on a whiteboard, instead of exchanging numerous emails. This face-to-face interaction helps in reaching a resolution quickly and efficiently.
Empowering team members to manage their own work is a cornerstone of Agile methodologies. Those who are close to the work often know best how to execute it and should be trusted to do so. This sense of ownership not only motivates them to achieve their goals but also builds mutual respect among team members. While the project board oversees the project direction, an empowered team at the delivery level is more likely to thrive in an Agile environment and align with the project’s objectives.
A fitting example of self-organization is how children tidy up after a party, driven by the promise of a movie. This scenario mirrors how self-organization can lead to efficiency and satisfaction within a team.
Successful projects require understanding and delivering ‘the right thing.’ This understanding comes through continuous iteration, rapid feedback loops, and frequent learning opportunities. These insights, accumulated over time, can significantly impact product improvement.
PRINCE2 Agile recommends the use of experiments and spikes as effective ways to explore new ideas or improve existing processes. They involve a systematic investigation to validate a theory or an idea and often help reduce uncertainty from technical or customer perspectives. This understanding can significantly contribute to better decision-making and improved product development.
Why the five behaviours are crucial
- Transparency builds trust among team members and stakeholders, thereby fostering open communication and reducing surprises.
- Collaboration strengthens team dynamics, improves productivity, and ensures that everyone’s working towards a shared goal.
- Rich communication ensures that the right information is conveyed at the right time, reducing misunderstandings, and making problem-solving more efficient.
- Self-Organization empowers team members, fostering ownership and alignment with project objectives, while boosting morale and productivity.
- Exploration, through continuous learning and feedback, helps teams improve products and understand customer needs, making it possible to deliver ‘the right thing’.
Together, the more the project management team and product delivery teams exhibit these behaviours the better the chance of an effective implementation of PRINCE2 Agile, which in turn leads to more efficient project delivery and better outcomes.