AgilePM versus PRINCE2 Agile

AgilePM™ was originally a software development methodology. It was conceived in 1994 under a different name, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), to provide more structure to Rapid-application development in software projects. Nowadays the AgilePM™ framework has spread it’s wings and is used to great effect managing business change across all industry sectors. It is the oldest established Agile framework, revised in 2007.

Using an Agile methodology you learn to embrace an iterative and incremental approach to project management. This results in a gradual improvement of the product whilst keeping the customer engaged throughout the project lifecycle. This approach is a far cry from the inflexible restrictions of a pure waterfall model where changes to requirements and product re-design are less readily accommodated. An Agile approach allows practitioners to anticipate change and uncertainty within the project lifecycle.

The history of AgilePM and PRINCE2 Agile

Perhaps surprisingly, the origins of PRINCE2 are closely intertwined with the creators of the AgilePM™ framework, APMG. PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) was launched in 1996 and owned solely by the UK government. APMG were chosen to administrate the PRINCE2 framework on behalf of the government; writing the syallabi, exams and accrediting trainers. APMG administered the PRINCE2 framework alongside it’s own AgilePM™ product line until 2013. In the summer of 2013, the UK government sold the rights for PRINCE2, to Axelos ltd, a joint venture between the UK government and Capita. However, Axelos, the new owners of PRINCE2 had a problem, everyone was clamouring for Agile and they didn’t have a product offering to match the market demand. Enter stage right, PRINCE2 Agile, which was launched in June 2015 and heralded as the world’s most complete agile project management solution.

AgilePM™ can be split into to two qualifications; AgilePM™ Foundation and AgilePM™ Practitioner. You must pass the foundation exam before progressing to the practitioner course but otherwise there are no pre-requisites. There are a couple of exceptions, if you hold either a DSDM Atern Foundation certificate, or alternatively, an Advanced Practitioner certificate you can skip Foundation and advance straight to the Practitioner course.

AgilePM and PRINCE2 Agile similarities

There are a lot of similarities between AgilePM™ and Prince2 Agile which again is not surprising given the history involved. PRINCE2 Agile also has Foundation and Practitioner courses and whilst there are no pre-requisites to take the PRINCE2 Agile Foundation course there are pre-requisites for those wishing to sit the Practitioner course. The Practitioner course is limited to candidates who possess the following certifications:

  • PRINCE2 Foundation (or higher)
  • PRINCE2 Agile Foundation
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • IPMA Levels A,B,C and D (Certified Projects Director)
  • .

So, what’s the difference? Well, here’s the thing, they are both very similar and again it’s not all that surprising given the history involved. For instance, one framework extols the ‘8 Principles’ whilst the other ‘8 Guidance Points’. Both have their own versions of a product backlog, use the MoSCoW prioritisation technique and timeboxes. Again, this shouldn’t be surprising given that they both focus on Agile.

What course do I choose, AgilePM™ or PRINCE2 Agile?

It really does depend heavily on individual and organisational circumstance. If you’re already on the path to a PRINCE2 certification then it makes more sense to continue your education within the PRINCE2 family of products. If the organisation you work for already uses PRINCE2, which is extremely common in UK local and central government, then again extending your knowledge with PRINCE2 Agile makes sense. If you, or your organisation, are starting from a fresh perspective then there is an argument for choosing AgilePM™ as it is the more established framework. However, that can be countered with PRINCE2 Agile being more up to date. See, it’s not easy!

Next up

Windows 10 is going passwordless

Microsoft have announced their intention to do away with passwords on Windows 10. When are they starting? Well, right now, they've already begun to introduce new features that will help you go passwordless. Microsoft aren't keen on passwords because they believe they can be hard to remember, hacked, or even stolen. With Windows 10 having a user base of 800 million any security change is going to have huge implications for organisations and individuals world-wide.

No more password expiry

In the May Windows 10 update Microsoft surprised everyone by dropping the recommendation for passwords to have an expiry date in the baseline security settings. Those baseline security settings are pretty important as they consist of a whole array of security policies that businesses can apply straight out of the box when rolling out Windows 10. The security settings are extremely popular because they provide a good starting point for organisations in their bid to tighten Windows 10 security. Scientific research has debunked the effectiveness of password expiry and the United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has recommended password expiration be dropped from security policy as far back as 2016. Forcing people to change expired passwords every 60 days often results in users selecting the simplest, and most easily remembered passwords. Who hasn't resorted to the incremental numbering of passwords when faced with a password expiry notification. Those who haven't are in the minority it's simply human nature.

If you can't beat them go passwordless

So, what's the solution if you're not going to be using passwords? Microsoft claim that a PIN code is a much more secure method of security. Whilst a four-digit PIN code may appear far less secure it can be stored on the device and is crucially not shared online. Whilst servers can be compromised and passwords hacked a device based Windows PIN remains unaffected. You can see the logic.

With the latest Windows 10 update you can even initiate a Windows 10 login with a phone number and a Microsoft Account. Simply create a Microsoft Account using a phone number instead of a username. This will prompt a confirmation code to be sent to your mobile phone to prompt a login. Once you's logged-in you have the option of using Windows Hello facial recognition or a PIN code for passwordless login.

The future is passwordless you just need to avoid using 1,2,3,4.

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