Comparing PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile’s Approaches to Risk Management

Comparing PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile’s Approaches to Risk Management

Written by Alison Lurie, In Business, Published On
October 13, 2023

When it comes to project management methodologies, PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) and PRINCE2 Agile are two prominent options that organizations often consider. Both methodologies provide structured approaches to managing projects, but they have distinct ways of dealing with risk management. In this blog, we will delve into the key Difference Between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile when it comes to handling risks. Also, we’ll explore the importance of attending a PRINCE2 Agile Course.

Understanding PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile

Let us first review the definitions of PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile before getting into the details of risk management:

PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a well-known project management technique that provides an organised, systematic approach to project management. It gives explicit guidelines for project planning, implementation, and monitoring and breaks a project down into manageable segments.

On the other side, PRINCE2 Agile is an expansion of PRINCE2 that includes agile practices and concepts. It seeks to make a wider variety of projects, particularly those with ambiguous or quickly changing needs, acceptable by fusing the structure of PRINCE2 with the adaptability and flexibility of agile approaches.

Risk Management in PRINCE2

Risk management is a well-defined procedure that is included in the PRINCE2 project management methodology. The following are some essential elements of PRINCE2 risk management:

  1. Risk Identification: Early risk identification in a project is crucial, according to PRINCE2. This is usually carried out at the beginning of the project. Risks are recorded in the Risk Register and are classified as either opportunities or threats.
  2. Risk Assessment: Project managers are required under PRINCE2 to evaluate the possibility and effect of each risk when it has been discovered. This evaluation helps in setting priorities for risks and identifying those that need to be addressed right away.
  3. Risk Response Planning: PRINCE2 recommends that strategies be created for handling major hazards. These strategies include precise steps to reduce, eliminate, transfer, or take on risks. It also designates teams or people as the owners of these risks.
  4. Regular Review: In PRINCE2, risk management is a continuous procedure. Throughout the project, project managers keep an ongoing eye on and evaluate any risks. Response plans are modified in accordance with updates to the Risk Register that occur when new hazards materialise or when preexisting risks shift.
  5. Risk Reporting: PRINCE2 mandates that stakeholders be informed on a regular basis about the state of risks. This guarantees that all project participants are aware of possible problems and advantages and are able to make well-informed choices.
  6. Risk Communication: A key component of PRINCE2 is effective risk communication. Project managers are responsible for making sure all pertinent parties are aware of the risks and how they might affect the project.

Risk Management in PRINCE2 Agile

PRINCE2 Agile integrates agile concepts into the risk management process for a more adaptable and flexible approach. How it varies from PRINCE2 is as follows: 

  1. Iterative Risk Management: PRINCE2 Agile emphasizes continuous and iterative risk management. It is consistent with agile development’s iterative process, in which requirements change over time. Throughout the project, risks are identified and evaluated on a regular basis rather than just at the start.
  2. Emphasis on Collaboration: Cross-functional teams are encouraged to collaborate and communicate openly under PRINCE2 Agile. This method aids in risk identification more successfully since team members with various viewpoints add to the risk assessment process.
  3. Flexible Response Strategies: PRINCE2 Agile permits more flexibility than PRINCE2, which specifies certain response strategies for risks. Agile teams are able to choose response tactics based on what their project requires and modify them as it goes along.
  4. Pay Attention to Risk Velocity: Agile projects often evaluate risks in terms of “velocity”, or the rate at which hazards may affect the project. Prioritising greater velocity risks leads to the implementation of appropriate mitigation strategies.
  5. Rolling wave planning and adaptive planning are two examples of agile planning methods that PRINCE2 Agile integrates. This implies that in order to keep risk management plans current and useful, they are revised as the project progresses.
  6. Customer input: PRINCE2 Agile agile projects aggressively solicit end-user and customer input. With the use of this input, the risk management strategy may be quickly modified to account for any new or altered hazards.

Differences Between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile in Risk Management

In conclusion, the following categories best describe the primary distinctions between PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile in risk management:

  1. PRINCE2 Agile is a more adaptable and flexible approach to risk management than PRINCE2, which has a structured and process-driven approach.
  2. While PRINCE2 Agile integrates continuous risk assessment throughout the project’s lifespan, PRINCE2 identifies and analyses risks mainly at the beginning of the project.
  3. While PRINCE2 Agile offers more freedom in selecting and customising response strategies, PRINCE2 mandates certain response methods.
  4. Because PRINCE2 Agile makes use of agile planning methodologies, risk management strategies may be modified as the project moves forward.
  5. Customer input is actively sought after by PRINCE2 Agile and may influence risk assessments and response strategies.


Although they are tailored to distinct project settings, PRINCE2 and PRINCE2 Agile both provide efficient methods for managing risks. While PRINCE2 Agile is more appropriate for projects with changing objectives and a need for flexibility, PRINCE2 is best suited for those who need a well-defined and organized approach to risk management. The kind of project you are working on and the inclinations of your organization will determine which technique is best. To learn more about these techniques and how they handle risk, think about signing up for a PRINCE2 Agile course.

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