PRINCE2 Agile® wiki
« Themes


One of the main differences between predictive and adaptive (Agile) systems is that predictive projects are planned upfront, and the goal is to follow the plan. Upfront plans are not used in Agile projects the same as predictive ones.


Upfront Planning in Agile

Agile projects are still planned, and one should understand the differences between upfront planning in Agile and in predictive projects. Upfront planning is not acceptable, as long as it blocks adaptation, which happens when you try to fully define the product. It’s OK if the plan is value-based/outcome-based and looks at the product only in a high-level way.

While a complete Agile system doesn’t use limiting upfront plans for the product, those that try to use a fixed-price contract have to define the scope along with the price. This unfortunate situation limits Agility, but since many suppliers cannot afford to lose most of the customers who insist on having fixed-price contracts, it’s common to see Agile projects with upfront plans. In this case, the customer and the supplier will have to have a swapping/trading system to enable changes in the project. Check the Change theme for more information.

Agile Planning Approach

PRINCE2 Agile recommends following the three common planning approaches of Agile systems:


A good practice in Agile environments is to use effort-based units instead of time-based units such as man-hours. The most common effort-based unit is Story Points, which are relative. This is how story points work:

It’s best to use effort-based units in PRINCE2 Agile as well.

Backlogs vs. Gantt Charts

A well-formed Agile project uses independent items in the scope, and therefore, there would be no need for a Gantt Chart and CPM calculations which are all based on the dependencies. In return, simple lists called backlogs are used to capture the information. These lists, along with their metadata, are an important part of plans in Agile projects, and can be used in PRINCE2 Agile too.


The scope of the project is usually fixed in predictive systems, and the project is not finished until all features are developed. In Agile projects, in contrast, the identified parts of the scope are prioritized (e.g., using MoSCoW Prioritization), and we might drop some of the lower-priority items. More on this on the Requirements focus area.

Levels of Planning

PRINCE2 is originally based on the Manage by Stages Principle, and consequently, 3 levels of plan. This increases into 4 levels in PRINCE2 Agile.

See Also

External Links

Written by Nader K. Rad

This is (and will be) a work in progress: More details will be added in the future, depending on the feedback.

This wiki is developed and managed by an accredited trainer, independent of AXELOS. While aligned with their guidelines, it’s not an official resource.