We combined PRINCE2 + Agile in a project at the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan.

or how to make one month’s work more effective than the previous six.

Photo: Collaborative analysis of best-practice scenarios for project implementation – Adam Mickiewicz University – June 2019

PROJECT CHALLENGE:
In August 2018, the Faculty of Biology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań undertook a unique task on a national scale.  It has launched a project to open up its archives of 2 million artefacts collected over the last 200 years. This vast collection includes such curiosities as the collection of insects from the Amazon basin that our explorer, Arkady Fidler, managed to bring back from one of his great journeys. The project had been planned for three years. A team of 60 people was tasked with digitising all the materials. The consortium implementing the project included the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre (Poznańskie Centrum Superkomputerowo-Sieciowe PCSS), whose role was to provide the technology and build a website and mobile app to present all the exhibits.

After several months of work on the project, Mr Bogdan Jackowiak, project manager and, at the same time, a great enthusiast of website development, asked us to ensure that the project was carried out in accordance with the PRINCE2 methodology and, at the same time, not to ‘kill’ people with documentation. Also, the main challenge for the team turned out to be the process of developing the website and the mobile app.

Photo: a short break during training.

Our task was to prepare an engaging project management training course for a management team of 10 people, who are normally dispersed and also involved in other projects. We wanted to show the team of researchers and university professors that project management training can be friendly, practical and, at the same time, consistent with the PRINCE2 methodology. At the end of the training, which included a large dose of practical exercises and examples, the group was satisfied or even enthusiastic at times! It was a good moment to start implementing Agile/Scrum elements into the area of website and mobile app development. We were delighted when the team unanimously agreed that they had done more in a month with the new method than in the previous six months. We had simply moved on from discussing the development of the product to the actual development of the product, specific modules and functionalities, and this gave everyone the most satisfaction.

SCOPE OF THE TRAINING AND CONSULTANCY PROJECT:

  • analyzing project documentation
  • adaptation of the above-mentioned documentation to the guidelines resulting from the application of the PRINCE2 methodology
  • development of a training programme, preparation of materials with training exercises based on the documentation to be used in project management
  • conducting training sessions for the project management team; the aim of the workshop was to illustrate how the methodology works based on a project: “Digital access to public sector information from administrative sources and scientific resources”.
  • ensuring quality and compliance with the agreed methodology during individual consultations with the management team
  • developing a master project management plan – a “flight plan” – for the administrative management team
  • developing templates for documents necessary for the proper implementation of the project
  • providing on-going counseling during project implementation to verify the ability to implement project documentation in practice
  • conducting a workshop in the form of a productive meeting, during which, with a team of coordinators from UAM and developers from PCSS, we built a website with a database of already digitised materials using the backlog. This website with the database is being built for the needs of its various future user groups – from academic students or a group of scientists to a group of public administration officials, court officials or customs officers.

BENEFITS FOR THE ORGANISATION:

  • ensuring the project complies with the PRINCE2 project management methodology, which was a formal requirement
  • developing the project management skills of the management team based on the practical application of modern Agile/Scrum project management methods
  •  increasing awareness of the importance and effectiveness of proper communication within the group of individual task coordinators, which resulted in more frequent but shorter and more productive meetings
  • increased chances for the project to succeed as planned

I find the effects of implementing PRINCE2+Agile excellent. Especially in terms of raising the work culture of the entire team. The employees have stepped up to a new level of performance. Goraj.com helped to build a friendly form of cooperation in the project in a methodical way, using engaging exercises. In particular, the promptness of the assigned tasks has improved.
– Professor Bogdan Jackowiak
AMUNATCOLL project manager