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PMBOK® Guide vs. PRINCE2®
A High-level comparative note

PMBOK® Guide vs. PRINCE2®
 Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK ® ) Guide is

the Standard brought out by the PMI®, USA, for management of Individual Projects.
 ‘PRojects IN a Controlled Environment’ (PRINCE2®), is a

structured method for effective Project Management, which is being continued to be developed by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), UK.
 Development of these standards in USA and Europe have few

commonalities, but have also depicted different approaches to Project Management.


PMBOK® Guide vs. PRINCE2®
 PRINCE2® is widely used in UK/ few European Countries,

whereas PMBOK® based standard is quite popular in USA.
 Since most of the Projects outsourced are currently from USA,

the knowledge of PMBOK® framework ( and of PMP® Certification) have become desirable for Companies/participants from India.
 However, as Consulting companies look beyond USA for

diversifying their clientbase to Europe, awareness/knowledge of PRINCE2® is gaining popularity.


 At a macro level, PMBOK® Guide is a Body of Knowledge and

PRINCE2® is a method for successful management of Projects.
 PMBOK® Guide is a highly descriptive compendium of the PM

Processes and Tools.
 PRINCE2® takes a ‘prescriptive’ approach for Project

Management, complete with Templates, Roles and Responsibilities of multiple Stakeholders etc.
 PMBOK® Guide defines the collection of knowledge, generally

‘recognized as Best practices for managing Projects’, which a Project Manager ought to know.

 In contrast to this, PRINCE2® is a process-driven PM method,

which describes what the Project Manager and other major Stakeholders ought to know and ought to do in Projects. 4

The Structure of PRINCE2 method
PROJECT ENVIRONMENT Progress Change Business Case

Organization Quality




© Crown Copyright 2009. Reproduced under Licence from OGC.

The PRINCE2 Processes
Pre-project Initiation stage Subsequent delivery stage(s) Final delivery stage


Directing a Project SU
SB SB Controlling a Stage Managing Product Delivery CP Controlling a Stage Managing Product Delivery

Managing IP


Key SU = Starting up a Project IP = Initiating a Project SB = Managing a Stage Boundary CP = Closing a Project

Note • Starting up a Project is used by both the directing and managing levels • There should be at least two management stages, the first of which is the initiation stage. • Managing a Stage Boundary is first used at the end of the Initiation stage and repeated at the end of each subsequent stage except the final stage. It is also used to prepare Exception Plans, which can be done at any time including in the final stage. • For complex of lengthy initiations, Controlling a Stage and Managing Product Delivery can optionally be used to manage the initiation stage.

© Crown Copyright 2009. Reproduced under Licence from OGC.

Few Major comparative points
Approach to PM

PMBOK® Guide
Largely Descriptive

Quite Prescriptive - especially for Process interactions, but scaleable Business Case driven Project Ownership and Control by Senior Management above PM (Project Board/Executive) All Processes need to be considered - but can be scaled - to meet Project specific requirements Multi level controls clearly laid out for progress reporting and tracking at various levels

Project Initiation Empowerment for the Project Manager (PM) Adaptation/ Tailoring to specific Projects

Customer centric Project Charter Need to consider Sponsor/Key stakeholders Is left to the PMsome Processes can be left out if needed Are left to the PM to decide



Major inclusions in PMBOK® Guide
(vis-a-vis PRINCE2®)

The following is an overview of major inclusions in PMBOK ® Guide for the guidance of the Project Manager- vis a vis PRINCE2®

Procurement Management (Contract Management)  Team Management  Cost Management/ Earned Value Analysis  Schedule Management  Communications Management

Is better for evolving a Organization specific methodology for managing Projects - as a guideline reference!


Major strengths of PRINCE2®
( vis-a-vis PMBOK® Guide )

 Continuing Alignment to Business Case

throughout the Project Lifecycle
 A clear delineation of Deliverables/Reports through Product Based

Planning approach and focus on achieving them
 Well defined Roles and Responsibilities of multiple

stakeholders/robust system of checks and controls
 Detailed guidelines for Change control / Configuration

Management/Project documentation
 Focus on Principles/ Lessons Learned  Offers a framework for facilitating individual Project success!


Customers Predominantly using PRINCE2
 The following sets of customers/Projects are known to be using/

interested in PRINCE2®.
 All UK Government initiated/sponsored Projects  UK based Companies ( British American Tobacco/ BT/ BOC/

Unilever/ Tesco/ Philip Morris/ Glaxo/ LogicaCMG/ AXA..)
 Mainland European Clients ( Philips/ Shell/ Nokia/ Cornhill/

HSBC/ Novartis..)
 Non-European Clients ( Sun/ Hitachi/ Fidelity/ World Bank..)  Indian Consulting companies seeking to broadbase into European



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