REPHRASE: You’re a PMP, why PRINCE2 then?

In a region where  PMP certification is assumed all-what-you-need for project management, occasionally,  I have to answer the question “Why PRINCE2, you’re already a PMP?”.

PRINCE2 stands for PRojects In Controlled Environment.  PRINCE2 is a project management methodology,that is mainly concerned with establishing, maintaining and controlling the project environment. Through a clear set of integrated processes, themes and principles.  PRINCE2 controls the project from starting to closing with clear and well defined interfaces between different processes and control points.

While PMP stands for Project Management Professional and certify that the holder has good grasp of the PMBoK (Project Management Body  of Knowledge). As the name states, PMBoK is not differently not a methodology that one can follow to manage a project. Rather it is concerned with project management competences and techniques that project managers might apply in managing project.

Chapter 19 in PRINCE2 manual states this very clearly:

PRINCE2 should not be confused with a body of Knowledge (BOK)

  • PRINCE2 is an integrated project management method providing a set of processes and thesmes that can be applied to manage a project from start to finish
  • body of knowkeldge covers the broad spectrum of project management competencies and techniques that project managemer may need to apply such as leadership and negotiation
Table 19.3 in the manual, compare PRINCE2 and the a body of knowledge such as the Project Management Institute’s PMBoK of International Project Management Association.
project management method a broad collection of good practices for project management
prescriptive non prescriptive
and integrated set of processes and themes that are not isolated silos that can be selectively applied each topic area can be reffered to in isolation from others
covers all project management roles targeted at project manager
does not cover interpersonal skills covers interpersonal skills
references techniques describes techniques
provides a framework of what needs to be done, by whom and by when provide a range of techniques of how those things can be don
Hence, PRINCE2 and PMBoK complements each other and  can work in harmony. I believe good project managers should be both PM and PRINCE2 Practitioner.

One last point. I believe one should start with PRINCE2 which sets, when, who and what before moving to PMP which will help him with how.

8 thoughts on “REPHRASE: You’re a PMP, why PRINCE2 then?

  1. Thank Ala’ for this post. It gave me another perspective and rather think towards pursuing PRINCE2 now.

  2. Any time Khalid.
    PRINCE2 is really great. Let me know when you plan to do this. I will be more than happy to have you in one of my training sessions J.

  3. Hussain

    Many thanks Alaa.
    PRINCE2 is dealing with projects from the business point of view where the business case is the key decision about whether the project is adding value to the organization while PMBOK is more focusing on how to manage each part of the project in details.

  4. Hi Ala,

    I have been running a project management website for a very long time now, and I can say with confidence that a PMP is much more in demand than a PRINCE2 certified project manager.

    In any case, I have published a series on how PRINCE2 can complement PMBOK, I hope you’ll have the chance to read it.

    1. Thans PM Hut,

      Thought I am not discussing which is more in demand, I believe demand is not really an indication for the quality. The main point in the article is to clarify that they are not rival.
      One last note, I don’t believe that PRINCE2 can complement PMBoK. It’s both way. I believe running a real project from A-Z needs a clear methodology, and that’s what PRINCE2 provides.

      I will go over your articles and comment, if I have any comments.


  5. […] REPHRASE: You’re PMP, why PRINCE2 then? ( […]

  6. Duha AlKarout

    I like it… Thanks for giving simple usefull and direct to the point comparison..

    1. Thanks for your feedback Duha.

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