Project Management resource base/Prince2 vs. PMBOK

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PRINCE2 and PMBOK complement each other – there’s no conflict as such between the two. So you might not need to select one over the other.

The PMBOK is a framework, the sum of knowledge in project management, where PRINCE2 is a methodology, that describe, step by step, how to run a project.

PMBOK defines what a project manager should know, where PRINCE2 defines what a project manager should do and in which order.

The fact that PMBOK is NOT a methodology is explicitly defined on Page 4 where it is stated: “this standard is neither complete nor all-inclusive. This standard is a guide rather than a methodology.”

PRINCE2 is a methodology, used by over 400,000 users. PRINCE2 defines 40 Activities which tell the PM what to do, who to contact and which document to reference, or write.

PRINCE2 is the resoult of over 35 years development.

PRINCE2 is strong in areas such as the business case and how to governance a project in the public sector and in a product based approach to planning.

However, there are some areas where PRINCE2 does not try to cover. Prince 2 refers to tools and techniques but does not explain them in any details. On the other hand PMBOK goes into details and explain the tools in more details.

A number of Project management issues are not covered by Prince2 e.g. HR issues, Earned Value, estimating and procurement. These Knowledge Areas are covered by the PMBOK and explained in details.

To conclude project managers might benefit from the knowledge of the PMBOK and the methodology defined Prince2 at the same time.

Read more: Prince2®

Read more: PMBok®