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PMBOK or PRINCE2 … which one is better?

There are many blogs and articles comparing PMBOK or PRINCE2, and sometimes Agile. Each author has their own set of experiences and their own viewpoints on the subject of these project management methodologies. But Shoaib Ahmed, Senior Project Manager at Eagle Technology writing for Management in Practice, has a particularly insightful viewpoint that is worth sharing.

Not Taking Sides

Ahmed isn’t taking sides. He isn’t waving a flag for either PMBOK or PRINCE2, although he was certified through PRINCE2, MSP, and ITIL through the UK’s Cabinet Office. Ahmed’s insight into both methodologies leads him to the conclusion that there is a time and a place for each. As an afterthought to his post, he writes:

When I consider all of this, it appears a futile argument from those in either camp. In my view the best option is to use PRINCE2 to understand “how” to run the project and PMBOK for guidance on “what” to do in the specific scenarios. The question is not one of PMBOK or PRINCE2, but how to use both in your projects.

Benefits of PRINCE2

Favoring the UK-based PRINCE2 may be justified if one’s interactions are mainly with Australasian markets or if one is interested mainly in project governance. Ahmed stresses that the greatest strength of PRINCE2 is its emphasis on project justification through continually needing to make a Business Case. The Business Case approach relies on regular reviews that help to manage the project in stages. This ensures that a failed project is never allowed to linger.

Benefits of PMBOK

Yet when it comes down to tools and techniques, Ahmed recommends PMBOK with its origins in the North American engineering sector. He cites several of those tools, from the monitoring and control procedure called Earned Value Analysis (EVA) to Resource Leveling and Scenario Analysis. As opposed to PRINCE2, PMBOK works more effectively in a project supplier context, though it tends to fall short regarding risk management and planning aspects.

Read the full article here: http://prince2msp.com/2012/07/23/pmbok-or-prince-which-one-is-better/

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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