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PMBOK vs PRINCE2 vs Agile project management

When it comes to project management, there are three main approaches that were all developed to be helpful in different ways. However, if you’re unsure of which one to use for a particular project scenario, the staff at have compared them, listing the pros and cons of each.

PMBOK: Project Management Body Of Knowledge

PMBOK, a collection of processes and knowledge areas that are accepted as best practices for project management, may be less robust then the similarly structured PRINCE2. However, the pros of this approach give its users the ability to transfer decision making powers out of the hands of project managers, and give the project managers more flexibility too.

PRINCE2: Projects In a Controlled Environment

Similar to PMBOK, choose PRINCE2 if you want to cater more directly to senior management. The pros: it was developed by the UK government for high-level management and so has a global set of standards, making it easy to learn. The cons: criticized for neglecting the soft skills that many PMs find crucial to their job success.


Agile, an iterative and incremental method for managing anything from design and building activities to engineering and IT, is different from PRINCE2 or PMBOK in that it is extremely flexible by design. It can deal with the production of deliverables on an as-needed basis by scaling down tasks into more manageable sub-tasks. This significantly reduces the risk associated with lack of analysis and/or prototyping. The danger in using Agile is that the methodology, if understood improperly, can lead to unfounded expectations.

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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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