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PRINCE2 vs. PMBOK: Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is so convenient, it hardly needs a preface. In fact, we’ve bypassed the PRINCE2/PMBOK question-asking and therefore present you with four helpful answers from a CTE Solutions article by Jacques Ledoux.

PRINCE2 – The HOW of Project Management

PRINCE2 stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. It is a methodology owned by the AXELOS company. PRINCE2 is a standard package framework for conducting (and managing) projects. You’ve got your tool templates laid out, your stakeholders defined, and every project stage is well-defined in advance of execution – hence the “controlled” aspect of the title.

PMBOK – The WHAT of Project Management

PMBOK is a collection of accepted best practices within the project management discipline. It is written and updated by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The word “Guide” implies less control, and this is certainly the case with PMBOK, which provides handy access to project management terminology and best practices. It delineates the most fundamental aspects of project management.

Why not have Both?

Having both PRINCE2 and PMBOK certifications on your résumé is always an advantage. As implied above, PRINCE2 is the how of project management. PMBOK is the what. In a word, the two are complements. PRINCE2 is a prerequisite for working at many institutions. The PMP credential (loosely based on the PMBOK and administered by PMI) is custom tailored to the profession.

How to Get Started

The order in which you obtain these certifications is entirely dependent upon your target job market. If you’re taking PRINCE2, you’ll need to begin studying weeks in advance of the exam. If you’re interested in the PMP credential, you’ll need at least three years of experience management projects before you begin. In either case, review sample questions, get plenty of sleep the night before the exam – and good luck!

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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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