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Is the PMBOK better than PRINCE2?

I'm a project manager who follows the PMBOK way for managing projects for a while now. Lately I have learned about the existence of PRINCE2, which is another project management methodology. I wasn't very impressed by PRINCE2.

What I want to know is if other project managers also think that the PMBOK is better than PRINCE2 or not.

PS: I do not want to know if the PMP is better than a PRINCE2 certification, I just want to know if the PMBOK, as a project management concept, is better than PRINCE2.
asked 9 years ago by anonymous

2 Answers

"Better" is the wrong question.  PRINCE2 and PMBOK are complementary tools available to help project managers

It is not an either or choice.  Both is the answer.  PRINCE2 is a method, PMBOK is a framework, it's not the same.

PMBOK 5 actually recommends the use of PRINCE2 as way of implementing the PMBOK.  See Section 1.1, Page 2 of the PMBOK, 5th Edition
answered 7 years ago by anonymous
I may be biased, but I think there is one main reason the PMBOK is better than PRINCE2, and it lies on their difference.  PRINCE2 is a prescriptive methodology.  As a prescriptive methodology, there is a one-size fits all projects assumption.

On the other hand, the PMBOK Guide represents process and best practices, and is not prescriptive.  You can use this information to tailor and scale the process as required.  So whether you are running a traditional waterfall project or an Agile project, there are elements which can be applied to help the project succeed.

In short, the PMBOK Guide relies more on the professional judgment of the Project Manager.
answered 9 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)
I must beg to differ with the answer provided by sdcapmp. The statement that "PRINCE2 is based upon a one-size fits all projects" assumption is simply wrong. PRINCE2 is based upon 7 core principles, one of which is that the method must be tailored to suit the needs of the project environment. For example, how you manage risks on a massive project will be different from how you manage risks on a small project. The ability to tailor PRINCE2 therefore is built into its core assumptions.

The biggest mistake any project manager could make when using PRINCE2 is to try to blindly apply everything which they have learned on a course or read in the PRINCE2 manual. This will get them into lots of trouble. A more sensible approach therefore would be to ask: "how should I apply PRINCE2 to provide proper management direction and control throughout the project"? Advice on how to tailor PRINCE2 is covered in one of the chapters in the PRINCE2 manual and is also covered on any PRINCE2 Practitioner course.

No matter which method is used, the professional judgement of the project manager is vital. Commons sense is also vital to ensure that the project manager does not blindly apply inappropriate methods.

All of this is covered in a typical PRINCE2 training course such as http://www.knowledgetrain.co.uk/prince2-training-course-foundation-and-practitioner.php
9 years ago by anonymous

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