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PRINCE2® & PMBOK® – Complementary rather than in competition


A lot of debate is generated about which of PRINCE2® and PMBOK® is the best, as if they are in competition.  An excellent case can however be made for organisations to use the two approaches together to complement one another’s strengths and weaknesses.  By using both PRINCE2® and PMBOK®, the project managers are using the best project management approaches from both worlds.


Essentially PMBOK® provides a comprehensive knowledge base for effective project management (the “What”), while PRINCE2® provides a more “How To‟ approach.


Comparison of PRINCE2® & PMBOK®

Broad collection of ‘good practices’ for project management A project management method
Each topic area can be referred to in isolation from others An integrated set of processes & themes that should not be applied selectively
Targeted at project managers Covers all project management roles
Covers interpersonal skills Does not cover interpersonal skills
Describes techniques References techniques


Processes Comparison:

Initiating Starting up a project, Directing a project, Managing Stage Boundaries
Planning Initiating a Project, Managing a Stage Boundary, Managing Product Delivery
Executing Controlling a Stage, Managing Product Delivery, Directing a project
Monitoring and Control Controlling a Stage, Managing a Stage Boundary
Closing Managing Stage Boundaries, Closing a Project


Knowledge Area Comparison:

Integration Plans, Change control
Scope Business Case, Plans
Time Plans, Change control
Cost Plans, Change control
Quality Quality, Configuration Management
Risk Management of Risk
Communications Progress, Communications Management, Stakeholder Engagement
Human Resources Organisation - only Roles & Responsibilities covered
Procurement Not covered by PRINCE2®


Both approaches can be tailored to suit an organisation’s specific circumstances and environment.  This allows for better integration into the level of project management maturity the organisation is currently at and wants to move towards in the future.  An optimal tactic for success would therefore be to adopt both, i.e. create an organisation-specific framework based on the PMBOK® standard, as well as the “How to‟ guide based on the PRINCE2® methodology.


By combining PMBOK® and PRINCE2® to establish an integrated solution, organisations can take advantage of the best of the two most respected project management approaches in the world today. Such a strategy should allow those organisations to achieve better performance on all project outputs and business outcomes.


Companies that are using both PRINCE2®and PMBOK®:

IBM, HP, Sun Microsystems, Getronics



1.      Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2®, TSO, 5th ed, 2009.

2.      The Marriage Proposal of PRINCE2® and PMBOK®, Dr A Yeong, 2009.

3.       Providing Clarity on PMBOK® and PRINCE2®, Project Plus Ltd, 2008.



Madisakwane, Phalenyane P
2017-01-11, 10:49
Hello Abigail

Compliments to the new year. I hope you entered well and looking forward to the opportunities presented in 2017.

I would like to … read more
Mphoza Masemola
2015-05-21, 17:22
Afternoon Matium,

Thanks again Matium for you excellent method of training….there is no ways I would have passed without following your … read more
Segomotso Matswiri
2015-03-13, 09:25
The instructor was very articulate of issues and was very easy to follow and understand.
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