For anyone trying to decide on whether to adopt or pursue certifications in PMI’s methodology (PMP/PMBOK) or PRINCE2’s, here is a suggestion: do both! There is some overlap, but both have original ideas and both will add value to your organization.

If you are already familiar with one methodology, and are wondering about the other, perhaps this guide can help get you started.

Both Methodologies outline broad breakdowns of the steps (phases, iterations, call it what you will) of a project. Here is an interpretation of how this aspect of the two methodologies can be cross-referenced:

PMI - Process Group PRINCE2 - Process
Initiating Starting up a project
Planning Initiating a project
Executing Directing a project / Controlling a stage
Monitoring and Controlling Mananging Product delivery / Managing stage boundaries
Closing Closing a project

In addition, both methodologies outline the “how to” aspects of project management. PMI calls this “Knowledge Areas” and PRINCE2 refers to it as “Themes”. The following table depicts how the two methodologies might be cross referenced. Of course, these do not align as closely as the themes/processes, and the table may need adjustments based on the specifics of your organization.

PMI - Knowledge Area PRINCE2 - Theme
Project Scope Management / Project Cost Management Business Case
Project Resource Management / Project Communication Management Organization
Project Stakeholder Management / Project Procurement Management  
Project Quality Management Quality
Project Schedule Management Plans
Project Risk Management Risk
Project Integration Management Change

Both methodologies outline all kinds of principles and ideals, however, PRINCE2 lays these principles out in a straightforward manner. These principles capture some of the most important aspects of two excellent project management methodologies.

PRINCE2 Seven Principles:

  • Continued business justification
  • Learn from experience
  • Defined roles and responsibilities
  • Manage by stage
  • Manage by exception
  • Focus on products
  • Tailor to suit project environment