PRINCE2 vs. PMP: Which One is the Best for Project Management?

prince2 vs pmpDo you want to advance your career as a project management professional, land that salary raise or save your job? There are many ways to solve this headache, with one of them being boosting your academic credentials. There are three major certifications for project professionals: PRINCE2, which stands for Projects in Controlled Environments; ITIL, an acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library; and PMP, an abbreviation for Project Management Professional.

PRINCE2 and ITIL are administered by AXELOS, while the Project Management Institute owns the rights to the PMP qualification. All the qualifications are recommended for project managers, except for ITIL, which is more relevant to IT professionals who wish to learn how to manage deployment of IT projects in organizations. Nonetheless, let’s have a look at PRINCE2 vs. PMP; two respected certifications that pose a problem to individuals who are torn between which of the two is more relevant to their careers. Before we proceed, why not take time to learn about the basics of PRINCE2?

Brief Overview of PRINCE2

PRINCE2 is a course that originates and is administered from the UK by the APMG to individuals both in the UK and internationally. It has a sophisticated, well-defined methodology that outlines in detail the steps, templates and processes that a project should follow in order to be delivered successfully within a controlled environment.

It also spells out clearly the roles and responsibilities of a project executive, senior supplier, project manager, financier as well as the senior user. It provides well-defined templates to facilitate smooth execution of the project such as change request form and progress report.

A few features of the PRINCE2 include:

  • It is generic, which means it is recommended for just any kind of project.
  • It has a well-laid out and standard approach
  • It spells out the roles and responsibilities of each member of the team tasked with managing the project.
  • It structures out the planning state into Project Plans, Stage Plans and Team Plans, which eliminates ambiguity and makes it easier to execute the project.
  • It is both project and process-focused.

Brief Overview of PMP

PMP is a certification that is structured around the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK). The course measures your ability as a project manager to complete a project based on your experience and understanding of project management. The course is administered from the USA, and has gained popularity in Europe and Asia.

It differs from PRINCE2 as it basically evaluates your skills and mastery of project management. As such, you are required to have some experience in the field, unlike PRINCE2, which can be done by a person who is new to the field.

A few features of the PMP qualification include:

  • It can be viewed as an encyclopedia of knowledge of matters pertaining to project management.
  • It can be viewed as a comprehensive overview and “generally-accepted” knowledge and principles of project management.
  • It is also a dictionary of terms related to project management.

Now let’s start with the requirements to register for the two certifications, which may help you make a more informed choice based on your skill and knowledge level.

Pre-Requisites for PRINCE2

You are not required to have any previous experience in project management, though it is recommended to have it and enrol for a training program before you sit for the examination. Still, PRINCE2 is an ideal qualification for you if you have no prior experience in the sector.

Pre-Requisites for PMP

PMP has more stringent requirements, which you must have before you sit for the examination. You are required to have a four-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and more than three years of experience in the project management sector. Furthermore, you must have at least 4,500 hours of managing and executing projects and 35 hours of education in project management.

Alternatively, to register for PMP, you need to have a secondary (high school) diploma or its equivalent and have at least five years of experience in the project management field. Furthermore, you need to have 7,500 hours of managing and executing projects and 35 hours of education in project management.

Industry Needs

If you are interested in joining a specific industry sector, is recommended that you conduct thorough research to determine which certification will boost your employability. This is because some sectors prefer PRINCE2, while others go for candidates with PMP.

Moreover, if you want to work in UK, Australia and certain European countries such as Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, it is recommended to first take the PRINCE2 if you want to improve your chances of landing a job there. If you are intend to work in North America, go for the PMP course. However, it is advisable to do both courses as explained below.

Is it Advisable to do Both Courses?

PMP is concerned with the knowledge and skills that are necessary for successful project management and delivery, while PRINCE2 is mostly focused on the framework and processes for successfully executing a project. It is therefore advisable for you to do PMP and PRINCE2 together as they will help you become an all-rounded project management professional. Nonetheless, there are a few drawbacks to doing so, which are;

  • Conflicting language: The two courses use different terminologies, which can be confusing at first. For example, project charter in PMP is what is known as project brief in PRINCE2.
  • Different Techniques: Some techniques vastly differ, such as the categorization of risk.

However, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. A smooth and careful application of the two courses is more helpful in ensuring successful project delivery as opposed to one certification.

Benefits of PMP

1.  Better Salary Prospects

Having the PMP certification places you in a good position to land a pay increase from your employer as a form of appreciation for the new skills that you bring to the firm.

2.  Networking Opportunities

When you obtain your PMP certification, you will be linked with other professionals who possess the qualification. Such contacts can prove crucial to helping you land the next job when you really need it.

3.  Gives you an Edge in Job Search

A PMP qualification helps you stand out in a crowded field due to the standardized skills and knowledge you have acquired.

4.  Value to your Employer

The certification equips you with standardized project management methodologies that will prove useful to your employer.

5.  Efficiency in Project Execution

PMP equips you with knowledge and skills to help you execute projects efficiently and improve your team’s productivity.

Benefits of PRINCE2

1.  Very Exhaustive

The certification analyzes all angles of the project to ensure that it is viable before it commences. Potential risks and user requirements are taken into account to ensure that a project that is bound to encounter hurdles is stopped at planning stages.

2.  Well-Laid Out Methodology

Since the certification has clearly laid out methodology, it saves you plenty of time and resources if a unique project needs to be done.

3.  Standardization

PRINCE2 eliminates confusion in project execution as the same approach is used, with common filing systems, procedures and documents.

4.  Improved Salary and Employability Prospects

Enrolling for a PRINCE2 certification improves your prospects of landing a job in some countries, especially in the United Kingdom. It also provides a justification to your employer to give you a pay rise.

5.  Driven by Business Case

PRINCE2 requires users to continually assess and provide updates on business case at certain points to ensure that the project delivers value to the organization or its customers. Failure to do so eliminates any justification for the continuity of the project.