Difference between PMP® and PRINCE2®, PMP® vs PRINCE2® Certification

Summary on PRINCE2®

  • Provides a complete step-by-step methodology on how to set-up and run a project
  • Guidance on Pre-project activities and Post project activities
  • Emphasis on Business Case and Benefits
  • Management by Exception
  • Detailed description of responsibilities of the project management team
  • Description / Templates of project management products
  • Offers the depth in project management practices
  • Knowledge is organized around Principles, Processes, Themes & Governance
  • Tailoring guidelines
  • Emphasis on Business case and Benefits
  • Managed by Stages i.e. only one stage is committed at a time
  • Focus on Products
  • Detailed description on developing project plans
  • Trainings and Exams are over in 5 days
  • Specialist aspects are not covered
  • Detailed techniques not provided to plan and carry out project management activities
  • Leadership and People management skills are not coded in the method
  • No flexibility offered on adapting the best practices as it is more sort of a method
  • Not much emphasis on guidance or development Project Manager’s Skill sets

Summary on PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition

  • Provides the all round guidance on project management
  • Lists the tools and techniques that can be used in a specific process
  • Guidance organized by Process groups & Knowledge areas
  • Knowledge on specific aspects of the project such as Contract management, Quality management
  • Provides guidance on leadership, motivational skills and other interpersonal skills
  • Guidance on Reporting techniques such as Earned Value Management for effective reporting
  • Guidance on the professional code of conduct of a project manager
  • No guidance on project management team responsibilities
  • No guidance on tailoring
  • Not much details on how exactly to proceed / step by step approach
  • Whilst outputs for every process are described the guidance on their contents is not provided
  • No knowledge covered on the post project activity of ensuring the project was successful from benefits point of view
  • Not enough details on the contents of plan and how they should be developed at varying levels of detail and by whom

PMP®; PRINCE2® are both recognized and respected across the world. Doing PMP® helps in developing the project management skills whereas PRINCE2® helps in understanding more from the project point of view. Whilst PMP® is recognized more in the US and US dominant countries, PRINCE2® is recognized in the British and their influenced countries. Having both definitely compliments and improves the marketability of a project manager!

Knowledge & Guidance

Criteria PMP® PRINCE2®
Recognition Worldwide Worldwide
Popularity North America, Canada, Asia UK, Western Europe, Australia
Reference Book PMBOK®Guide PRINCE2® Manual
What is it? A Best Practice Guidance that can be tailored and modified A methodology that defines the step-by-step approach on managing projects
Architecture 5 Process Groups 10 Knowledge Areas 47 processes Input / Tool / Output for each process 7 Principles 7 Processes 7 Themes Guidance on Tailoring Templates Roles & Responsibilities
Differentiator Descriptive Prescriptive
Defined Responsibilities Only for the Project Manager For the entire Project Management Team including Executive, Assurance, Team Managers, Project Manager, Supplier, User, Support
Techniques Described what techniques can be used and when Techniques are left to the users to decide
Scalable Yes Yes
People Management Yes,  Guidance on Managing Project Team No, Left to the User
Contract Management Yes, Guidance on What Contracts are good for which type of projects Not covered
Templates & Contents of the Project Management Deliverables No Yes, Templates are provided
Direction & Guidance from the Sponsors / Management Some guidance in the beginning in the form of Project Charter One entire process is dedicated to Direction and Ad-hoc guidance and approvals – Directing a Project
Tailoring Guidelines Not provided Provided in the Manual
Specialist Aspects such as Requirements Gathering, Costing, Reporting, Quality Techniques Covered Not Covered
Pre-Project Techniques on Project Selection Detailed description on how to start up a Project in a controlled way before committing to it
Post-Project No such guidance Creates the Benefits Review Plan


Criteria PMP® PRINCE2®
Governing Body PMI®, USA APMG, UK
Authorised Training Organization R.E.P. ATO
Accredited Trainer No Yes
Entry Level Qualification CAPM® PRINCE2® Foundation
Expert Qualification PMP® PRINCE2® Practitioner
Eligibility – Entry Level 23 hours of Contact  Training1500 hours of experience None
Eligibility – Expert Level 35 hours of Contact Training4500 hours of Project Management Experience None – although Experience is Recommended
Prerequisites PMI® application approval Foundation certified
Open Book No Yes
Exam Format Online – Computer based Paper based
Exam Conducted By Prometric ATO on the last day of Training
Duration 4 hours 2.5 hours
Pattern Multiple Choice Objective Type Multiple Choice Objective Type
Number of Questions 200 Foundation 75Practitioner 9
Passing Percentage 62.5% Practitioner 55%Foundation 50%
Result Declaration Immediate Foundation Immediate Practitioner approx 4 weeks
Re-Certification 60 PDU’s in 3 years Re-exam after 5 years
Official Information PMP® Handbook PRINCE2® Qualifications Scheme
Official Exam Reference PMBOK® Guide Edition Five Managing Successful Projects PRINCE2® 2009 Edition
Official Website www.pmi.org www.apmgroup.co.uk