PRINCE2 and PMP, bloated bureaucratic project management methods?

Posted by Certprime® on July 13, 2020 | Project Management

Are existing project management methodologies really global best practices, as they claim? Over 90% of successful projects or at least the intellectual property owners of PRINCE2 (Formerly, a part of Office of Government Commerce, UK and currently under the custody of AXELOS) and PMP (A project management methodology developed by PMI - US) claim they can be successful using their project management methodology. 

Does PRINCE2 and PMP have enough in them to manage and deliver successful projects? 

Organizations around the world by default look for project managers qualified either in PRINCE2 or PMP. Frankly, that’s the staggering truth. Both these project management methodologies are derived from some of the practices used in successful projects. Over the years, optimization of various processes and themes within the framework have made these two the core project management knowledge banks. Do we really have other alternatives which provide a holistic approach? 

Track record of project delivery across public and private sectors

We’ve seen countless projects of huge delays, massive cost overruns and cancelled projects in both public and private sectors. Thousands working in such projects have been trained in PMP and PRINCE2 over the last few decades, where was the best practice? Only little has been said and no one has come forward to take ownership or atleast pointed to the framework for these project failures. The unsaid truth is, it’s always the execution, leadership and accountability issues on most instances. Unless, something is fundamentally wrong with these project management frameworks or they don’t recommend leadership and ownership. 

One of the biggest factors that influence the project success is the human resource. The framework is just a blueprint which needs to be implemented and executed to near perfection for greater results. Ofcourse, there are some external factors beyond projected risks which can affect the project success rates. Only a handful of project success stories are shared where PRINCE2 and PMP are practised. May be detailed insights into real life scenarios would provide a clear understanding of the do’s and don'ts when starting, managing and delivering a project.  

Here are some key reasons for project success and failures as described in PMP and PRINCE2 methodologies

Major project management functions that are necessary to achieve success in projects:

  • Recruit and maintain adequate technical and non-technical resource skills
  • Manage the allocation of scarce resources
  • Define and collect operational metrics to support project and stakeholders decision making
  • Promote efficient and effective communications
  • Select and utilize technology related tools

Projects most commonly fail because there is a lack of attention and efforts being applied to seven project performance factors:

  • Focus on business value, not technical detail.
  • Establish clear accountability for measured results.
  • Have consistent processes for managing unambiguous checkpoints.
  • Have a consistent methodology for planning and executing projects.
  • Include the customer at the beginning of the project and continually involve the customer as things change so that the required adjustments can be made together.
  • Manage and motivate people so that project efforts will experience a zone of optimal performance throughout its life. 
  • Provide the project team members the tools and techniques the need to produce consistently successful projects.

The most googled question on project management “PRINCE2 or PMP

This is a million dollar question for all project managers or those who are aspiring. Which is better PRINCE2 or PMP? PRINCE2 and PMP are still very relevant when it comes to core project management frameworks. Scrum and Agile have been there for a while but they are best tailored to IT projects, whereas PRINCE2 and PMP and vendor neutral and can be tailored to any industry and project sizes. 

It’s not necessarily one or the other, they both are quite different. Learning both the methodologies will complement your project management career. How do you put PRINCE2 and PMP together? This is where PRINCE2 helps, because of its process based methodology. Both these two project management methodologies sit well together, PRINCE2 gives you detailed processes and PMP gives a detailed knowledge in areas, such as cost estimating and budgeting, creating communications plans, management of requirements, etc.

The major differences are that PMP has more depth and detail in terms of tools, techniques and showing you how to do things. PRINCE2 provides the process based methodology and structure in a clear way. In a nutshell, PRINCE2 tells you 'what' to do and PMP 'how' to do it.

This article is a personal view of the author.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *