PRINCE2®, the PMBOK® Guide and ISO 21500:2012

Klas Skogmar

September 2015

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This White Paper outlines similarities and differences in three of the most widespread and adopted standards and best practices in the world: ISO® 21500:2012 (ISO 21500), the PMBOK® Guide and PRINCE2®. The paper examines how Project Managers can use the complementary approaches to derive the maximum benefit from each.

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Current rating: 4.3 (15 ratings)


18 Sep 2015 Camilo_Reyes
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This is a great article that put together all main aspects of three different approaches.
18 Sep 2015 Tom Lynam
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Thanks for the comment Camilo, glad you found the white paper useful
22 Sep 2015 Bob_Patterson
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Good article. Emphasises compatibilities. I would only add that, of the three, only PRINCE II offers a fully integrated framework where each aspect, e.g. Planning, Progress, Change and Quality Controls, interfaces smoothly with the others.
23 Sep 2015 kokyfaith
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Nice article, I need to learn more about them, and use in parallel, to get the successful outcomes.
12 Oct 2015 Harri Freeman
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Hi all,
Glad to see you found this White Paper of use. You may be interested in this blog post;
Or alternatively you could take a look at one of our latest pieces on PRINCE2 Agile;

AXELOS Community Team
9 Dec 2015 Manas Mishra
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My name is Manas and I'm a new member in this group. I'm searching for [email protected] Foundation and Practitioner official book for exam. Can someone provide me please.

Request you please mail me the latest book.
11 Dec 2015 Emer O'Sullivan
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Hi Manas,

Thanks for getting in touch. You can purchase the PRINCE2 guidance through our online store. Please see below:

Kind regards,

Membership Team
AXELOS Global Best Practice
13 Dec 2015 sandilyan
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Nice article and Informative. Each of them listed here has its own intended purpose and are getting evolved for which they’re meant for. PMBOK standards are more of guides providing globally recognized good practices and on the other hand, Prince2 is more specific on “how to” execute and manage the projects with its principles and methodologies. PMBOK and Prince2 combination together should certainly complement for effectively managing & implementing projects.
18 Jan 2016 Nico Viergever
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The most overseen aspect of PRINCE2 is that it is a Customer's approach. This is where the principles of Justification, Roles and Product focus come from and these principles, especially the Justification principle, are mostly meaningless to suppliers.

Being a Customer's approach (with a Business Case focus) is the biggest difference between PRINCE2 and other approaches that are usually delivery-only focussed and therefor more traditionally supplier's approaches.

See more on:
4 Sep 2016 Nyna Souri
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This document is interesting and good to know that the PMBOK Guide is known to PINCE2 Practitioners. Strangely, I met with a PRINCE2 Practitioner recently who told me she's not heard of the PMBOK Guide. I would recomend she look at this document.
12 Jul 2017 Ruggero Nocerino
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A useful point of view; one additional point to be outlined is that in most organizations the so- called Project Manager is in fact one person responsible for one (or many) work packages; a team Manager, in Prince2 terms!
2 May 2018 Srujan
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Good article outlining main aspects of three different approaches.
29 Sep 2019 Ryan Zwankhuizen
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Thanks for the great article. Well explained.
4 Nov 2020 Ebele Ezeoke
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Good article with useful information
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