In Asia-Pacific, two of the most widely known and established project management approaches are PRINCE2® and PMBOK®.

Project management methods are a set of interrelated phases, activities and tasks that define a project process from start to finish.

What is PMBOK?

PMBOK Guide is the internationally recognised project management standard text that provides the fundamentals for a wide range of products, including construction, software and automotive.

The PMI (Project Management Institute) published the first PMBOK Guide in 1983 with an aim to document and standardise project management information and practices.

The sixth edition of the guide was released in 2017 and recognises five basic process groups:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Controlling and Monitoring
  5. Closing

It also establishes ten knowledge areas that are typical of almost all projects:

    1. Project integration management: Integrating all the project tasks together.
    2. Project scope management: The work included in the project.
    3. Project schedule management: Dividing the project into a schedule and budget for each task.
    4. Project cost management: Establishing the project budget.
    5. Project quality management: Planning, managing and controlling quality.
    6. Project resource management: Acquiring the right team and tracking performance.
    7. Project communications management: Developing a plan to communicate when issues occur.
    8. Project risk management: Identifying, analysing and monitoring risks.
    9. Project procurement management: Planning, conducting and controlling procurements.
    10. Project stakeholder management: Managing and monitoring stakeholder engagement.

PMBOK is beneficial for project managers to adopt as it covers a wide range of knowledge areas and provides 119 tools and techniques to refer to.

What is PRINCE2?

PRINCE2 is a practical project management method that deals with the organisation, management and control of projects.

PRINCE2 is made up of:

      • Seven principles: requirements and practices to manage the project – all have to be applied to be a PRINCE2 project.
          • Continued business justification – a project should be justified in its original expenditure commitment and the reasons should remain valid throughout the entire expenditure.
          • Learn from experience – take time to review and reflect on experiences to make future ones easier, faster and better.
          • Defined roles and responsibilities – assign the right task to the role and the right role to the right person or group of people.
          • Manage by stages – anticipate the details of the near future and provide a broad, best-guess picture of the long-term future.
          • Manage by exception – delegate power to the project manager in the form of change authority (delegated responsibility for the consideration of changes) and tolerances (permissible deviances from a plan’s target).
          • Focus on products – attention must be given to products every step of the way to prevent losing sight of what is important and getting caught up in politics, obstacles and unnecessary details of the result.
          • Tailor to suit the project – consider the special characteristics of each project and tailor PRINCE2 to fit its needs, rather than force the project to fit PRINCE2.
      • Seven themes: The specific treatment for project management disciplines.
        • Business case – what is the business justification for the project?
        • Organisation – roles and responsibilities of the project team.
        • Quality – what are the requirements and measures, and how will these be delivered?
        • Plans – steps and PRINCE2 techniques to be used to develop the plan.
        • Risk – identify risks and opportunities that could affect the project.
        • Change – how the project manager will deal with changes to the project.
        • Progress – the viability and performance of the plan.
      • Seven processes: The steps of the project lifecycle.
        • Starting up a project
        • Directing a project
        • Initiating a project
        • Controlling a stage
        • Managing product delivery
        • Managing stage boundaries
        • Closing a project

PRINCE2 is used globally by people and organisations across a wide range of industries.

Adopting PRINCE2 methodology brings a host of benefits for project managers:

      • Helps deliver projects on time and on budget.
      • Increases return on investment.
      • Enables business change and continual improvement.
      • Helps deliver what the business and customers need.
      • Helps manage risks in line with risk appetite.

Step-by-step guidance for your PRINCE2 project

PRINCE2 in Action – Project management in real terms provides step-by-step guidance for project managers and clearly defines the underlying principles that should be applied to every project.

Written by an experienced PRINCE2 practitioner and trainer, this book explains how to effectively apply the principles, themes and processes to your projects.

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