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Diego Nei interviewed me for his Brazilian blog, Papo GP. (Talking PM – I believe I have that right). We talked about PRINCE2 (r), how to get qualified, and how it compares with the PMBOK (r) Guide.
If you’re interested, you can read the interview online in Portuguese. Diego, however, has sent me the interview in English. I will reproduce it here.
I have updated my answers to better reflect PRINCE2(r), and A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge — PMBOK (r) Guide. This is October 2021. The PMBOK(r), which was updated since the interview took place, has been updated since then, and PRINCE2 US was launched back in 2020.

Today’s Project Management Methodologies Series interview will feature SPOTO from the award-winning blog A Girl’s Guide to Project Management. Elizabeth is the author of Shortcuts to Success, Project Management in the Real World. She also writes extensively on the topic of project managing for a variety of publications. In 2004, she took her first PRINCE2(r), Practitioner exam.
Elizabeth, thank you for coming. How are you doing?
Thank you!
Elizabeth, what is the story behind PRINCE2(r), the methodology?
PRINCE2(r), which stands for Projects IN Controlled Environments, is a widely-used project management method. PRINCE was established in 1989 by the UK government as a standard for IT project management.
It has been adopted by both the public and private sector worldwide and has been revised numerous times. PRINCE2(r), the most significant rewrite, was released in June 2009. In June 2009, the most recent version was published. It has been split into two sections, covering project sponsors and project managers.
AXELOS, which is the awarding body of the PRINCE2(r), family of certifications, has launched a version aimed specifically at the US market in 2020. It includes relevant vocabulary and case studies.
How does PRINCE2 work in short?
PRINCE2r is process-based. It covers the following: initiating a new project, directing it, managing stage boundaries (signoff and moving between them), controlling a stage and managing product delivery (with an emphasis on product-based planning), and closing a project.
This all happens in a context of seven themes: business case; organization; quality; plans; risk; change and progress. Seven values are also included.
These themes are related to the project lifecycle that we find in the PMBOK (r) Guide.
PRINCE2(r), too, has a lifecycle. The themes represent the environment in which the lifecycle takes place.
PRINCE2(r), you start with the pre-project, then move on to the initiation stage, then onto the subsequent delivery stages (you may need several, if your project is long), and finally the final delivery stage, which includes closing a project.
PRINCE2(r), which is highly adaptable, has been adopted by both approaches in recent years. Project Management Institute’s approach was to include more agile information in the main guide and to publish it alongside its Agile Practice Guide.
Although the PRINCE2 guidance does not explicitly address agile, it could be modified to do so. You can also get PRINCE2 Agile(r), which is a different qualification.
What are the main differences in PRINCE2(r), and the PMBOK (r) frameworks?
PRINCE2(r), which offers a complete solution to help you get your project off the ground, see it through, and wrap it up. This is what many new project managers find difficult.
PRINCE2(r), which covers how to start a project as well as details on managing change control, is a valuable resource that will help you prepare for the PMP exam. PRINCE2 (r) will give you a method to manage project changes. This is in contrast to what the PMBOK (r) Guide states.
There are other differences. The PMBOK(r), which covers procurement, is useful. PRINCE2 (r) assumes that you operate in an environment constrained to a contract because it has its roots in government IT projects.
PRINCE2(r), which is a program that teaches soft skills and people management, won’t contain any information about these subjects.