Papers are frequently explaining the distinction between PRINCE2 and PMBOK, and they are likely to be technical.
To start off with, there is significant confusion in the workplace to do with the differences in the two approaches.
They do not compete against each other as much as you might be led to believe. When you compare them in more detail you discover that in fact PRINCE2 and PMBOK take on two very dissimilar ways of managing a project, and they actually harmonise each other if used correctly.
Because of this, if you already have been trained in PRINCE2, it is advisable that you undertake a course in PMBOK training and vice versa, as they can both go together very nicely.
PMBOK is, basically, something that tells you information on what a project manager needs to be aware of, but PRINCE2 tells you how to use this information.
PMBOK would tell you the important roles and responsibilities in a job and how to define them, but PRINCE2 shows us how we should create a Project Team and all the different job descriptions involved and which are most appropriate for the type of job.
PMBOK relies on the project manager to build up a model for a project team.
People who use PMBOK can sometimes become angry as other people may view the project manager incorrectly. This is very common in the building industry as the project manager has complete control over everything and everyone. Other business projects that rely mainly on IT solutions do not allow the project manager to be in financial control as this sits with senior managers. In this situation the project manager is not the right person to make complicated decisions. Whereas in PRINCE2 all of the major decisions are made by senior management and the project manage only has to deal with the day-to-day jobs.
A key criticism of PRINCE2 is that it overlooks the ‘soft skills’ required to look after a project, which in turn could possibly give more detail on other areas, this is what PMBOK give much better control with.
The recent popularity of PRINCE2 is probably down to the fact that is gives a model approach on how to manage a lot of difference projects. Every part of an organisation can benefit from this, but PMBOK is very broad and gives the project manager a lot of options as to how they want to deal with things. This can often lead to differences in management which can end up working against the company.
Much larger companies have a set way they want their managers to act and so prefer PRINCE2, another good thing about PRINCE2 is that you don’t need to know a lot about project management to be able to succeed, but PMBOK requires a deep knowledge.