Without both of these in place a project is likely to fail to achieve its objectives. Collectively, APM and PRINCE2 provide both of these essential elements.
PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a process-based method for effective project management. It is a de facto standard used extensively by the UK Government and is also widely recognised and used in the private sector, both in the UK and internationally.
The Association for Project Management (APM) does not provide or advocate a particular method, but rather it is a framework within which projects should be run. The APM Body of Knowledge identifies the key areas of knowledge that those working in projects need to know and apply. The APM Body of Knowledge is promoted through qualifications, accredited training, research, publications and events.
Factors to consider in deciding which is most appropriate for my organisation.
- Do you have the essential knowledge and skills to undertake projects? Look to objectively assess or benchmark your project managers to determine their project management overall competence. If this shows that knowledge and skills are in need of development, then consider APM first.
- Are you introducing a new project management method or a major overhaul of your existing method? If so, consider PRINCE2, but look to apply PRINCE2 in a tailored and appropriate way to suit your organisation. Also do think about PRINCE2 method education for project staff levels above and below project managers in order to maximise your success in implementing the method.
- Do you have a project management method, but wish to improve the project management understanding of your people and perhaps refine and improve the method in places? Because APM BoK provides both the key principles and a broad understanding of project management, it can help cement the importance of applying a project management method, and is not limited to deployment of a specific method. Hence, APM BoK should be considered as the first approach for such a situation.
- Do you lack the skills and the project management method? If so, then consider a combination of APM BoK to embed an overall framework and project management principles, followed by a tailored and appropriately sized application of PRINCE2 to provide the detailed method for project teams to follow.