Principles of Project Management

Introduction to Project Management Tools

Project management has become an essential tool in every business development project be it in science projects and technological development. A huge investment in the training and development of managers is made to succeed in the projects. Project management is a set of details and instructions that provide the organization, and infrastructure to complete the task successfully (Hilson, 2014). The selection of methodology depends upon the team, type of project, and scope of the project. The research analysis aims to analyse the knowledge area of models of project management and critical evaluation of PMBok and PRINCE2.

PMBoK

PMBoK management model was developed by the project management institute, to provide a guideline to managers in successfully running the project. PMBoK includes analysis of nine knowledge areas grouped into 5 process stages or process groups of business life cycles, that claim to encompass the amount of knowledge, recognized as activities in the project management profession (Matos &Lopes, 2013).

PMI was established in 1969 to establish and regulate the interest in project management. The principle of project management institute is based on the impression that even in the software and construction industry, tool and technique for project management are common. In 1981, the institution released A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) comprising guidelines for project management. PMBok guide has been approved by the American national standard institute as an American National Standard (Matos & Lopes, 2013).

Prince2

PRINCE2 named Projects in a controlled environment was formed in 1989 by the Office of Government Commerce earlier known as The Central Computer and Telecommunication Agency (Matos & Lopes, 2013). This method of project management is based on the experiences earned through former projects and contributions of numerous stakeholders such as trainers, consultants, managers, sponsors, and many more.

Based on PROMPT, PRINCE2 was publicized in 1996 contributing to the partnership of 150 European countries. PRINCE and PRINCE2 are now registered trademark of the government of Great Britain The model is focused on business and organizational structure that are directed by the project management team. The model emphasizes the division of projects into phrases and orientations towards the final product (Matos &Lopes, 2013).

Similarities

Both the methodologies were written with different perspectives, as they focus on different aspects of management. PRINCE2 provides a mean to manage a project which can be tailored and measured throughout the process, whereas PMBoK deals with soft-skills, cost, operations, procurement, etc to provide a focused guideline to the project managers. (Skogmar, 2015).

The fundamentals of both methodologies are the same, as both aim to reduce the risk and increase the quality of the project by providing complementary techniques to succeed in the project (Jamali & Oveisi, 2016). PMBoK provides a detailed description of the project including, what, how, when, and where and tools and technique. And PRINCE2 complements the methodology by offering guidelines relating to governance, principles, arrangement, product description, and methods. Both the methodology is a foundation for doing a project in the right way, where both PMBoK and PRINCE2 guide the organization to meet the international standards ensuring greater compliance.

Below are the few similar characteristics of PMBoK and PRINCE2, where both the approach possesses comparable features.

TABLE:1

Features

PMBoK

PRINCE2

Tailor

ü

ü

Closure

ü

ü

Quality Management

ü

ü

Risk Management

ü

ü

Cost Management

ü

ü

Scope Management

ü

ü

(Karaman &Kurt, 2015)

Differences

Both the approaches complement each other as stated above, there exist few differences between them, of which one of them includes project constraint. PMBoK defines constraints as a 'set of limiting factors which affects the execution of a project' and suggests to include scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, and risks. Whereas PRINCE2 defines constraints as situations that are treatable and managed by project managers with exceptions (Skogmar, 2015). If the situation is under tolerance level, then the projects should run smoothly, however, if the situation exceeds tolerance level, then an exception should be raised which should include six tolerance namely; time, cost, scope, risk, quality, and benefits.

PMBoK guide provides a business case as an input for the project development, with an optional contract, whereas PRINCE2 emphasizes on regularly updating the business case and to consider it draft until the project has been planned and implemented. PMBoK methodology does not include organizational operations and setup, instead, it focuses on the project manager, sponsor, and project stakeholder. PRINCE2 ensures project governance as well as project stakeholders' interests and guidelines for each activity (Jamali & Oveisi, 2016). In PMBoK scope is managed by collecting and agreeing on requirements, then determining the scope and exclusions of the project before breaking it down into work breakdown structure (WBS). The bottommost level of WBS is divided into further activity which later on is used to determine the critical path.

Whereas in PRINCE2 focuses on the actual output of the project by overviewing the project described as a project product description. It includes acceptance criteria and the customer's quality expectations which form the basis of the project breakdown structure. This PBS diagram is studied and the product flow diagram is designed with arrows indicating where activities are needed (Marcelino, et.al, 2015).

Handling Project Risks

PMBoK defines individual’s risk as ‘occurrence an event or condition imposing a positive or negative effect on the individual's one or more objectives, whereas overall project risk is defined as an negative or positive impact, greater than individual risk, which is outcome of uncertainty on the overall project. The guide treats the risk by identifying the overall project risk, stating the causes, examining the effects of risk, qualitative and quantitative assessment of risk, responding to overall risk via avoiding, exploit, transfer and reduce/enhance methodology, and later on reporting and monitoring the overall risk (Hilson, 2014).

Whereas PRINCE2 recognizes risk as a chief constituent which is required to be considered during project management and factored into all major processes. Project management must control and bear the risk when required to make the project successful. The guide treats the risk by identifying the risk, assessing, planning for response to risk, implementation of a plan when required, and communicating the risk.

Suitability of Projects

PMBoK provides a more comprehensive approach with details to provide a guideline for working of the organization whereas PRINCE2 possess some feature which is not covered by PMBoK (Hilson, 2014). PRINCE2 is preferable for small projects or task such as IT projects, contractual works and so on whereas PMBoK is preferred in It projects with higher client commitment, large, complex project team, high level of outsourcing, comprehensive contracts, high level of stakeholder engagement. Another way of selecting which approach might be choosing one which best fits the requirement of the organization and keeping the other as a supporting framework for the sound working of the project. 

Conclusion on Project Management Tools

PMBoK and PRINCE2 both are internationally certified that would provide a solid understanding of project management. It is impossible to conclude which approach is better over the other as both follow different approaches for completion of the same task. Though based on experience and assessment, the gap between the two can be reduced. By completing this research, the researcher gets to learn several aspects of project management, the requirement and importance of PMBoK and PRINCE2, tools and technique, and many more.

References for Project Management Tools

Hilson, D. (2014). Managing overall project risk. In PMI® Global Congress. United Arab Emirates: Project Management Institute.

Jamali, G., & Oveisi, M. (2016). A study on project management based on PMBOK and PRINCE2. Modern Applied Science, 10(6).

Karaman, E., & Kurt, M. (2015). Comparison of project management methodologies: prince 2 versus PMBOK for it projects. Int. Journal of Applied Sciences and Engineering Research, 4(4).

Marcelino-Sádaba, S., González-Jaen, L. F., & Pérez-Ezcurdia, A. (2015). Using project management as a way to sustainability. From a comprehensive review to a framework definition. Journal of Cleaner Production, 99, 1-16.

Matos, S., & Lopes, E. (2013). Prince2 or PMBOK – a question of choice. In International Conference on Project Management (pp. 787-794). Procedia Technology.

Skogmar, K. (2015). PRINCE2®, the PMBOK® Guide and ISO 21500:2012. United Kingdom: Axleos limited.

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