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Moving away from the PRINCE2 vs PMP mind-set:
How the PRINCE2 qualification and the PMP compliment each other

Organisations that want to expand and become more competitive need to deliver projects that are strategically aligned to their business goals.

These projects, having been identified as contributing the greatest strategic value to the organisation, will help bridge any gaps between strategy and execution and achieve corporate advantage if delivered successfully.

Making use of a workforce of talented and motivated individuals with a PRINCE2 qualification enhances the chance of successful delivery. The team speak a common language and utilise a ‘best practice’ approach to delivering their projects that addresses many of the issues that contribute to project failure. As well as improving project success rates, a PRINCE2 qualification is also an ideal solution for non-traditional project teams that need greater project control, such as in areas such like marketing, finance or customer service.

However, while a PRINCE2 qualification will provide the necessary capabilities, rigour and discipline for all project staff, if an organisation wants to maximise its chances of achieving successful strategy execution it needs to ensure staff are also trained in the Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate covering the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

This is because while PRINCE2 focuses on the technical processes and project management deliverables, the PMP provides additional business and leadership skills which are necessary to give project managers the full range of skills needed to deliver projects successfully. So much for the PRINCE2 vs PMP debate.

PRINCE2 and PMP bring cultural change

An organisation that trains its staff in both the PRINCE2 and PMP approaches will create a culture of execution, with employees more likely to care about supporting its strategies - particularly in projects put in place alongside everyday business for the purposes of strategic execution.

On an individual level, by training in the soft business and relationship skills as well as the technical processes, experienced project staff will be able to move into the more senior roles of programme and portfolio management, having gained the required knowledge to successfully deliver projects that are strategically aligned.

The PMI recognised the need for organisations to think, lead and execute more effectively and addressed this with its Talent Triangle to ensure that strategic business management and leadership skills share equal importance with technical project management skills.

Project managers who are now completing their PMP will have a clearer idea of the longer term goals and strategies of their projects, feel confident to challenge accepted ways of working in the interests of improving business success and ultimately develop into more senior and strategic positions. If the strategic vision is communicated fully within an organisation - and goals assigned, resourced and actioned - individual project staff and leaders will be fully aware of their responsibility for carrying out the strategy.

An organisation that has nurtured its capabilities this way, by training its employees in both PRINCE2 and PMP, will ensure that it has a skilled workforce that understands its contribution to strategic outcomes and are motivated.

This culture of execution will also result in a high performing organisation that learns and improves with each project and increases its chances of achieving real corporate advantage.