PMBOK® Guide vs manual PRINCE2® – Project integration management part 5

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After the texts on planning project work described in the previous articles in this series, it is time to compare the PRINCE2® methodology approach and PMBOK® Guide in the scope of implementation works. In accordance with the adopted formula, the basis for reference is the knowledge area "Project Integration Management" proposed by PMBOK® Guide. The third one included is the "Direct and Manage Project Work" process. The inputs to this process are the project management plan, other project documents, approved change requests, and the formal and non-formal project environment. Its implementation is intended to enable the achievement of the project's goals.

However, it is not the achieved project's objectives that are listed as the basic output from this process, but deliverables. The first paragraph on the process states: The key benefit of conducting this process is that it provides overall management of project work and deliverables, thereby increasing the likelihood of project success. Directing and management is to include executing planned activities to deliver products and achieve established goals. This requires allocating resources, using them effectively and making changes based on collected data and developed information.

Who will be designated as responsible for leading this process? Most of us would probably answer without much thought: project manager. Meanwhile, you should pay attention to two sentences contained in the second and third paragraphs of the chapter devoted to the process: The "Lead and manage project work" process is directly dependent on the area of project management. (…) The project manager, together with the project management team, directs the execution of planned activities and manages the various technical and organizational connections existing in the project. These sentences allow us to put together propositions PMBOK® Guide with the PRINCE2® methodology, which clearly shows us the need to appoint two roles: project manager and team leader.

In accordance with the PRINCE2® methodology, the project manager conducts the "Stage Control" process (controlling a stage), which "is used to assign work to be performed and monitor its implementation, to handle emerging issues (including change requests), report to the steering committee on progress, and take corrective actions (...)". The team leader, in turn, leads the "Product Delivery Management" process (managing product delivery). Its role "is to coordinate the work area from which one or more of the project's products will be delivered." Moreover, the "Product Delivery Management" process serves to control the connections between both of the above-mentioned. roles by agreeing requirements for the acceptance, execution and delivery of products.

It should be noted that in accordance with the PRINCE2® methodology, the role of project manager and team leader may be performed by the same person, if he has appropriate technical competences and the complexity of the project allows it. Thus, the PRINCE2® methodology is similar to PMBOK® Guide makes the detailed organization of the project management team dependent on the area of project management. In less complex projects, the project manager will directly supervise contractors, while complex projects will require an intermediate level of management.

The difference between both "textbooks" could be summarized as follows: PMBOK® Guide offers us one process dedicated to the delivery of products, the PRINCE2® methodology proposes two of them, clearly distinguishing the role of the work coordinator (project manager) and the product supplier (team manager). Nevertheless, we must recognize that the “Lead and manage project work” process in accordance with PMBOK® Guide does not exhaust all the tasks of the project manager and team leader performed during the implementation of project work in accordance with the PRINCE2® methodology. I will devote subsequent texts in this series to identifying their appropriate processes.


Author: Maciej Krupa


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