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APMP or PRINCE2 - which is better?
Tim O'Connor our lead Project Management trainer explores this often asked question
It is difficult when shopping to understand the differences between the wares on offer. Those selling TVs offer a confusing array of extra features that seem indispensable: anynet+ sounds good (although, I say that without knowing what it is) and a ‘wide colour enhancer’ must be great, surely?
Although this may seem irrelevant to your life, and is only temporarily relevant to mine as I am shortly to buy one of Baird’s little marvels, when choosing a project management course the choice offered can be a little confusing (how’s that for an abrupt change of subject?).
Life is full of dilemmas: should I take the left fork in the road or the right? Should I speed up to bend to the wishes of the driver tailgating me or slow down a little to really annoy him? Should I attend PRINCE2 or APMP? Ah, life’s fundamental questions. I can’t really answer the first two but, as I’ve been asked to write about the third, I might as well at least make an attempt.
PRINCE2® and APMP offer complementary information that will help those involved in projects (as a project manager or in other roles such as project support) and the courses dovetail well, albeit with an overlap in some areas.
PRINCE2 is an internationally-recognised methodology that offers a recommended set of activities and templates that, if used appropriately, will give a project a decent chance of being successful. It advocates a set of processes that will provide guidance to those working in a project, from the early days when the germ of an idea crystallises into something that seems worth pursuing, to the final days of the project when what has been produced has been received by those who requested it. It is a set of best practices written by the Office of Government Commerce that is based on the experiences of those who have worked in projects, both successful and unsuccessful; it is updated every few years to incorporate recent experiences and thinking that leads to a periodically revised project management method. It supplies a set of templates for typical project management documentation and other useful advice on areas such as how to manage risk in a project, how to deal with changes that may be requested, suggested job descriptions for those working in the project (and lots of other useful topics).
APMP complements PRINCE2 well: it offers a set of techniques that describe how the work in a project is done (providing the detail for generic project management techniques that PRINCE2 alludes to but does not explicitly explain). For example, PRINCE2 states that engaging stakeholders is a pivotal part of project management, but does not offer a great deal of detail as to how this is achieved. The APMP course contains a description of how this is done. APMP also covers what are regarded as the ‘softer’ elements of project management, such as communication, negotiation, conflict management and motivation. These are topics that PRINCE2 does not attempt to cover as it does not try to be all things to all people; the absence of these ‘soft’ elements may lead to a failed project so those hoping to be involved in projects or those who currently are and who wish to get a more complete picture of what is involved, would benefit from attending the APMP course. The qualification was devised by the Association of Project Managers (the other ‘P’ stands for ‘Professional’), an organisation whose aim is to advance the role of project management (they aim for it to achieve chartered status in the future).
Either course has a lot to offer and can help those who wish to formalise their knowledge of project management; attending both can equip those who attend with a rounded picture of the role of a project manager as PRINCE2 offers a structured method to use when running projects and APMP fills in the gaps.
Anyway, back to televisions. 3 HDMIs! I'd have been happy with only two.
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