As a PRINCE2 Practitioner you may be wondering whether there is any advantage in studying for the APMP qualification, particularly if your organisation follows the PRINCE2 approach for its projects. However, as a project manager there is much to be learnt from studying other approaches because rarely is one approach always the best way for every project.
Even in the same industry projects take on all shapes and sizes so it is always worth being aware of different options for new projects. But to know which method might be the best for any given set of tasks you need to understand the differences; many projects, indeed, work successfully by combining different approaches for different parts of the project lifecycle.
So how does APMP compare with PRINCE2 and how can you take advantage of both methods to improve your projects? Clearly there are also some similarities in addition to differences between the approaches.
What is the APMP?
The APMP is an internationally recognised qualification from the Association for Project Management (APM) based on an extensive “Body of Knowledge” which brings together established project management best practices relevant to all types of projects.
This knowledge comprises a wide range of topics such as:
- Business Case
- Requirements Management
- Project management plan
- Resource management
- Budgeting and cost management
- Stakeholder management
- Conflict management
- Project risk management
- Project quality management
- Scope management
- Change control
- Issue management
- Handover and closeout
Not surprisingly both APMP and PRINCE2 provide methods that can be applied to any type of project in any industry, but that does not mean that either one, in isolation, may be a perfect fit for a particular project. Any seasoned project manager will tell you that many projects require adaptations of a standard method.
Whilst they both cover fundamental areas like Change Control, Quality Management, Risk Management, Issue Management etc. it is where they differ that most benefit is to be gained from understanding both approaches.
APMP is based on documented PM best practises, which offer guidance on a wide range of both PM techniques and also capabilities such as leadership and communication, whereas PRINCE2 provides a structured step-by-step framework for managing projects via a small group of techniques.
Comparing APMP and PRINCE2
PRINCE2 is very focussed on the what and when of project activities so it describes exactly what documents, plans etc are required and at what stage of the project they are needed but it does not give any detail of how, for instance, to make accurate estimates, allocate resources, produce and manage the budget which APMP does; APMP places most emphasis on how to complete the necessary tasks.
So used together the APMP can provide practical guidance to PRINCE2 Practitioners so that they can more successfully budget, allocate resources, make estimates, communicate, create and maintain a schedule, identify risks, manage requirements, scope and quality etc. etc.
Two approaches to project management that have developed independently will, obviously, have different terminology but it is clear that there is much to be gained by PRINCE2 Practitioners from studying for the APMP.