PMP vs PRINCE2 vs ITIL Comparison

A common question is what really is the difference between PMP and Prince2 and which one I should go for. Here are some high level differences between the project management standards namely , PRINCE2 (PRojects IN a Controlled Environment) and the PMP (Project Management Professional).





3 Levels, Foundation, Practitioner and Professional

1 Level PMP.


APM Group, UK






Process based – defines What, How , When , and who can do series of management processes. It dictates right process to follow

Knowledge based – Tools & Techniques and best practices that can be applied when managing projects


Defines the roles of everyone involved in a project

Focuses on the project manager's role


Business case, Products/ Project planning, Project Assurance, Management by Exception, Clear roles and responsibility Definition , these topics not fully covered by PMP

Covers Procurement, EVM, Critical Path, Communication Management , HR Management, not covered by PRINCE2 . PMP gives details of PM Roles and not much details on other’s roles.


Practical Project Management Methodology

PMP / PMBoK – comprehensive info about all aspects of project management.


70K PRINCE2 Practitioners

240K PMI members and 200K PMP certified


Popular in UK, Europe

Popular in USA, India etc.


Highly prescriptive on processes

Large descriptive, some places prescriptive.


Business case driven

Customer requirements driven


75 , 50% passing

200, 61% passing


4 hours

1 hours


Not Mandated

4500 of PM experience


Not Mandated

35 contact hours from Registered education provider


200 Pounds



 N/A for Foundation. All PRINCE2 Practitioners should be re-registered within 3-5 calendar years of their original certification.

Required every 3 years. 60 PDUs needed

I think PMP takes the good approach for purposes of teaching the subject content of each knowledge area, but not as effective when it comes to providing guidance for running a particular project.

Prince2 would be applicable more if you are looking for a PM job in the UK or for a company that utilised the Prince2 methods.  Prince2 and PMP are not competitors, but mutually exclusive. PM can benefit by doing both of these certifications.

PRINCE2 or PMP just by itself may not make you a better project manager, you need project management  experience, take the course, study and get certified, when you go back to managing projects, you are equipped with a whole new set of tools, techniques and knowledge. Its cyclic process since when you apply your newly learnt skills , you will earn more skills and with time become a better project manager. Those who do not put the knowledge into use will not become better PMs. If you are looking at a certification from the point of view of gaining knowledge, then they both complement each other.  However if you are looking at it as a marketing tool, then it depends upon which country you are working. PMP appears to have a wider following in North America and parts of Asia, whereas PRINCE2 appears to have its followers in Europe ( and maybe Australia).  Both certifications are good and has lots of benefit , I strongly encourage you to take up atleast one of them,.

Further reading and Comparison

Comparison with ITIL 

ITIL is one of the fastest growing frameworks, and helps organizations increase IT efficiency, improve quality, and control costs. ITIL® is a framework is mainly for management of IT Services across the entire lifecyle. Activities in the framework are combined in processes to focus on continual improvement of process, product, people and partner relations.

ITIL addresses how IT organisations as a whole should operate, PMP addresses how individual projects within the organisation can be delivered. They are both complementary and mutually exclusive. ITIL applies mainly to IT industry where as PMP claims to be universal and independent of domain.

ITIL is process focussed (like PRINCE2) and not technology focussed, meaning you dont need to know the technology. In todays competitive market, ITIL certification is a big plus as it positions you as service management expert. The world is shrinking so its no longer true that only IT services professionals will do ITIL. So if you do that in addition to doing PMP then you will definitely have an edge in market.


The last 5 columns (Hours, Eligibility, Training, Price, Recertification) above are swapped. Basically the ones that should come under Prince2 are written under PMP and vice versa.

This blog many help in understanding the difference more clearly:

This information is excellent! And if you want to add a litle bit more information abut this subject you might want to see this article .

I think this information plus the article above can help every one making a desicion about which one they should go for.

I hope this will help you the same way it helped me :)



In practice users can of course blend the requried elements of all three into the approach they use for their project.

Which ever they choose though they will need tools to help thm deliver the project successfully.  PROJECT in a box have great completely free project management tools available for anyone to use and already adopted by over 250,000 users worldwide.

Planner - plans, risks and issues as well as cost control.

Community edition - methodology, process, tempaltes and documentation management.

Both are available free in the same downlaod. Just sign up here:



Thanks for the breakdown. Looks like PMP is the way to go, but why not compare ITIL also?

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Thank you for this great article!
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I recently started my own business and found PMBOK for PMP to be extremely helpful. I would highly recommend it, though I can't really compare it to PRINCE2 as I am not really familiar with that particular program. See how I've integrated the PMBOK ideas here:

Image result for PMP vs PRINCE2 vs ITIL Comparison
What Are the Key Difference Between PMP & PRINCE2? Fundamentally, the PRINCE2 and PMP® certifications involve two different project management frameworks. Both offer a body of knowledge and a proven approach to managing projects effectively. Picking one over the other is a decision that involves a number of factors.


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