Any project managers on here? Advice on Prince2 Vs. APM Qualifications?


There seems to be alot of Construction, IT, Energy etc industry professionals on here and I’m going to hazard a guess that some of you have experience in project management and have undertaken accredited training.

I’m a sales and administration manager in the private sector but am finding myself increasingly getting involved with substantial “business change/improvement” projects with no training and next to no guidance or expectations.

I want to undertake some training to learn to be able to tackle these projects/tasks in a methodical and thorough fashion and show others involved a better way of working on them as well. (I’d also like to get recommendations on industry standard software to manage ongoing projects.)

At the moment it’s all quite shambolic and it’s stressing me out! I’m getting confused by conflicting reviews on Prince2 and training websites overloaded with acronyms and jargon, I just want to understand the best place to start! ha

Has anyone done Prince2 or APM qualifications? Recommendations or alternative courses?

Appreciate any advice!


I did Prince2 about 15 years ago. Never used it and was the most boring driest 5 day training I ever did.

I’m a construction project manager and all the ‘management training’ I’ve done has been painfully boring and ultimately useless. Technical training is often just as boring but much more useful (and sometimes you get to play with building site toys). A straw poll of the 3 other PMs nearby confirmed that none of them have done, or considered either of the courses you’ve mentioned.

Possibly a slightly skewed result as we’re not known for our corporate outlook, construction PMs tend to come from a more technical background and have a more technical/practical outlook, or maybe all the guys who did Prince2 have been promoted above us and are now directors.

Haha! No I actually suspected this would be the case for a lot of people, I’m thinking it’s quite an overrated hyped up course, I’d probably be best finding a more organised, forward thinking employer that actually plan things and develop staff…doing a business management course / degree.

im a technical design manager for a very large residential developer and as monkimark says most of my management training is a waste of my time andmy company’s money

Prince2 and ITIL3 are both standards that were/are came out of government desire for standardisation. Leaving aside the history, a lot of companies are beginning to required or put as desirable on job specs.

Where I work it will soon be mandatory to have ITILv3 for all IT staff, and if you want to go project management route then Prince2 is probably a must. The courses maybe dull, and you may not get anything out of it it if you are both intelligent and have a grasp of organising things, but it proves a minimum level of competence and expertise which is what companies like. It helps whittle down candidates for interview.

I’d love to get into a role like Project Administration/Project coordinator or PA to Project Director/Project Manager in construction, I guess having a basic understanding of some project management methodology can only be beneficial.

spend a day training to use microsoft project, better than most of these qualifications.

even tho microsoft project is ok most construction main contractors use Asta

Both use Gantt charts, which is the basis for most project management software, and is the basis for Prince2 I belive.

If I was the sort of project manager who has a PA then I would find someone who knew how to use Asta more helpful than someone with a general project management qualification. It would certainly make you stand out as a candidate - main contractors love a programme.

You could also look into some of the online systems that are used by all the major players in construction, Conject, 4Projects, Priority1 etc are used to manage information, track defects etc and a working knowledge of them would be another tick in the box if you were going for the type of job you described, I’m sure they all have online training of some sort that can be accessed for free if you have a couple of hours to spare.

For your current situation, sounds like what you need is some kind of work shadowing/mentoring from someone senior in your company. Failing that, if there’s something specific that you need a quick bit of advice on then I’m sure there are a few of us on here who could point you in the right direction.

I did some Prince training back when I worked in IT- this was more than 10 years ago.It really depends on the industry you are working in, but I’d argue that Lean Six Sigma is something worth considering, either in tandem with Prince or perhaps instead of (depending on industry).

LSS is based on ideas taken from Toyota’s Production System and codified into a fairly well developed set of theories than can be implemented fairly easily.
The basis of Lean Production is the idea that profit is best made through the elimination of waste (also known as kaizen, Japenese for ‘good change’).
Kaizen opportunities are continuously found- the process for eliminating waste in a business is never-ending.
Thinking of this as Zen for Business is a good start.

Waste means many things- it could be unwanted motion, or wasted time, or production defects- anything that stands in between you and the goal and is unnecessary.

Lean Six Sigma may not be viewed as a project management tool by much of industry yet- it’s more of a problem solving tool (albeit capable of solving highly complex, multi stake, multi site problems). My training was much more about the problem solving methodology with a just a nod in the management of the solution projects.

Prince is still talked about as the Project management training desired at my place.

Thank guys, really good advice and ideas, I have a lot to look into now and think about.

“mentoring” “training” and “development” are not words in my company’s vocabulary.

I think I’ve identified the root cause of my problem.

looking at what has been said & what you expect

I would have thought a project planner would be more suited to your needs

or looking at BIM would be a good move its going to be a big thing in the very near future

Hi Lauren,

I am not a PRINCE2 Project Manager, I’m actually a Business Analyst and Certified ScrumMaster (oh, Agile :kiss: )-
As far as I could see in the market, PRINCE2 is the most popular and many IT recruiters look for PRINCE2 Project Managers … so I would personally go for that one.
It’s just ticking a box really, but it opens you more doors I guess.

You can also consider the ScrumMaster certification. As you’re probably aware, Agile and Scrum are getting very trendy these days.
The certification is fairly easy to get, the exam is quite simple. Happy to provide more information if you like.

Good luck :slight_smile:


Thank Eugi! I’d actually never heard of Scrum before haha something else to research now as well.

You might want to have a look here:wink:

Cheers! :smiley:

I have a copy of Absolute Beginners Guide To Project Management that you can have if you want (link). I bought it a few years back, thought I’d be doing some project management but then changed my mind when I realised that I like actually doing things not just spending my time in meetings :slight_smile:

I also have one for IT project management but I guess that’s not what you’d be doing. Can have it too though it you want.

I’ve been doing IT contracting for the last few years and I can tell you that none of the companies I’ve been to used Prince 2. Everyone has either been agile or scrum.

I don’t know much about all this but as far as I understand Prince 2 is more a general methodology that can be applied to any type of business - medical, construction, IT, you name it (at least that’s how I understood it when I started reading a book about it). IT has definitely focused more on agile because it’s the “develop -> deploy -> add things -> deploy” mentality. Not sure what the difference between scrum and agile is and I think no one really understands as these two terms have been used interchangeably by the managers I’ve worked with.