Overview on the Structure and Content of PMBOK, PRINCE2 and ICB

PMBOK, PRINCE2 and ICB are the most recognized standards for managing projects around the globe, however, in America, Asia and Africa most of the projects are managed based on the PMBOK approach, whereas in Europe and Australia most of the projects are managed based on the PRINCE2 and ICB approach.


As a project management team member you need to understand the structure and content of these standards in order for figure out which one is the best match for your project or organization and here we provide you a brief overview on each as a good starting point.


STRUCTURE of PMBOK GUIDE (5th EDITION): PMBOK stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge and PMBOK guide (5th edition) which is a knowledge based standard for managing projects published by Project Management Institute (PMI) in USA and vastly using in North America and Asia.



The PMBOK guide is valuable as it contains 10 knowledge areas to help with project management. This include: 1- Project Integration Management 2- Project Scope Management 3- Project Time Management 4- Project Cost Management 5- Project Quality Management 6- Project Human Resource Management 7- Project Communication Management 8- Project Risk Management 9- Project Procurement Management 10- Project Stakeholder Management.

The PMBOK guide has 5 process groups including: Initiating, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing. Keep in your mind these are not the project phases but rather process groups.

By considering the 10 knowledge areas and 5 process groups, the PMBOK guide introduces 47 processes for managing the projects and each process consists of a number of Inputs, Tools & Techniques and Outputs.

Some of the processes have a number of similar inputs and outputs while the outputs of some processes could be used as the inputs for another processes. Tailoring also is recommended action in using PMBOK guide for managing the projects. Project Managers use 47 processes to manage the mentioned 10 knowledge areas in their projects.


STRUCTURE of (PRINCE2:2009): PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environment and PRINCE2:2009 is a methodology base standard for managing projects published by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) in UK and vastly using by European countries.




PRINCE2 is designed based on 7 PRINCIPLES: 1- Continued business justification 2- Learn from experience 3- Defined roles and responsibilities 4- Manage by stages 5- Manage by exception 6- Focus on products 7- Tailor to suit the project environment.


Applying these 7 principles are mandatory if you want to use PRINCE2 methodology for managing your projects.


PRINCE2 design is also based on 7 THEMES including: 1- Business Case 2- Organization 3- Quality 4- Plans 5- Risk 6- Change 7- Progress and for each THEME, PRINCE2 explains: 1- Purpose 2- Definition 3- The PRINCE2 approach 4- Responsibilities based on the roles.


The last element of PRINCE2 is based on 7 PROCESSES including: 1- Starting up a project 2- Directing a Project 3- Initiating a project 4- Controlling a stage 5- Managing product delivery 6- Managing a stage boundary 7- Closing a project and for each PROCESS, PRINCE2 explains: 1-  Purpose 2- Objective 3- Context 4- Needed activities.



STRUCTURE of ICB (Version 3.0): ICB stands for IPMA Competence Baseline which acts as a baseline for project management competencies published by International Project Management Association (IPMA) in Netherland and after PRINCE2 it is the most recognized reference for managing the projects in Europe.




ICB (V 3.0) has three main elements such as: 1- Technical competence elements 2- Behavioral competence elements 3- Contextual competence elements and by putting all of these three elements together ICB (V 3.0) it introduces the EYE of Competence.


For Technical competence, ICB covered 20 elements, including: 1- Project Management Success 2- Interested Parties 3- Project Requirements and objectives 4- Risk & opportunity 5- Quality 6- Project Organization 7- Teamwork 8- Problem resolution 9- Project Structures 10- Scope & deliverables 11- Time & Project Phases 12- Resources 13- Cost & finance 14- Procurement & contract 15- Changes 16- Control & reports 17- Information & documentation 18- Communication 19- Start-up 20- Close-out.


For each technical element the most important sections which ICB provides, include: 1- An overview to understand the meaning and application of that element 2- Possible process steps to apply the element in managing the projects 3- Main relations to the other competence elements.


For Behavioral competence, ICB covers 15 elements, such as: 1- Leadership 2- Engagement & motivation 3- Self-Control 4- Assertiveness 5- Relaxation 6- Openness 7- Creativity 8- Results orientation 9- Efficiency 10- Consultation 11- Negotiation 12- Conflict and Crisis 13- Reliability 14- Value appreciation 15- Ethics.


For each behavioral element the most important sections which ICB provides, are: 1- an overview to understand the meaning and application of that element 2- Possible process steps to apply the element in managing the projects 3- Main relations to the other competence elements 4- Behavioral Patterns in terms of “Adequate behaviors” and “Behaviors requiring improvement”.


For Contextual competence, ICB covers 11 elements, such as: 1- Project orientation 2- Program orientation 3- Portfolio orientation 4- Project, program & portfolio implementation 5- Permanent Organization 6- Business 7- Systems, products & technology 8- Personnel management 9- Health, security & environment 10- Finance 11- Legal.


For each contextual element the most important sections which ICB provides, are: 1- An overview to understand the meaning and application of each element 2- Possible process steps to apply the element in managing the projects 3- Main relations to the other competence elements.



In conclusion, it is recommended is to establish a common language between the project management team members by registering them in PMBOK, PRINCE2 and ICB workshops to understand the concept and structure of each standard.


Once the language is defined, it is important to design a common process for managing the projects by combining the knowledge of PMBOK, methodology of PRINCE2 and competencies of ICB.

Resources Trends & Technology

Secrets of Construction Software – Cloud vs Traditional ERP

Construction Software has become more powerful and there are many more options available in the market today. How do you decide what is best for you and how can you hedge your risk? Well, it’s not that easy! It’s important to educate yourself on which questions are crucial to ask so that you can easily differentiate the old from the new and identify software that adds real value to your organization.


The main challenge is finding an integrated accounting and job costing software that is robust, powerful, and easy to install and use.  With the introduction of cloud, software companies are challenged to move from traditional ERP to SaaS based models. To build software that is true cloud requires a significant investment. Most construction software companies do not have the development resources and required investment to compete in the cloud market so they take shortcuts such as using a third party hosting provider to host their software in the cloud. This is not a true cloud solution but rather dated technology camouflaged in a new technology framework.


Traditional ERP software contracts are structured in a way that locks customers in and increases the risk for businesses. It’s important to review the contract in detail so you don’t invest your hard earned dollars in software that is dated, comprehensive and can take several months to install. Also, traditional ERP software packages specialize in customizations and target multiple verticals. This results in numerous flags which lead to lengthy and time consuming installs.


Additionally, traditional ERP software solutions charge a high upfront license fee and lock you into a contract that is very difficult to terminate. In hindsight, they have very little incentive to provide a quality product and exceptional customer service. Under the new model – SaaS, there is no contract which significantly mitigates the risk for your business. It also holds the software vendors accountable to deliver what was promised during the sales demo – a quality product and exceptional customer support.


The differences between true cloud and traditional hosted ERP solutions quickly become apparent when you calculate the cost savings. Traditional ERP software vendors try to compete in the cloud market by hosting their software using a third party provider. There is an associated hosting fee and Citrix/VPN are required to run the software application. Not only is this costly but it is very time consuming, slow and usually there are connection issues and delays. Also, servers must be upgraded, maintained and require in house I.T support for back-ups, storage, corruption etc.


True cloud does not require a server or hosting fees and all back-ups and upgrades are included.


Most importantly, SaaS based companies have shifted their focus on customer satisfaction by taking the time to learn about construction businesses.  Establishing a meaningful partnership drastically positively impacts development and advances the software.  Most traditional ERP solutions set a lower budget for the number of training hours required for an implementation in order to make the quote appear more favorable. It is important to gain clarification around this to ensure an accurate number of hours is quoted. Most vendors charge for additional training whereas most SaaS based vendors are rolling out unlimited training models to ensure high adoption and satisfaction rates among customers. Typically users of SaaS based systems are using over 80% of the software’s capability whereas users of traditional models are left to train themselves and end up using less than 50%.


As you can see, the two solutions – true cloud versus traditional ERP – are drastically different. It’s important to take into consideration more than just the purchase price. If you make the wrong decision, it can disrupt your work environment, deter employees from change and end up costing you time and a significant lost investment. Choosing the right software is critical to a company’s success. If chosen correctly, it can increase productivity, centralize your team, provide meaningful reports and help you grow your business with less resources.

Industry Insight Trends & Technology

Premier Announces Partnership with Dealer Network in Australia

Premier, a division of Jonas Construction Software, has announced a partnership with a dealer network in Australia. The dealer network will be spearheaded by Michael Jantke, Owner at Buildware, who brings a wealth of knowledge in the construction industry.


With Premier expanding into Australia and establishing their first client, Venn Constructions, they are looking to further grow within the Australia construction industry. With this goal in mind, Premier has established a dealer network which will be operated by Michael Jantke. Michael comes from a background in computer systems and electrical engineering, and has 15 years of experience implementing ERP systems across the world. He has completed numerous successful implementations, specifically within the construction industry for large multi-national corporations, and has forged many strong partnerships along the way.


Michael is excited about the opportunity to partner with Jonas and grow the cloud-based software solution within Australia, “After getting feedback from owners and contractors in the construction industry in Australia and seeing how simple, yet powerful and reasonably priced Jonas Premier is, it became clear to me that this software solution fits a niche in the market that is currently being underrepresented.”


Karoline Lapko, Vice President of Jonas Premier, sees a lot of potential within the Australian construction marketplace and is looking forward to further expansion into Australia, “Through identifying specific needs within the construction industry in Australia for a fully integrated cloud-based software solution, we are excited at the growth potential and we are eager to continue to build the Jonas Premier brand in Australia.”