PMP Study – Part 27 & 28 – The Role of Ethics in Project Management / Core PMI Values & Ethical Standards

What are business ethics?
(4 points)
1) A set of rules or standards that govern the moral behavior of members of an organisation

2) Apply moral values of right and wrong to all aspects of business behaviour

3) Guides how both an organization as a whole and individual employees should conduct themselves

4) The application of business ethics goes beyond legal requirements – they determine whether and how an organization applies the value of respect for cultural diversity

What aspects have contributed to an emphasis on business ethics?
1) Globalisation
2) Technology
3) Corruption
What are the four key principles of ethics?
1) Transparency
– Involves disclosing company information in full, accurately and honestly, and in a timely manner

2) Compliance
– Complying with the letter of the law as well as with the spirit of the law – businesses should respect and uphold the principles that form the basis of laws, as well as the laws themselves

3) Conflict identification
– Identify conflicts of interest and handle these appropriately. If a conflict of interest arises, a business needs to address the situation quickly and irrevocably

4) Accountability
– Encourage accountability – an obligation to accept responsibility for one’s actions, no matter what those actions are

What questions should be asked when faced with an ethical dilemma?
(5 points)
1) Are there rules that are generally understood and accepted for the situation?

2) Is it simply a matter of compliance with regulations forbidding “wrong” behaviour?

3) What are the underlying values driving the situation? Is there a conflict between these values?

4) Are there alternatives to the dilemma that are equally justifiable?

5) Will the situation have significant consequences for stakeholders?

What are the benefits of ethical management?
(6 points)
1) Creates awareness of how your actions and decisions could impact the project and the entire organisation

2) Cultivates teamwork and productivity

3) Supports personal growth and meaning in your work

4) Helps avoid lawsuits and fines

5) Promotes a positive leadership image for your team

6) Enables you to manage diversity better

What is a Code of Ethics?
A code of conduct specifics what can and can’t do in a particular situation – an ethical code provides principles that should be followed when deciding on a course of action or when monitoring your own behaviour
In 2006 the PMI developed a new code of ethics, what were the driving forces behind this?
(3 points)
1) Growth in membership
2) Globalisation
3) Highly publicized ethical scandals
Who does the PMI Code of Ethics apply to?
(2 points)
1) All PMI members

2) Nonmembers who
– Hold a PMI certification
– Commence a PMI certification process
– Serve PMI in a volunteer capacity

What is the PMI complaints process?
What is the PMI complaints process?
What is meant by a Mandatory ethical standard?
(2 points)
1) MUST be adhered to for ethical and legal reasons – they make it clear what is and isn’t acceptable to do

2) Any behavior transgressing the law can be regarded as transgressing a mandatory standard

What is meant by an Aspirational ethical standard?
(2 points)
1) Ideals that project managers should strive to uphold

2) They don’t specify exactly what is and isn’t allowed – they’re principles you should apply generally

What are the four key PMI value of ethical project management?
1) Responsibility
2) Fairness
3) Respect
4) Honesty
What is the PMI definition of Responsibility?
Our duty to take ownership for the decisions we make or fail to make, the actions we take or fail to take, and the consequences that result
What is the PMI definition of Respect?
Our duty to show a high regards for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us
What is the PMI definition of Fairness?
Our duty to make decisions and act impartially and objectively
What is the PMI definition of Honesty?
Our duty to understand the truth and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct
What are the Responsibility ethical aspirational standards defined by PMI?
(7 points)
1) Base decisions on the best interests of society, public safety and the environment

2) Accept assignments consistent with your background, experience, qualifications or skills

3) Honestly disclose weaknesses in your experience, qualifications or skills

4) Fulfil commitments – do what you say you will do

5) Take ownership of errors or omissions and make corrections promptly

6) Protect confidential information that has been entrusted to you

7) Uphold the PMI Code and hold others accountable to it

What are the Responsibility ethical mandatory standards defined by PMI?
(4 points)
1) Inform yourself about and uphold laws, policies, rules, regulations and laws that govern your work – including professional and volunteer activities

2) Report unethical or illegal conduct to appropriate parties and, if necessary, to those affected by the misconduct

3) Ensure that any allegations of misconduct or illegal activity are substantiated – file only complaints that are supported by facts

4) Never take part or help someone else take part in illegal activities

What are the Respect ethical aspirational standards defined by PMI?
(6 points)
1) Be informed about cultural norms, including those of the project, stakeholders and the society in which you are working

2) Listen to and explore all perspectives in order to improve your understanding of other people’s needs and concerns

3) Approach others directly and honestly with any issues, conflicts or disagreements

4) Never undermine another’s reputation because this is both unethical and unprofessional

5) Conduct yourself professionally in all situations, both as a sign of respect to others and to earn their respect

6) Hold people accountable for behaving unprofessionally and maintain a standard within PMI community

What are the Respect ethical mandatory standards defined by PMI?
(4 points)
1) Negotiating in good faith which involves conducting all business negotiations with honest intentions

2) Not using the power of your position or expertise to influence the decisions or actions of others for personal gain

3) Avoiding abusive manner toward others, this includes abuse that leads to physical harm or other emotional stress

4) Respecting the property rights of others, which, at the very least, means don’t take what doesn’t belong to you

What are the Fairness ethical aspirational standards defined by PMI?
(4 points)
1) Demonstrate transparency in the decision-making process

2) Constantly reexamine impartially and objectively, taking corrective action where appropriate

3) Provide equal access to information to those authorized to have that information

4) Make opportunities equally available to qualified candidates

What are the Fairness ethical mandatory standards defined by PMI?
(5 points)
1) Must disclose all real or potential conflicts of interest

2) If there is a conflict of interest, withdraw from the decision making process until a full disclosure is made

3) Do not base actions on personal considerations

4) Refrain from discrimination

5) Apply the rules of the organization without favoritism or prejudice

What are the Honesty ethical aspirational standards defined by PMI?
(4 points)
1) Try to understand the truth and be truthful in you communications and conduct

2) Provide accurate and timely information

3) Keep your commitments and promises

4) Foster an environment where truth telling is encouraged

What are the Honesty ethical mandatory standards defined by PMI?
(4 points)
1) Don’t engage in or condone deceitful behaviour

2) Don’t behave dishonestly for personal gain or at the expense of others

How can ethical standards be integrated into a project?
(6 points)
1) Adhering to and modeling ethical behaviour

2) Including ethical dimensions in all procedures of decision making

3) Ensuring a transparent decision-making process

4) Defining a joint process and mutually agreeable criteria for ethical decision-making

5) Tap into cultural diversity and focus this resource on the promotion of interdependent working relationships and mutual trust

6) Be aware of cultural differences, differing regional policies and local applicable law and regulations

What are the steps to help making a decisions when faced with an ethical dilemma?
(4 points)
1) Define the dilemma
– Clarify what values are involved in the decision. Is it responsibility? Respect? Fairness? Honesty? Or some combination of these?

2) Identify stakeholders
– Determine who will be affected by the decision and which stakeholders need to be considered. These may include customers, your organization, the public, and the environment.

3) Determine which standards need to be followed
– Using the values you identified in step 1 to guide you, review the PMI® Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for relevant aspirational and mandatory standards. Which ones need to be prioritized in this case? Why?

4) Consider decision options
– Draw up a list of the decision options available to you, and then analyze each option to find the course of action that best suits your sense of ethics and what is required and expected of you as a project manager.