Project Management Ethics - the cornerstone of a project's success
"Almost 88% of professionals across 34 countries would like to work for companies that are committed to strong ethical values, according to a survey conducted by Kelly Services."
"Project Management Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct are discussed in chapter 1 of Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guidelines 5th Edition."
Why do you think professionals prefer ethical companies? What is the point in following ethical values in an organization when you are already committed towards the organization's goal? Well, the answer is not so complex. With no ethical values and morals followed, no organization can flourish in spite of having great objectives and well-planned project structure.
You will come to understand the truth behind the necessity of adhering to the ethical codes when you look at history. It shows that companies that have a code of ethics have outperformed the average companies that had no such ethical codes.
Code of ethics in an organization will lay the basic foundation for the organization to establish itself further in a strong way. It really helps the organization to think sound and execute things well. As you find different people in an organization, it is really tough to handle all of them without a common code of ethics.
Project Managers sometimes tend to act unethical with or without knowing the consequences. Let us discuss a few uncommon situations below.
Bid Rigging is one of the most important issues that give a strong blow to the economy of the company. It is an act of revealing important and confidential information to others without the knowledge of the company.
Another usual ethical issue that happens in most of the companies is "Low Balling". This is quoting a lower price on a project but knowing that it actually consumes a higher amount. After receiving the contract approval, you tend to re-negotiate or cut corners of the project plan in order to compete the project within the lower budget. Low Balling is not a sign of a good project manager.
Another very important yet became-normal ethical issue is bribery. This is the unhealthiest issue that stands as a root cause for violating ethical rules and codes.
Without a best material usage and marketing strategy, a company cannot survive in the competitive business market. Still, some Project Managers tend to use substandard materials for the purpose of cost-cutting.
One more ethical issue that is becoming very general is failure to admit the project failure. This unfair attitude of Project Managers approving a project knowing that it has some flaws will be realized some years later down the line.
Understanding the chances of such ethical issues, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has set a code of ethics to refine the thoughts of such issues by Project Managers. These ethical values are discussed in a separate chapter as part of Project Management Professional (PMP) Training. One who is trying his/her hand out in PMP Certification Exam would have to concentrate on the Code of Ethics chapter because may be tricky most of the times.
Of the four ethical values, Responsibility is the first and foremost one. Project Managers should learn to take responsibility of the actions. The second one is, Respect. Managers should respect all the higher officials, subordinates, clients, customers and treat everyone with respect. Here, Project Managers should act like a wise leader. The third ethical code is Fairness, which is being impartial towards all the employees irrespective of their status and position. The last but not the least code is Honesty. This means, Project Managers have to be transparent in all the dealings, they should be explaining all the pros and cons of the project to the stakeholders or customers. All these ethical values together shape a Project Manager into someone we can trust.
Responsibility, Respect, Fairness and Honesty - compose a beautiful project with all these tunes put together.
Training the professionals with such a code of ethics will help them to analyze what is right and what is wrong; what should be done and what not should be done; difference between good and bad; and so forth. Finally, it helps Project Managers to handle the projects ethically. This helps to bring out good project outcomes, better Project Managers and the best organizations.
Want to handle projects with ethical values, yet you don't know what are they? Fret no more! School of PM is one of the leading institutes that help professionals to understand ethical values. We train them in our PMP Exam Prep and PMP Boot Camp, both onsite and online!