PMP 13: Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
describes the expectations that we have of ourselves and our fellow practitioners in the global project management community. It articulates the ideals to which we aspire as well as the behaviors that are mandatory in our professional and volunteer roles
The Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct applies to
1.2.1 All PMI members
1.2.2 Individuals who are not members of PMI but meet one or more of the following criteria:
.1 Non-members who hold a PMI certification
.2 Non-members who apply to commence a PMI certification process
.3 Non-members who serve PMI in a volunteer capacity.
The values that support the code
* responsibility,
* respect,
* fairness, and
* honesty
Aspirational Standards
describe the conduct that we strive to uphold as practitioners. Although adherence to the aspirational standards is not easily measured, conducting ourselves in accordance with these is an expectation that we have of ourselves as professionals—it is not optional
Mandatory Standards
establish firm requirements, and in some cases, limit or prohibit practitioner behavior. Practitioners who do not conduct themselves in accordance with these standards will be subject to disciplinary procedures before PMI’s Ethics Review Committee
Responsibility is 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
Responsibility Aspirational Standards
2.2.1 We make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of society, public safety, and the environment.
2.2.2 We accept only those assignments that are consistent with our background, experience, skills, and qualifications.
2.2.3 We fulfill the commitments that we undertake – we do what we say we will do.
2.2.4 When we make errors or omissions, we take ownership and make corrections promptly. When we discover errors or omissions caused by others, we communicate them to the appropriate body as soon they are discovered. We accept accountability for any issues resulting from our errors or omissions and any resulting consequences.
2.2.5 We protect proprietary or confidential information that has been entrusted to us.
2.2.6 We uphold this Code and hold each other accountable to it.

Comment 2.2.2: Where developmental or stretch assignments are being considered, we ensure that key stakeholders receive timely and complete information regarding the gaps in our qualifications so that they may make informed decisions regarding our suitability for a particular assignment.
In the case of a contracting arrangement, we only bid on work that our organization is qualified to perform and we assign only qualified individuals to perform the work.

Responsibility: Mandatory Standards (Regulations and Legal Requirements)
2.3.1 We inform ourselves and uphold the policies, rules, regulations and laws that govern our work, professional, and volunteer activities.
2.3.2 We report unethical or illegal conduct to appropriate management and, if necessary, to those affected by the conduct.

Comment 2.3.2: These provisions have several implications. Specifically, we do not engage in any illegal behavior, including but not limited to: theft, fraud, corruption, embezzlement, or bribery. Further, we do not take or abuse the property of others, including intellectual property, nor do we engage in slander or libel. In focus groups conducted with practitioners around the globe, these types of illegal behaviors were mentioned as being problematic.
As practitioners and representatives of our profession, we do not condone or assist others in engaging in illegal behavior. We report any illegal or unethical conduct. Reporting is not easy and we recognize that it may have negative consequences. Since recent corporate scandals, many organizations have adopted policies to protect employees who reveal the truth about illegal or unethical activities. Some governments have also adopted legislation to protect employees who come forward with the truth.

Responsibility: Mandatory Standards (Ethics Complaints)
2.3.3 We bring violations of this Code to the attention of the appropriate body for resolution.
2.3.4 We only file ethics complaints when they are substantiated by facts.
2.3.5 We pursue disciplinary action against an individual who retaliates against a person raising ethics concerns.

Comment 2.3.4: These provisions have several implications. We cooperate with PMI concerning ethics violations and the collection of related information whether we are a complainant or a respondent. We also abstain from accusing others of ethical misconduct when we do not have all the facts. Further, we pursue disciplinary action against individuals who knowingly make false allegations against others.

Respect is our duty to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us.
Resources entrusted to us may include
the safety of others, and
natural or environmental resources
An environment of respect engenders
trust, confidence, and performance excellence by fostering mutual cooperation — an environment where diverse perspectives and views are encouraged and valued
Respect: Aspirational Standards
3.2.1 We inform ourselves about the norms and customs of others and avoid engaging in behaviors they might consider disrespectful.
3.2.2 We listen to others’ points of view, seeking to understand them.
3.2.3 We approach directly those persons with whom we have a conflict or disagreement.
3.2.4 We conduct ourselves in a professional manner, even when it is not reciprocated.

Comment 3.2.4: An implication of these provisions is that we avoid engaging in gossip and avoid making negative remarks to undermine another person’s reputation. We also have a duty under this Code to confront others who engage in these types of behaviors.

Respect: Mandatory Standards
3.3.1 We negotiate in good faith.
3.3.2 We do not exercise the power of our expertise or position to influence the decisions or actions of others in order to benefit personally at their expense.
3.3.3 We do not act in an abusive manner toward others.
3.3.4 We respect the property rights of others.
Fairness is our duty to make decisions and act impartially and objectively. Our conduct must be free from competing self interest, prejudice, and favoritism
Fairness: Aspirational Standards
4.2.1 We demonstrate transparency in our decision-making process.
4.2.2 We constantly reexamine our impartiality and objectivity, taking corrective action as appropriate.
4.2.3 We provide equal access to information to those who are authorized to have that information.
4.2.4 We make opportunities equally available to qualified candidates.

Comment 4.2.2: Research with practitioners indicated that the subject of conflicts of interest is one of the most challenging faced by our profession. One of the biggest problems practitioners report is not recognizing when we have conflicted loyalties and recognizing when we are inadvertently placing ourselves or others in a conflict-of-interest situation. We as practitioners must proactively search for potential conflicts and help each other by highlighting each other’s potential conflicts of interest and insisting that they be resolved.

Comment 4.2.4: An implication of these provisions is, in the case of a contracting arrangement, we provide equal access to information during the bidding process.

Fairness: Mandatory Standards (Conflict of Interests)
4.3.1 We proactively and fully disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest to the appropriate stakeholders.
4.3.2 When we realize that we have a real or potential conflict of interest, we refrain from engaging in the decision-making process or otherwise attempting to influence outcomes, unless or until: we have made full disclosure to the affected stakeholders; we have an approved mitigation plan; and we have obtained the consent of the stakeholders to proceed.

Comment 4.3.2: A conflict of interest occurs when we are in a position to influence decisions or other outcomes on behalf of one party when such decisions or outcomes could affect one or more other parties with which we have competing loyalties. For example, when we are acting as an employee, we have a duty of loyalty to our employer. When we are acting as a PMI volunteer, we have a duty of loyalty to the Project Management Institute. We must recognize these divergent interests and refrain from influencing decisions when we have a conflict of interest.
Further, even if we believe that we can set aside our divided loyalties and make decisions impartially, we treat the appearance of a conflict of interest as a conflict of interest and follow the provisions described in the Code

Fairness: Mandatory Standards (Favoritism and Discrimination)
4.3.3 We do not hire or fire, reward or punish, or award or deny contracts based on personal considerations, including but not limited to, favoritism, nepotism, or bribery.
4.3.4 We do not discriminate against others based on, but not limited to, gender, race, age, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation.
4.3.5 We apply the rules of the organization (employer, Project Management Institute, or other group) without favoritism or prejudice
Honesty is our duty to understand the truth and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct
Honesty: Aspirational Standards
5.2.1 We earnestly seek to understand the truth.
5.2.2 We are truthful in our communications and in our conduct.
5.2.3 We provide accurate information in a timely manner
5.2.4 We make commitments and promises, implied or explicit, in good faith.
5.2.5 We strive to create an environment in which others feel safe to tell the truth

Comment 5.2.3: An implication of these provisions is that we take appropriate steps to ensure that the information we are basing our decisions upon or providing to others is accurate, reliable, and timely.
This includes having the courage to share bad news even when it may be poorly received. Also, when outcomes are negative, we avoid burying information or shifting blame to others. When outcomes are positive, we avoid taking credit for the achievements of others. These provisions reinforce our commitment to be both honest and responsible

Honesty: Mandatory Standards
5.3.1 We do not engage in or condone behavior that is designed to deceive others, including but not limited to, making misleading or false statements, stating half-truths, providing information out of context or withholding information that, if known, would render our statements as misleading or incomplete.
5.3.2 We do not engage in dishonest behavior with the intention of personal gain or at the expense of another.

Comment 5.3.2: The aspirational standards exhort us to be truthful. Half-truths and non-disclosures intended to mislead stakeholders are as unprofessional as affirmatively making misrepresentations. We develop credibility by providing complete and accurate information

Abusive Manner
Conduct that results in physical harm or creates intense feelings of fear, humiliation, manipulation, or exploitation in another person
Conflict of Interest
A situation that arises when a practitioner of project management is faced with making a decision or doing some act that will benefit the practitioner or another person or organization to which the practitioner owes a duty of loyalty and at the same time will harm another person or organization to which the practitioner owes a similar duty of loyalty. The only way practitioners can resolve conflicting duties is to disclose the conflict to those affected and allow them to make the decision about how the practitioner should proceed
Duty of Loyalty
A person’s responsibility, legal or moral, to promote the best interest of an organization or other person with whom they are affiliated
Your project is nearing completion, when the customer requests you to include an additional feature in the project`s final product. The BEST course of action is to
Take the requirement through the change control process
One of your team members filed a critical report ten minutes before a bidder conference. You notice some serious errors have crept into the report. You should
Cancel the meeting and reschedule it at a later date
You are managing a project in a foreign country, where you realize you will have to pay a fee to some government agencies to get your work done. You should
Pay the fee to the government agencies

In this scenario, since the law of the country requires payment of fee to the government agencies, you will not be committing any breach of the Code if you pay the same

fees are ethical but tips, bribes and kick-backs are unethical

You recently went on an official trip to another country to discuss a business proposition with a potential vendor. The vendor took you out for lunch and offered you gifts, as it is customary in that country. You must
Accept the gifts as it is a local custom and promptly inform your manager

A project manager has the responsibility to refrain from offering or accepting inappropriate payments, gifts, or other forms of compensation for personal gain, unless it is in agreement with applicable laws or customs of the country where the project management services are being provided

In some cultures where offering gifts is a custom, rejecting or returning the gifts may be considered rude and inappropriate behavior. Appreciation of cultural differences is the way to win the trust of people from divergent cultures

Software is an intellectual property (like a book, article written, etc.) and should
not be distributed without prior license/approval
The seller`s project is undertaken on contract and you are an employee of the seller. Since you had worked earlier with ABC Bank, the buyer, you happen to be aware of the evaluation criteria used in ABC Bank to select sellers. You understand that this could be a potential conflict of interest situation. How do you propose to act?
Take appropriate person in ABC Bank into confidence and discuss this issue with her

Since the evaluation criteria are proprietary information of ABC Bank, it is important for you to discuss the matter directly with the appropriate person in the ABC Bank

As part of your duties as a project manager, you make sensitive company data available to a vendor. In this context, which of the following precautions should you take?
Ensure that the vendor signs non-disclosure agreement before you release the sensitive information

PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct requires a project manager not to disclose sensitive or confidential information. But, at times, an organization has a legitimate need to disclose confidential information to vendors, governmental agencies, or others. When disclosing confidential or sensitive information, it is the responsibility of the project manager to ensure that proper nondisclosure agreements are signed prior to the disclosure of the sensitive information

Your company asks you to manage a project of its subsidiary unit in another country. You quickly realize that workers in the subsidiary unit have poor work ethics as compared with that of your parent company. You
Treat it as cultural differences, and try to determine ways to improve productivity

The PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct requires a project manager to address things with an open mind and accept the cultural and ethical diversity that exists between different countries. So, it is not the responsibility of the project manager to enforce the work-ethics of one`s own country on the people of another country

You are a member of the committee which is appointed to oversee the awarding of an important contract in your company. You
Let your friend bids for the contract and you inform the committee and the project sponsor about it

please inform the appropriate stakeholders and distance yourself from the conflict situation, if possible

Your company has awarded a contract to a vendor. After some time, you realize that the vendor representative is your old buddy from school. You inform this to your senior management, but they insist that you continue to administer the contract. So, to avoid any accusations of bias in this conflict of interest situation, you should:
Document all the decisions taken by you on the activities performed by the vendor

In case of conflict of interest situations, the project manager should inform senior management, and distance oneself from the conflict of interest situation, if possible. However, in this context, as the senior management insists and the project manager has to continue in the current position, appropriate documentation can help in preventing any accusation of bias in conflict of interest situations.

You have recently taken over a project from another project manager, who left the company. You realize that the project is behind schedule and over budget, but the senior management is unaware of this fact. In this context, what should you do FIRST
Update the management with the status of the project

As per the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, a project manager should always provide true account of information in an appropriate manner at appropriate times

You have been working on a project for the last six months. Your management lets you know that you will receive an incentive of $ 5,000, if you complete the project one month ahead of schedule. When closing the project ahead of schedule, your team informs you that the product contains a minor flaw and may not fully satisfy the customer`s needs. However, rectification of the minor flaw will require a lot of changes and take 2 more months. In this context, you will
Review the situation with your customer and sponsor

Since this is a “minor flaw,” but rectification of that flaw would take a long time, it is better to discuss with the sponsor and customer and get their inputs

Routine Government Fee (Transfer Fee)
only government official can collect routine government fees (this is not a bribe)
Company Policies
It is the project manager’s professional responsibility to ensure that company policies are followed during the project
Copyright laws
do not violate
Employee mistake
when a team member makes a mistakes, allow him to save face and to fix the problem. Try to workout an issue before escalating.

Exception: if it is not considered a project related issue (e.g. harassment), it should be reported directly to the employee’s manager

Do not make illegal payments, report thefts

Company and Customer’s Interest
professional responsibility requires the investigation of any instances where the legitimate interests of the customer may be compromised. If such compromise is found, action must be taken. Protect your company’s interests
Budget tampering
presenting anything besides your original estimate to allocate more to the budget is inaccurate and calls into question your competence and integrity as project manager (e.g. if a customer ask to estimate “pessimistically”, you should add as a lump sum contingency fund to handle project risks)
do not do business with a country where there is a clear violation of the fundamental rights (e.g. non-discriminating treatment).
Major Roles of Project Team in PR (Professional Responsibility)
* The Project team has a professional responsibility to its stakeholders including customers, the performing organization and the public. Especially the project team members who are PMI members and/or PMPs should adhere to the updated versions of the “Code of Ethics” and “Code of Professional Conduct”.
* Specifically, PMI members should adhere to “Code of Ethics”
* Specifically, Project Management Professionals (PMP) certification should adhere to a “Code of Professional Conduct”.
Code of Ethics (few to mention)
* Maintain high standards of integrity and professional conduct.
* Accepts Responsibility for the actions.
* Continuously seek to enhance the professional capabilities
* Practice with fairness and honesty.
* Encourage others in the profession to act in an ethical and professional manner
Code of Professional Conduct (few to mention)
* Adhere to legal requirements and ethical standards
* Protect stakeholder
* Share Lessons Learned and relative information within and outside your organization
* Advance the profession of project management
* Improve your competency as a project manager
* Balance stakeholders interest on the project
* Maintain and respect confidential information
* Strive for fair solution
* Ensure that a conflict of interest doesn’t compromise the customer’s legitimate interest
* Act in an accurate truthful manner.
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