The First Aspirational Responsibility Standard in the PMI Code of Ethics

Posted on February 18, 2010 by

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It’s not all about money. An organization could select projects primarily based on financial selection techniques (which indicate the projects with the highest ROI), but there is more that should be considered by those who are responsible.

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct contains six aspirational Responsibility standards, with the first one being: “2.2.1 We make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of society, public safety, and the environment.”

A project to develop a violent game for children could become a popular toy, but perhaps it would encourage children to harm others. Knowing that the seatbelts in a new line of cars tend to malfunction but selling the cars anyway because settling a few lawsuits would be cheaper than replacing the seatbelts, could lead to injuries and even death. A project to build a new canal could be quite profitable, but perhaps it would devastate the local environment. The responsible decisions project managers make are also on a smaller scale within a project. For example, could paper be saved by reading an electronic version of a particular report rather than printing it? This ethics standard challenges us to think about the consequences of our actions and evaluate whether they lead to helping or hurting others and our world, regardless of how we and our organization may personally benefit.

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