Application of Rules and the PMI Code of Ethics

Posted on March 22, 2010 by


screenshot of WME project manager

Image via Wikipedia

“Listen up, team! I’m tired of tardiness—we haven’t been able to start these morning meetings on time. Next person late to our morning meeting will be written up and reported to HR!” says the Project Manager. Just then, the meeting room door creaks open and the Project Manager’s favorite team member, with whom he plays golf with on Saturdays, slides into a chair. “Ummm….. this policy will take effect tomorrow!” says the Project Manager.

Rules need to be fairly applied, and people will quickly notice when they are not. The fifth mandatory Fairness standard in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct ( is “4.3.5 We apply the rules of the organization (employer, Project Management Institute, or other group) without favoritism or prejudice.” This means not letting a few certain people get away with bending the rules; and it means not enforcing the rules for only a few people that we may dislike (well unless they have a really low golf handicap ;-)).

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