New ISO Standard for Project Management: Is this Necessary?
March 13, 2010
For those who haven’t heard, there is a new ISO standard being developed for project management —- ISO 21500.
Considering that PMI standards are already establshed internationally, the first question that comes to my mind is “why?”
Apparently, this standard will build on existing global standards, and will incorporate the work of a number of national standards as well. The project brief for the effort claims that there is a need for common terminology in the face of multiple standards, and that the ISO name recognition goes beyond project management circles, thus gaining broader accceptance.
I’d be curious to hear from others. Is there a compelling need for this? Is there room for another standard, even if this one is from a recognized body like ISO? Does this help or hurt PMI (i.e. can it help PMI by opening up new avenues for promoting project management?). What happens if the two major standards bodies conflict?
My personal opinion is that there will be minimal impact to PMI. PMI standards are well established. The PMP (and now PgMP) credential is sought after by organizations looking to staff and individuals looking to boost their credibility. PMI will probably align with the ISO standard anyway. The ISO standard will probably only serve to augment the industry with additional credibility and recognition. PMI will continute to flourish through its maturity and its focus on community.
Here’s the announcement from ISO about their new standard…
About the Author
Jerry Manas is an internationally best-selling author and researcher, and a Senior Writer and Editor at Planview, the leading Project Portfolio Management software company. His books Napoleon on Project Management, cited by management guru Tom Peters for its timeless principles, and Managing the Gray Areas, touted by Orlando Magic founder Pat Williams as "a new path for leaders," were critically acclaimed, with the former being translated into 8 languages. More recently, he co-authored 42 Rules for Creating WE, which was hailed by Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as "today's greatest guide for team success." His latest book, released January 2010, is Project Lessons from the Roman Empire. Jerry’s work has been highlighted in a variety of publications, including Leadership Excellence, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, The Chicago Sun Times, and The Houston Chronicle. He has written numerous articles and appeared on radio programs nationwide. Jerry is a founding member of The Creating We Institute (www.creatingweinstitute.com), an international thought leadership community that helps organizations and individuals expand their capacity for innovation and engagement by fostering WE-centric practices. He is also co-founder of the blog PMThink! (www.pmthink.com) and a founding member of the Project Management Institute's New Media Council. Visit his website at www.jerrymanas.com.
1. John Thorpe
Posted March 17, 2010 at 4:34 PM
Can i refer you to a post on this subject?
My conclusion is “Having caught up with Mr Shepherd to discuss the programme and its challenges, he was very keen to point out that this is ‘not a process which is looking to create a new method’. The aim is to deliver a ‘global, overarching guidance [for project management], not [another] how to do it [method], which is applicable globally and may be used to reduce barriers to trade’”.
Whilst PMI has some great collateral and a prominent position in the US, over in the UK is has a relatively small following in the PPM Community. We also have APM, APM-Group etc and many who do not subscribe to any recognised organisation.
I hope this adds to the discussion
2. Frank M
Posted March 18, 2010 at 12:51 AM
Excellent, John. Thanks for the global perspective.
Posted March 20, 2010 at 5:45 PM
One advantage would be to permit audit of pmo's to an agreed standard. Iso 9001, 17025, and 13485 for qms, lab , And medical devices standards are all written in such a way you can audit to them. The pmbok clearly is not. Quite the contrary it is a large tool box with no minimum baseline to audit a company with a pmo, a consulting group that offers pm services nor a contracting compnay that does projects as it's business . While the pmbok clearly recommends auditing a pm or pmo as part of a strong program , it neither procribes doing it , nor states how and to what extent.
4. project management software
Posted April 10, 2010 at 4:36 AM
It would be necessary for me. It will help the marketing world also. It adds certificates and recognitions to business. Businesses could earn more credibility and reputation for acquiring an ISO.