vrijdag 18 maart 2011

Is ISO 21500 intended to complement or to compete with PMI? Part I.

This part of a discussion on the LinkedIn group "ISO 21500 Project Management".
Interesed? Join the group.

>>>Joseph Lynn MPM PMP • Is ISO intended complement or compete with PMI?

>>>Kevin Kultgen • Until we see the completed ISO 21500, it's really a guessing game. I would have to suggest that ISO 21500 will strongly compliment PMI and Prince2 etc. much the same way that ISO 20000 compliments ITIL.

>>>Jaycee Kruger • Dear Joseph,
PMI has a standard (Section III of their PMBOK Guide) approved by ANSI, the USA national standards organisation, who is a member organisation of ISO, the International Standards Organisation. ANSI is a P member of ISO/PC236 and presently the secretariat, and represented by mostly (if nopt all) PMI members. PMI played a major role to get SME's (subject matter experts) internationally to contribute to ISO21500 through their national bodies.

So: You decide for yourself whether they compliment or compete. The national standard in the USA is ANSI (i.e. PMBOK Guide Section III) and the international standard will be ISO21500. I think it will be both.

Good news is that hopefully there will be an international approach in future, with less competition amongst the big players (no names, no pack drill) which confuses people more than help them.

>>>Bill Duncan, IPMA-B Assessor • Based on the latest draft, the ISO standard should be considered a derivative work of Section III of the PMBoK Guide. I believe that ISO 21500 will effectively replace the PMBoK Guide except for those who are preparing for the PMP exam. I expect that organizations such as asapm and IPMA will produce guides that expand on 21500, and they will now be able to do so without worrying about lawsuits from PMI.

>>>David Hudson • Does that mean, Mr Duncan that we will have a greater degree of certification and standards alignment. Heavens, we may even need to work towards a true competency/performance standards framework.

>>>Michael Fisher • I'm all for it....I think, perhaps, maybe!
Anyone know where I can get a copy of the draft 21500?
One of my concerns about such things, which may be theoretically laudable, is that they automatically DISqualify people who do not immediately sign up for and pay for the confettti of courses and certificates that are being promoted and SOLD worldwide. If we did the result would be that we would never do any work for our employers.

The reality is that those who are working in Project Management and any profession today simply do not have the time to keep up with all the changes in certification levels.

As mature professionals we don't need courses or certificates; we do need sensible, economically written, clear, waffle-free standards and regulations that we can study ourselves. If they are written well enough they will need no course or certification routes. Some times I wonder if standards and regulations are written simply to keep trainers employed, but that's the cynic in me being prompted by the thousands of courses that one MUST have....as defined by those who wrote the courses!

>>>David Hudson • Absolutely Michael,
I am with you as a practitioner and as the chair of standards of my national body. there is no point running out 'courses' on an ISO which clearly interacts with so many areas of professional certification.. Our expectation is that it will coomplement rather than compete with most standards, but that is to be seen.

My expectation is that practitioners will derive maximum value if and when their professional associations have completed the work to integrate the ISO into extant professional certifications, and get out to the community of practice with a single, sensible and integrated approach for their particular membership.

>>>Michael Fisher • Thank you David,
That is good to hear. Good old Australia being practical as usual.
It appears that Jaycee Kruger also hopes for alignment and standardisation of the standards (we seem to be running out of vocabulary to address all the many factions in this world of exponentially increasing numbers of improvements of derivatives of derivatives), just as we do. There is a very urgent need for rationalisation and unification of standards because they are, I suggest, causing more problems than they solve. It's no wonder that opinions are divided internationally, nationally, regionally and at individual practitioner levels.

As a suggestion, perhaps we should be looking at ways of reforming the relationships between the Standards Committees, Regulatory Authorities and professional Institutions. They appear to be 'fractured' if that is the right word. In logical terms, the separations between those bodies cause needless multiple approaches to the same subjects and those varied approaches often conflict with each other and that does little to help the process of change and improvement in practices.

The way forward for standards that affect a profession as a whole, e.g. Project Management, may be to improve the coordination between the relevant major bodies so that such standards are automatically embedded in professional practitioners' bodies of knowledge before they are finally issued. After all, it is at the practitioner end that such standards have their impacts. Excellent coordination is a 'must do' if we want to achieve optimal results. I belive you will spot the ironic humour I use in saying that the rollout of this standard in particular should follow the processes of good project management.

I know that the idea is ambitious and that it requires a complete re-think but its logic is inescapable if practicality is given its due weight in the process. I am still looking for a pre-release version of 21500 though...any ideas on sources?

>>>David Hudson • Couldn't agree more. Which is the essential reason that AIPM now engages with IPMA and the Asia Pacific Federation for Project Managment; to take what one hopes is a productive journey towards some level of collaboration and interoperability. My personal view is that interoperability is a much more realistic target than complete rationalisation of a single acceptable international standards.
Sorry, ... no sources.

>>>David Hudson • Back to Bil's comment
Reassuring to hear that the ISO may be so aligned that it could effectively replace part of PMBoK. And the likelihood that the PMP rote examination system could be replaced, I agree, is extremely low. Sheesh! So we continue to practice rote learning and the ability to discern minute nuances around absolute literal definitions as a way of qualifying project managers. No wonder most of the holistic performance indicators of project management performance have been at steady state for a decade. Roll on the revolution!

>>>Jaycee Kruger • I have been looking at the discussions so far and I am delighted to hear some of the utterances. I do feel myself obliged, however, to guide some apparent misconceptions about ISO21500, although I must agree that when Michael agrees with me it reaaly feels good. He-he). I am a member (representing South Africa) of ISOPC236, the committee developing the new standard, so I believe I have a good idea of what is happening there.

ISO21500 is not a competency standard and assumes competency by those applying it (as most ISO standards do). It is rather a standard about a thing (called project management) similar to most ISO standards, and not about the people practicing it.

For competency standards (which, by the way, is also - very exitingly - a single standard for the whole world, taking account of all the various training standards which exist) I suggest you go look at GAPPS (Global Alliance for Project Performance Standards - Google it) and look at what they have to offer. ..... and it is free!! Bill himself is an active contributer to that initiative.

A last thing: Once you see ISO21500, you may be quite disappointed, as it is really generic and at high level, and I am sure practitioners will find little new in there. But that is how it is intended to be. The standard is intended for those who have no idea of project management (as many many of our clients indeed have!) and who wishes to impose a standard of some sorts on service deliverers to ensure they get reasonable service in a field they do not understand ..... amongst others, anyway. Active practioners know what is right, so why teach them to suck eggs?

Hope this helps to put things in some sort of perspective.

>>>Michael Fisher • Appreciated Jaycee. I am not trying to step on anyone's toes here, just adding in my concerns for consideration while seeking some greater clarity. You are right though...approval from me is worth a fortune!!! :-) Just so you don't misinterpret...that is meant to be humorous.

I have had a sprint around the intranet and it is notable that there are many articles, PowerPoint presentations, etc on ISO 21500. It seems that the rocket has taken off before the 'Go' button has been pressed! That is one of the roots of the problem...too many gurus spreading the gospel before it has been written. Obviously that leads to hybrid vocabulary and different schools of thought, if not major errors.

One of the main aims of the ISO 21500 is to standardise the terminology used in project management. As the most fundamental essential that will help with the integration of the various project management processes.

In my opinion the PMBoK and PRINCE2 are excellent insofar as they go BUT they do present a few problems if we compare and contrast the terminologies used in each. From my point of view, they do need a bit of fine tuning in their phase-sequencing or flowcharting presentations.

For example, PRINCE2 (2009) goes a very long way towards providing representations of the framework in graphical terms BUT it breaks several of the rules of process mapping. My impression is that as they now exist, those points have led to widespread and very different interpretations. To new Project Managers and students that is not helpful but the more mature cheeses of PM have an innate understanding that such models are adaptable.

I suppose my message is that if we use different languages, terminologies and process diagrams we should not be surprised if they produce widespread misinterpretations of the 'standards' that are not yet standardised. If ISO 21500 fixes that fundamental need it should trigger a new era of clarity, common 'language' and wider understanding. Currently much of 'Project Management' produces the same effect as the 'Chinese Whispers' game i.e. the input is clarity but the output is eeeerrr ...different?

>>>Joseph Lynn MPM PMP • I just want to jump in and add that it will be very difficult to replace the PMP simply because it is so widely known and used. I see the flaws in the PMP, but I would not want it replaced simply because I have it and do not want to go through another PM certification.
Is SO 21500 modeled as a waterfall or agile type of PM?

>>>Bill Duncan, IPMA-B Assessor • Joseph -- neither. Waterfall and agile are project life-cycle approaches. ISO 21500, like the original PMBoK Guide, addresses project management practices that are applicable to both.

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