Friday, April 10, 2009

PMP Professional Ethics

PMP Professional Ethics

This session will address the PMP Code of Professional Conduct, business ethics and cultural competencies. The information presented in this lesson is intended to provide you with all the knowledge competency you need to correctly answer PMP exam professional responsibility questions:

What is professional responsibility? It can mean different things to different people. As a PMP, professional responsibility involves:

  • Adhering to the PMP Code of Professional Conduct

  • Maintaining high professional ethics

  • Developing cultural competence in our emerging global society

NOTE: Most professional responsibility questions can be answered correctly by simply relying on your best common sense. Professional responsibility questions typically pose an ethical, professional or cultural scenario and ask you to choose the best response. In most cases, the correct answer can be selected by simply asking yourself, "What is the right thing to do."

The PMP Code of Professional Conduct

As a PMP you agree to support and adhere to the Code of conduct. It is described with two sections:

  • Responsibility to the Profession and
  • Responsibility to Customers and the Public

Responsibility to the Profession: Here you have six basic responsibilities

  1. Be truthful at all times and in all situations

  2. Report Code violations (with factual basis)

  3. Disclose conflicts of interest

  4. Comply with laws

  5. Respect other's intellectual property rights

  6. Support the Code

Responsibility to Customers and the Public: Here you have five basic responsibilities

  1. Be truthful at all times and in all situations

  2. Maintain professional integrity (satisfy the scope of your professional services)

  3. Respect the confidentiality of sensitive information

  4. Refrain from gift or compensation giving/receiving where inappropriate

  5. Ensure conflicts of interest do not interfere with client's interest or interfere with professional judgment

Business Ethics

Ethics in project management involves learning what is right or wrong, and then doing the right thing.

But in the real world, 'the right thing' is not as straightforward as conveyed in lots of business ethics literature.

Here are eight guidelines to help you establish a strong ethics foundation for your project.

  1. Recognize that managing ethics is a process. Ethics management is the process of reflection and dialog . that produces deliverables such as codes, policies and procedures.

  2. The goal of an ethics management initiative is preferred behavior in the project environment.

  3. The best way to manage ethical dilemmas, like negative project risks, is to avoid their occurrence in the first place

  4. Make ethics decisions in teams, and make decisions public, as appropriate.

  5. Integrate ethics management with other project practices. Define preferred ethical values directly in the project plan.

  6. Use cross-functional teams to develop your ethics management plan. Benefit from varied input.

  7. Value forgiveness Help project personnel recognize and address their mistakes and then support them to continue to try to operate ethically

  8. Give yourself credit for trying Attempting to operate ethically and making a few mistakes is better than not trying at all. All projects are comprised of people and people are not perfect.

Until recently, ethics in business typically meant philanthropy of some sort. However, in light of today's corporate scandals, ethics has surfaced as an important issue. As a result, values are increasingly becoming an integral part of effective project management.

How do project managers turn to values? Here are five areas to approach:

  1. Risk Management: This is fairly straightforward. Incorporating values into your project can help eliminate risks associated with organizational and individual misconduct.

  2. Organizational functioning: Planned-in values can build a well-functioning project organization by encouraging cooperation, inspiring commitment, nurturing innovation and energizing team members around a positive self-image.

  3. Civic positioning: Values can establish the project organization's standing in the community as a progressive force for social betterment and as a solid contributing citizen.

  4. Market positioning: Values can shape a project organization's identity and reputation. Values can help build the organization's brands and earn the trust of customers, suppliers and partners

  5. Simply a better way: Although values do provide financial benefits, this should not be the justification for ethics. Values are worthwhile and fundamental principles of responsibility, humanity and citizenship. They need no justification.

How to Face a Public Crisis:

Hopefully, you will never encounter the misfortune of having to deal with a public crisis. But, as project manager, you are the one that may be called upon to face the community. Here's how to handle it: Understand this is a formative experience and let these seven words be your guiding principle... Tell the Truth and Tell it Fast. Communicate frequently, invite everyone, answer all questions willingly and truthfully.

Cultural Competencies:

As modern business continues its evolution to becoming a world community, project managers increasingly find themselves managing multicultural teams. Many projects today are even global in scope, with project teams working from different locations around the world.

Today's project managers must add 'cultural competency' to their long list of general management skills.

To become truly expert and fluent in cultural competencies, you could spend a lifetime studying and traveling. For our purposes, maintaining a professional sensitivity to cultural differences and knowing a few basic 'rules' should be adequate.

There is no need to study this material meticulously. Simply read it to develop a general feel for the subject.


Differences exist, not only between countries, but within a country's own borders as well. Some key differences between countries

  • Physical time
  • Perceived time
  • Monetary policies
  • Procurement practices
  • Negotiating practices
  • Language
  • Body language
  • Education
  • Governments
  • Management styles
  • Trust
  • Risk thresholds
  • Quality standards
  • Travel constraints (country infrastructure)

Some key cultural differences in perception and behavior:

  • Social groups
  • Religions
  • Races
  • Class structure
  • Genders
  • Local laws

Some key cultural differences in perception and behavior:

  • Environment
  • Time
  • Action
  • Communication
  • Space
  • Power
  • Individualism
  • Competitiveness
  • Structure
  • Thinking

Dos and Don'ts in Managing Global Projects:

In managing global projects, it is essential to develop cultural self-awareness. The first, and most important, step is becoming aware of your own cultural orientations and the impact they can make in managing projects across cultures. You must prepare for cross-cultural project encounters with purpose and thoroughness. Here are a few dos and don'ts to consider.


  • Develop your cultural self-awareness.
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself and others.
  • Accept that you will make mistakes, but remain confident.
  • Be patient.
  • Slow down. Make relationships.
  • Keep your sense of humor.

  • Keep your integrity.
  • Stay objective . minimize blame.


  • Assume similarity.
  • Try to adopt the orientations of the other culture. Adaptation does not mean adoption.
  • Dwell on comparing the other culture with your own.
  • Evaluate the other culture in terms of good or bad.
  • Assume that just being yourself is enough to bring you cross-cultural success.

How to Develop Multicultural Excellence in Global Projects

As we rapidly evolve into a global community, many project managers find themselves managing project teams across vast geographical landscapes. To improve your success probability in such environments, it is essential to develop multicultural competencies.

Here are few things you can do to help develop multicultural excellence:

  • Multiple languages: Recruit core team members who speak multiple languages

  • Multicultural experience: Provide core team members with multicultural experiences.

  • Cross-cultural experience: Arrange cross-cultural experiences for extended team members.

  • Continuous improvement: Acknowledge the continuous need to improve cross-cultural experiences for all team members.

Across the Miles, Keep Team Members Feeling Connected:

It is important to let offsite project team members know they mean more to the project than just deliverables, an email address or a teleconference voice. Although personal events have little to do with work, make it a routine practice to acknowledge events such as birthdays, weddings, births and graduations. This level of thoughtfulness sends a powerful message and helps to enhance overall team performance

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Kudos Good job dude ! Triumphs did it ! Share the joy with team ! Mood Your happiness meter!