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The PMI Code of Ethics

I’m keeping this as a separate entry from the PMP Handbook entry for a couple of reasons:

  1. I want to be able to come back to reference this.
  2. I know that the Code of Ethics is on the test. The price of the exam is not.
  3. It’s probably important.
So, as part of being a PM, you have to adhere to a code of ethics. Not the end of the world. Looking it over, it’s actually kind of the standard stuff you would expect.
The purpose of [the] Code is to instill confidence in the project management profession and to help an individual become a better practitioner. We do this by establishing a profession-wide understanding of appropriate behavior. We believe that the credibility and reputation of the project management profession is shaped by the collective conduct of individual practitioners.
The code applies to PMI members [so me, for instance]. It also applies to applicants for PMI certification [theoretically not me, until I actually apply], PMI certification-holders [me soon], and PMI volunteers.
The core values: responsibility, respect, fairness and honesty
  • Responsibility
Aspire to take actions in best interest of society, public safety and the environment
and accept only assignment consistent with your background, experience, skills and qualifications.
     [The comment on these aspirations indicates we should notify project sponsors when the completion of a project requires us to exceed our qualifications. Notice how these are the aspirations?]
Aspire to fulfill commitments that we make; take ownership of errors and omissions to correct them promptly. We accept responsibility and consequences of errors and omissions.
Must uphold policies, rules, regulations and laws that govern our work activities. We must report unethical or illegal conduct to appropriate management. We bring violations of the code to the appropriate body.
  • Respect
We listen to other points of view. We approach people we disagree with. We conduct ourselves professionally. We negotiate in good faith. We do not exercise power of our position for personal gain. We are not abusive.
     [This seems to be the easier of the two to maintain so far.]
  • Fairness
Demonstrate transparency in our decision making process. Reexamine our impartiality. Provide equal access to information when allowed. We disclose potential conflicts of interest. We don’t participate in favoritism, nepotism or bribery.
    [Later, there is a discussion of the need for these codes to level the playing field across cultures. I suppose that’s reflected here.]
  • Honesty
Seek to understand the truth. Are truthful in our communications. Provide accurate information in a timely manner. Make commitments in good faith.
   [Maybe it’s just my upbringing, but this entire core value is embodied in the ‘Respect’ value. I suppose they felt it necessary to carve this out specifically. Remember that. It’ll be on the test.]
One last note on the Code of Conduct. In August of this year, the test was changed. There used to be a Code of Conduct section of the exam. Now, the Code of Conduct is embedded in all of the other sections. Guess I’ll need to pay attention to these things, then.
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