Aim: The understand the term “Responsibility” as per the PMI Code of Ethics
Taking responsibility simply means that the project manager takes ownership for the decisions and actions made, and the consequences of the results. This responsibility also addresses decisions and actions that should have been made but were not. The position of project manager carries a lot of responsibility and we, as project management practitioners, must treat that responsibility with care. In a nutshell, this section says that the project manager will honor the commitments of the project and take responsibility for the result of the project.
Aspirational Standards for Responsibility
The aspirational standards for responsibility include the decisions and approach to the decision-making process that lead to a transparent method of managing projects that instills confidence in the process. Remember that the aspirational standards are things we should do. The aspirational standards for responsibility include
• Upholding the best interests of society, public safety, and the environment in all decisions and actions
• Only accepting assignments for which you are prepared, based on your background, experience, skill, and qualifications
• Doing what you say you will do—fulfilling your commitments
• In making a mistake, owning up to it and correcting it promptly
• Protecting proprietary and confidential information
• Upholding this Code and holding others accountable to it
Mandatory Standards for Responsibility
In all categories of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, the mandatory standards are the things we must do. Failure to comply with the mandatory standards will likely tarnish the overall perception of project managers. The mandatory standards for responsibility include
• Knowing and upholding all policies, rules, regulations, and laws that are applicable to work, professional, and volunteer activities
• Reporting any unethical or illegal activity
• Reporting Code violations for resolution
• Only filing ethics violations that are substantiated by facts
• Pursuing disciplinary action against any individual who retaliates against anyone who raises an ethics issue
It should go without saying that a project manager should obey all the rules. However, pay attention to the fact that obeying all the rules is clearly stated in the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. You very well might see a question on the exam based on this simple premise.
As a project management professional, you have a professional responsibility to report possible violations of professional conduct within the project management professional community. This is a self-policing provision. However, before you bring any accusations to the appropriate authorities, you must ensure you have the facts. If you cannot substantiate your claims, do more research or drop the complaint.
In accordance with your charge to report professional conduct violations, you are also required to cooperate with PMI in its investigation of ethics violations and the collection of pertinent information. An investigation requiring your cooperation might arise independently of you actually reporting a possible ethics violation. Further, you are required to pursue disciplinary action against any individual who retaliates against a person raising ethics concerns.
In performing professional project management services for customers, it is imperative you meet your customer’s expectations and complete all work in accordance with the agreed-upon scope and objectives. Your customer should approve any deviations or changes to the work plan.
Confidentiality should be maintained at all times. This applies in the case of intellectual property, but also in the context of all professional activities performed.
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