3 Ways to Keep an Ethical Perspective in Project Management

As a Project Manager you have taken the challenges of having a specific outcome occur within a defined time period.  Often you have been selected for a particular project because of similar experience within the same industry.  There are times when your experience ensures that you will be able to bring along a host of team members, procurement, and financial solutions to the table.

While it may be accurate to say that you do have access to the resources required it may not be prudent to bring the same parties to table as with your previous projects.  Let’s look at why you want to maintain an ethical approach and avoid using the same pipeline.

  1. Procurement

Starting a new project requires working collaboratively with the new stakeholders likely the management team.  Before assuming that you have the right procurement assets at your disposal check with your team and ask them if they have a preference as to suppliers.  Make sure you involve the team in setting the criteria for procurement with the necessary variable that need to be compared.  Once that has been completed you may go ahead and start the RFP process.  It may well be that the ethics require a different set of vendors than you have worked with before.

  1. Financial Status

Keeping up the costs of a project are imperative to ensure overruns are reported and appropriate decisions made as to the overall status of the work performed.  Cost overruns and the downstream impact of those are particularly important.  In developing the project charter and scope of work a financial reporting process was put into play.  You may find yourself in the situation where one of the managers of a project that has been closed has yet to report the project financials and the cost overruns that occurred.  The financial report is due.  Ethically I would say that you let the project stakeholders know that you will be delaying the financial report for a defined period of time.  Let the stakeholders know you do not have complete data at this time and wish to report accurately the costs to date and the potential downstream impact.

  1. Individual Team Performance

As the person on charge it is important to monitor the performance of your team.  You may have a situation where you have a team member that has been consistently underperforming and you have had a several discussions with that person to no avail.  It is important that you have clarity as to the reason for the underperformance.  It may be that a personal matter at home or with the individual is impeding the performance.  It would be prudent to have a further discussion with the individual to determine what aspects of the work load stay with the person and what aspects get shifted to another team member.  Ongoing monitoring will be part of the process and it may well be that the person is divested of duties on the project.  It is important to act within the HR policies of the business and to handle the situation with discretion and confidentiality whatever course of action is taken.

Following the above suggestions will go a long way to keeping ethics in place.  A stronger project team may well be an unexpected benefit as well as increased goodwill with the stakeholders.  Ethics do pay off in the long term and add to overall success.


Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, info@effectiveplacement.com

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