Project Management Institute

Ethics in Project Management

Decisions and Dilemmas

Project management is driven by decisions, often dozens or more per day. Some decisions are small and barely noticed while others are prominent. Some require deep thought because they involve people, resources and the environment. And sometimes these factors are in conflict, creating a dilemma and perhaps significant risks. While project managers normally know what to do, how to do it can become a puzzle — especially when stakeholder interests conflict. Like all leaders, project managers build trust by the way they make decisions. Here again, the “how to do it” can be puzzling yet is instrumentally important.

Ethics is the discipline of “how to do it best”. To guide behavior and help with tough decisions, we've crafted a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and an Ethical Decision-Making Framework. To deepen your knowledge and perspective, we provide numerous articles, papers and webinars.

When unethical behaviors arise, take action. Use our ethics complaint and review process and see the specialized resources available.

Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Impact of Ethical Decisions

Simona Bonghez, PhD, PMP

A great project manager needs, in today’s tumultuous world, not only to be capable to successfully run a project but also to become a model for their team. While the first is achievable through learning and practicing, the second implies relentless respect for ethics and continuous focus on professional conduct.

PMI Ethics Insight Team

Bucharest, Romania

Alankar Karpe, PMI-ACP, PMP

When faced with ethical dilemmas, making ethical decisions is complex, challenging and difficult. We can only gauge their impact by answering in the positive whether such decisions increase trust and transparency, and ensure positive long term effects with everyone’s interests protected. Good project managers are relentless in their quest to remain ethical.

PMI Ethics Insight Team

Bangalore, India

Amany Nuseibeh, PMP

As we lead our teams and projects, we need to be aware of the ethical issues, embed ethical and professional practices, use ethical decision making frameworks and engage in respectful discussions taking different perspectives into consideration. This will improve our abilities to further explore and tackle the ethical challenges we face now and in the future making us better leaders, strategy implementers and change makers.

PMI Ethics Insight Team

Sydney, Australia

Public Announcement

The ERC recently found two people in violation of the Code and ordered a public reprimand.

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Have an ethics question?

Contact the Ethics Insight Team with questions, concerns or ideas. Email to [email protected].