Really-- are you a "professional" project manager ?


Presentation Style

Forum—A discussion hosted by a facilitator who guides the conversation with the attendees.


This document is meant to be a warm welcome to all project management practitioners who conduct their activities in a professional way and who would like to see their profession taken seriously. Come and participate in benchmarking, defining and learning the professional aspects of conducting (y)our project related activities.

Every PMI member and credential holder, irrespective of type of membership, should be a role model for practicing project, program or project portfolio management in a professional way.

Professional behavior or “professional conduct” is a mandatory component to any profession to maintain standards for the individuals within that profession to adhere. It brings responsibility, respect, fairness and honesty to the individuals that the profession serves. Ethics and professional conduct go hand in hand. This paper discusses some examples of these situations.

After having presented the ethics piece of the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct last year at the PMI® Global Congress 2010–North America in Washington, DC, PMI’s Code Implementation Advisory Committee (or CIAC) team members have now designed and prepared an interactive facts and practices finding workshop focused on the “professional conduct” aspect of our profession and how it relates to each Project Management Professional.

This workshop will be held at each of the PMI congresses over 2011-2012, starting with this congress. The aim is to conceive and present a White Paper at the NA Congress 2012, dealing with the “state-of -the-art” of Professional Conduct as part of our profession and making some proposals for the way forward. The idea is to involve as many practitioners as possible in elaborating further Guidelines for Professional Conduct.

Participating in this Forum (Workshop) will be of great advantage and key learning to you, as:

  • It will allow you to benchmark your practitioner position towards “Professional Conduct,” as it relates to the Code.
  • You will learn from each other, from the workgroup and from the accumulated wisdom and data gathered by CIAC/PMI over a period of time.
  • You will learn the ethics perspectives of some other organizations as mentioned in the abstract, complemented by some more perspectives, presented by the participants.
  • You will see an example of a framework that you can use to guide your professional conduct decision-making.
  • You will share wisdom from different perspectives—cultural, domain, demographic, social, political, geographic, etc.
  • You will learn from the PK (Pecha Kucha) presentations, and, as a subset, how to use such presentation in your day-to-day work.
  • Last, but not the least, you will be a contributor to the PMI Professional Conduct White Paper.


To kick off the works, CIAC proposes a pragmatic description of what “professional conduct” is all about:

“Professional conduct is seen as a set of values, standards or rules of behavior that guide the decisions, procedures and operating modes of a practitioner in such a way that his/her activities contribute to generating value for its key stakeholders, and, at the same moment, respect the rights of all constituents affected by its activities.”

We would also like to volunteer some other views on the topic and we would like to ask the participants to do some of their own research prior to the workshop:

From the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf1:

A code of professional conduct is a necessary component to any profession to maintain standards for the individuals within that profession to adhere. It brings accountability, responsibility and trust to the individuals that the profession serves.


  • Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
  • Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation.
  • Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
  • Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
  • Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
  • Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
  • Interpreters engage in professional development.

Or From the State Bar of California2:

Rule 1.0 Purpose and Scope of the Rules of Professional Conduct

(a)      Purpose: The purposes of the following Rules are:

(1)   To protect the public;

(2)   To protect the interests of clients;

(3)   To protect the integrity of the legal system and to promote the administration of justice; and

(4)   To promote respect for, and confidence in, the legal profession.

Or from the American Institute of CPA’s3:

.01 Membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants is voluntary. By accepting membership, a certified public accountant assumes an obligation of self-discipline above and beyond the requirements of laws and regulations.

.02 These Principles of the Code of Professional Conduct of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants express the profession’s recognition of its responsibilities to the public, to clients, and to colleagues. They guide members in the performance of their professional responsibilities and express the basic tenets of ethical and professional conduct. The Principles call for an unswerving commitment to honorable behavior, even at the sacrifice of personal advantage.

Or From the Law Society of Upper Canada4:

Citation And Interpretation
Offers definitions for key terms used throughout the Revised Rules and guidelines for the interpretation of the Rules.
Relationship To Clients
Rules and commentaries on client-related issues such as lawyer competence, conflicts of interest and confidentiality.
The Practice Of Law
Rules and commentaries on issues related to law practices themselves, such as firm names, advertising, interprovincial law firms.
Relationship To The Administration Of Justice
Rules and commentaries relating to a lawyer’s responsibilities to the courts, participants in the legal system and to the overall administration of justice.
Relationship To Students, Employees, And Others
Rules and commentaries governing a lawyer’s conduct toward students, employees and others, including areas such as sexual harassment and discrimination.
Relationship To The Society And Other Lawyers
Rules and commentaries covering issues such as a lawyer’s responsibilities toward the Law Society, involvement in multidiscipline practices and public office.

Or from the Global Association of Investment Professionals5:

A. Knowledge of the Law. Members and Candidates must understand and comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations (including the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct) of any government, regulatory organization, licensing agency, or professional association governing their professional activities. In the event of conflict, Members and Candidates must comply with the more strict law, rule, or regulation. Members and Candidates must not knowingly participate or assist in and must dissociate from any violation of such laws, rules, or regulations.

B. Independence and Objectivity. Members and Candidates must use reasonable care and judgment to achieve and maintain independence and objectivity in their professional activities. Members and Candidates must not offer, solicit, or accept any gift, benefit, compensation, or consideration that reasonably could be expected to compromise their own or another’s independence and objectivity.

C. Misrepresentation. Members and Candidates must not knowingly make any misrepresentations relating to investment analysis, recommendations, actions, or other professional activities.

any professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit or commit any act that reflects adversely on their professional reputation, integrity, or competence.


A. Material Nonpublic Information. Members and Candidates who possess material nonpublic information that could affect the value of an investment must not act or cause others to act on the information.

B. Market Manipulation. Members and Candidates must not engage in practices that distort prices or artificially inflate trading volume with the intent to mislead market participants.


A. Loyalty, Prudence, and Care. Members and Candidates have a duty of loyalty to their clients and must act with reasonable care and exercise prudent judgment. Members and Candidates must act for the benefit of their clients and place their clients' interests before their employer’s or their own interests.

B. Fair Dealing. Members and Candidates must deal fairly and objectively with all clients when providing investment analysis, making investment recommendations, taking investment action, or engaging in other professional activities.

Participants in the Congress should be advised that the Post-Congress material will contain the slides used, as well as any information that reflect what occurred during the forum/workshop.


The CIAC team will conduct a facts and practices finding workshop, focused on the “Professional Conduct” aspect of the profession, with the following agenda:

• The workshop will start with a short introduction to the topic, the process to be followed during the workshop and the use of the “Pecha Kucha” presentation form (seven minutes).

• Thereafter, four participants will be giving a Pecha Kucha6 presentation (15 minutes). Each individual will present eight slides, each slide containing a picture and a key idea about Professional Conduct in relation to a value, a standard, or a rule of behavior related to professional conduct and respect.

  Volunteers for these presentations may make themselves known to the Chair of the CIAC.

• A short presentation by a CIAC member will be given on the topic “Professional Conduct” and its relation to the four tenets of the Code and a decision-making framework, based upon information already available at PMI® (10 minutes).

• An idea-generation session will follow, based on professional conduct in relation to the four tenets and decision-making framework: Respect, Honesty, Fairness and Responsibility (28 minutes).

Participants will walk around the room, will stop in front of a flip chart (containing a relationship, e.g., Professional Conduct and Responsibility) and will share their views, feelings, and concerns in relation to the presented relationship.

Every seven minutes they will walk to the next flip chart and will perform a similar activity.

A CIAC member will be of assistance within the working area of each flip chart and will note down the ideas generated.

• The session will conclude with a wrap-up and feedback moment so that the group can propose and briefly discuss a possible way forward (15 minutes).

Today’s international team of forum leaders will be:

Gabe de Puyjalon, MPAdm, Chair of CIAC

From Montreal, Canada, Gabe is a fluently trilingual, experienced Business Management/Human Capital professional who combines the human side of business needs with operational requirements. Nominated as Chair of the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Advisory Committee by the PMI Board of Directors, Gabe has contributed his unique expertise in HR and Business Management within this exceptional multinational team of project management professionals, advising PMI’s leadership in branding, sustaining and communicating the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct worldwide. Efforts continue in 2011 and beyond to broaden the reach, accessibility and application of the Code as one of the main pillars for recognition of this profession globally.

Chris F. Kindermans, MSc, PMP

During his 30+ year career, Chris has held local and international positions in corporate management, operational management, and project/program delivery. He specializes in project recovery, project reviews and audits, project portfolio management, project and program management, training, coaching and mentoring. A PRINCE 2 and P30 trained project manager, Chris holds a Master’s Degree (magna cum laude) in commercial and financial sciences. He is a professor at EHSAL (Brussels) and lecturer for Boston University. Chris participates in several PMI EMEA chapters, serving four years as the Belgium Chapter president and 10 years on their Board. He has presented and led workshops at PMI Leadership Institute Meetings and Congresses.

Saji Madapat, MBA, CSSMBB, PMP

At Ernst & Young, Saji manages Enterprise Performance Management projects for its various clients. As an advisor at FedEx, he set up the project portfolio management office and mapped a balanced scorecard of $5 billion for their Freight division. He managed the project portfolio for global business systems across 20 countries for Buckman, and worked on projects with Bearing Point (KPMG) and Arthur Anderson. Saji has contributed to portfolio and program management standards, OPM3®, PMBOK® Guide and PMCD Framework. A PMI Leadership Institute Master Class graduate, he served as a Component Mentor for the Asia region and VP of Finance for the Memphis Tennessee Chapter.

Peter Pfeiffer, PhD, PMP

Peter has been working in project management for about 30 years as a manager, lecturer, trainer and process facilitator, mainly in the field of international development in Latin-America, Africa and Asia. He holds a PhD degree in Sociology of Development and is certified as a PMP and a CKM (Certified Knowledge Manager). Peter is German and based in Brazil, and has worked for national and international cooperation projects and programs related to organizational development. He is also co-founder of the PMI Rio de Janeiro Chapter and the International Development SIG (today Community of Practice). Since 2011 he has been a member of PMI’s Ethics Code and Professional Conduct Implementation Advisory Committee (CIAC).

Michael O‘Brochta, MPM, PMP

Michael, who has been a project manager for over 30 years, is also an experienced line manager, author, lecturer, trainer, and consultant. He holds a master’s degree in project management (MPM), a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering (BSEE), and is certified as a PMP. As the President of Zozer Inc., he is helping organizations raise their level of project management performance. As senior project manager in the CIA, he led the maturing of the project management practices agency-wide. Michael, who has presented every year for the past decade at PMI Global Congresses, has drawn some of the largest audiences at those events. His presentation at last year’s PMI North American Global Congress described how to accelerate executive support for projects. He is a member of PMI’s Code Implementation Advisory Committee (CIAC). Since his recent climb of another of the world’s seven summits, he has been exploring the relationship between project management and mountain climbing.


1 See website of the organisation “Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.”

2 See website of the organisation “State Bar of California.”

3 See website of the organisation “American Institute of CPA's.”

4 See website of the organisation “Law Society of Upper Canada.”

5 See website of the organisation “Global Association of Investment Professionals.”

6 Pecha Kucha (Japanese: image, chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 8-20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, usually seen in a multiple-speaker event called a Pecha Kucha Night (PKN). (cfr. Wikipedia).

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