ISO 21500 provides guidance and processes that are necessary for project management. Also, these rules are essential and have an impact on the performance of projects.

Project management provides a framework to help accomplish business goals. Project management is a driving force behind any task. Moreover, it is a discipline with the purpose of achieving goals and objectives by planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources.

According to surveys, the demand for employees in major economies to participate in projects is 32.6 million. That means one-fifth of the world’s GDP is spent on projects. Also, a proportion of 90% of senior executives thinks that PM is critical for the delivery of successful projects and for remaining competitive in the job market.project management

ISO 21500 the project manager’s guide

ISO 21500 is an international standard issued in 2012 by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and intends to serve as guidance on the concepts and processes of project management. It is the first standard in a planned family of PM standards.

An overview of ISO 21500:2012

ISO 21500 provides guidance and high-level descriptions of concepts and processes that are important in project management and have an impact on the performance of projects.

The guidance provided by this International Standard can be used by any type of organization, including public, private, or community organizations, and for any type of project, irrespective complexity, size or duration.

Even though the projects are placed in the context of programs and project portfolios, this International Standard does not provide detailed guidance on the management of program and project portfolios.

It provides a better understanding of the principles and practices of project management.

What is a Project

A project consists of a unique set of processes consisting of coordinated and controlled activities, with start and end dates, performed to achieve project activities.

What is Project Management

PM is the application of methods, tools, techniques, and competencies to a project. It includes integrating the various phases of the project life cycle, which spans the period from the start of the project to its end.

Project management concepts

This clause describes key concepts applicable to most projects and environments. The key concepts in PM, according to ISO 21500 are:

  • Project
  • PM
  • Organizational strategy and projects
  • Project environment
  • Project governance
  • Projects and operations
  • Stakeholders and project organization
  • Competencies of project personnel
  • Project life cycle
  • Project constraints
  • Relationship between project management concepts and processes

Project management processes

This clause identifies project management processes for a project as a whole, for individual phases or both. The project management processes can be viewed from two different perspectives, as:

1. Process groups for the management of the project

Each process group consists of processes that apply to any project phase or project. These processes, defined in terms of purpose, description, and primary inputs and outputs, are interdependent. The process groups are independent of the application area or industry focus.

2. Subject groups for collecting the processes by subject

  • Each subject group consists of processes applicable to any project phase or project. These processes define in terms of purpose, description and primary inputs and outputs, and are interdependent. Subject groups are independent of the application area or industry focus.

More information and details you can find in the official ISO 21500 documentation. You can also use our consulting service that helps you implement these standards into your internal processes. ISO gives the core rules, but the reality is always variable and you have to apply custom processes to implement it in your company. Implement an efficient way that will work for your company. The target readership of ISO 21500 is the following:

  • Senior managers and project sponsors
  • PM teams and project team members
  • Developers of national or organizational standards