Ethics in Project Management

With all the pressures of managing a project, it is easy to be swayed and make poor decisions. Pressure can cause a person to rise to the occasion, or crumble in a pile of heap. Most often, however, a person may do things they thought impossible…cheat, lie, twist the data? Unfortunately, this happens more often than we would like. As a project leader it is important to maintain character and integrity. Short term gain based on any type of shenanigans will cause long term pain. For example, say you’re leading an IT project and your developers are having trouble meeting deadlines. You instruct them to “dump” a few outlying features…the customer won’t even notice or use that feature until long after we are done. It’s not a big deal. Two things are going to bite you, one is obvious, the other not so much. The obvious gotcha will come when the customer realizes you didn’t fulfill one of the expected features and becomes upset and makes some waves. The other less obvious problem, your team won’t trust or respect you. They see clearly how you manipulated the situation and trust is broken…even if they agree and would have cut corners too! Take the issues head on. Consult the customer on the scope and change and instruct your team accordingly. You may disappoint the customer now, but your project will keep integrity and your project team will respect your leadership.