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The Value of Standards

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Did you know that this month PMI is celebrating 25 years of standards creation? Tuesday, I interviewed Debbie O'Bray for an upcoming PMI.org story I am writing on PMI standards. She has been involved in standards development for quite some time and is currently a member of the Standards Member Advisory Group.

The interview got me thinking about the added value of standards. For some project professionals, they serve as a constant companion while for others these standards are guidelines or references project professionals can turn to with questions. But for everyone, the standards help create a common language to help communicate about everything from project scope to risk. And that common language is a key intangible benefit revealed in the Researching the Value of Project Management study.

In the presentation of the study's preliminary results in Warsaw, Poland, principal investigator Janice Thomas, Ph.D., said:

"The good news is that most organizations demonstrate intangible value and its significant intangible value around decision-making, around strategy, around effective work cultures, around alignment of approach, around terminology ..."

For my story, I also interviewed team members of different standard development teams. They devote time--sometimes years--to helping develop PMI's library of standards.

Obviously they see the value of standards. And this leads me to one conclusion: The value of standards and the value of project management go hand in hand.

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