The New Standard for Project Management and the Road Ahead to ISO 21500

BSI (British Standard Institute) has just released a new version of the first part of its project management standard, BS6079. It might come as a surprise to some that there is even a standard for project management available considering frameworks, such as PMBOK and PRINCE2, exist.

On closer investigation it becomes clear there are quite a few standards on project management available, both from BSI and International Standards Organisation (ISO), all of which can be found on our website.

So, with the release of BS6079-1:2010, what does this standard offer and what has changed since the last version?

It has broad relevance to projects in the public, private and voluntary sectors and aims primarily to provide guidance for relative newcomers to project management. It also acts as a prompt for more experienced practitioners and those who interact with project teams.

This revision focuses on the importance of projects being driven by organisational needs, drawing on cross-functional teams of specialists in pursuit of the stated organisational objectives. The standard includes a fully revised set of accountabilities and process models which explicitly differentiate the directing of a project. It does so with a view to achieving the benefits, from managing a project, with a view to delivering the outputs.

The Road Ahead to ISO 21500

Back in November 2007 ISO began the development of ISO 21500, an International Standard for project management. This standard will be built on the foundations of the BS6079 standard and the other standards currently available.

Its aim is to provide a global set of guidance for project management, not to replace the other project management methods, such as PRINCE2 and PMBOK, already in existence. It does so with the aim of breaking down the barriers to the project management profession and being applicable globally.

Organisations such as ANSI and PMI, originators of the PMBOK methodology, are involved in the development of the standard.

BS6079-1:2010
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If you were to look at the aims of both BS6079-1:2010 and ISO 21500 (due for release in December 2012) together, it does not take long to see that they both have the same purpose. So I would hazard a guess that a lot of the information that will make it into ISO 21500 is available now in the BS6079-1:2010 standard, so why not buy it and get ahead of the crowd, two years ahead of everyone else?