Project design and implementation of an information system in an organization assumes utmost importance today. Hence, teams handling project need to consider both the technical as well as ethical implications of a project plan (Rogerson, 1996). So projects need to adopt ethical sensitivity, make sure ethical issues are well thought-out throughout the progress of the project and provide timely feedback of possible negative and positive social impacts of a piece of the information system. This is so because ethics which are practice may not ensure project success but non-adoption of it leads to project failures (Cleland & Ireland, 2004). This paper deals with the ethical issues that need to be kept in mind while managing a project.
As the project progresses, there are many considerations of the project manager. The ethical issues that need consideration are project oriented values of persons, teams, and organizations, project objectives and deliverables in ethical context, ethical behavior for managing project risks and opportunities, codes of professional conduct for the management of projects. There are ethical considerations regarding the stakeholders of the project i.e. the team, the organization etc. before we discuss the ethical use of project management tools, let us discuss a few of the tools. The usual project management tools that are widely used are:
- Critical path model (CPM): Was developed by DuPont in 1957. It is a project management tool initially developed to manage a project which would shut-down a plant for maintenance and then restart it once the maintenance work is over. the advantages of using CPM as a project management tool is that it helps in predicting the time required to complete the project, provides a graphical depiction of the processes involved and demonstrates the activities which are critical for the project and the ones which are not.
- Work breakdown structure (WBS): A Work Breakdown Structure is a results-oriented family tree that captures all the work of a project in an organized way. It is often portrayed graphically as a hierarchical tree; however, it can also be a tabular list of “element” categories and tasks or the indented task list that appears in a Gantt chart schedule.
- Cash flow analysis (CFA): it is the study of the cycle of a project’s cash inflows and outflows, with the purpose of maintaining an adequate cash flow for the project, and to provide the basis for cash flow management. Cash flow analysis involves examining the activities of the project that affect cash flow, such as accounts receivable, inventory, accounts payable, and credit terms. By performing a cash flow analysis on these separate activities, it is possible to easily identify cash flow problems and find ways to improve it.
- Gantt charts: It is a bar like chart that shows the schedule of the project. It provides the timeline of the project and the summary element of the projects.
- Graphical evaluation and review technique (GERT): First described by Dr. Alan and B. Pritsker in 1966 as a project management tool which describes the process of network analysis technique that allows probabilistic treatment of both network logic and activity duration estimated.
- Program evaluation and review technique (PERT): PERT is a network technique that is used in complex projects. It was developed in 1950s for the US Navy’s Polaris project. This tools breaks down the activities into processes and are again shown graphically.
Apart from the above mentioned tools, there are other project management tools consists of information system development tools, project management software, in-house project management tools which are used as project management tools. they use of these tools help in providing the performance of the projects could be improved a lot by a more systematic analysis of the (favorable and unfavorable) values added by the projects, and a more intensive detecting, planning, monitoring, steering and evaluation of these changes. More research and exchange of experience should be done is this field. The middle and long term impacts and effects of projects should be given more attention and importance. Today, the knowledge, experience, and tools of the managers and interested parties are not developed and applied to a sufficient extent (IPMA, 2008).
Cleland, D. I., & Ireland, L. R. (2004). Project Manager’s Portable Handbook. McGraw-Hill Professional.
IPMA. (2008). Values and Ethics in the Project Management. Revival of the IPMA International Expert Seminars: Newsletter (pp. 1-12). Zurich: IPMA.
Rogerson, S. The Ethics of Software Project Management. PASE’96 (pp. 1-15). De Montfort University: Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility.