ISO21500

ISO21500

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ISO 21500

1 Title/current version of ISO 21500 books
ISO 21500 – Guidance on project management

2 The basics of ISO 21500 books
ISO 21500 – Guidance on project management has been
approved in an international ballot of participating national
standards authorities. It provides a comprehensive and structured
set of concepts and processes that are considered to form good
practice in project management. Projects are placed in the
context of programmes and project portfolios. Topics related to
general management are addressed only within the context of
project management. In some countries (eg. South Korea) it has
already been declared as the standard for project management to
which all government tenders for projects should comply. Many
will follow.

3 Summary of the method of ISO 21500 books
ISO 21500 provides guidance for project management and can
be used by any type of organization, including public, private
or community organizations, and for any type of project,
irrespective of complexity, size or duration. ISO 21500 provides
high-level description of concepts and processes that are
considered to form good practice in project management. Projects
are placed in the context of programmes and project portfolios,
however, ISO 21500 does not provide detailed guidance on
the management of programmes and project portfolios. Topics
pertaining to general management are addressed only within the
context of project management. (Source: www.iso.org)

ISO 21500 is a publication of the International Organization
for Standardization, the world’s largest developer of voluntary
International Standards, to provide good practice in project
management, helping to make industry more efficient and
effective. During the five years it took to complete, ISO 21500
was developed on the basis of inputs from hundreds of project
management experts, standards development committees from
more than thirty countries and project management associations
like IPMA (International Project Management Association)
and PMI (Project Management Institute). It was published in
September 2012.

ISO 21500 is the first of a family of ISO standards for the
portfolio, programme and project management landscape,
currently under development. This will be based on an overall
framework that defines project, programme and portfolio
management (PPP), including the governance and terminology.
Also it will define the interaction between PPP processes and the
organization they serve, including the governance dimension and
the links to ongoing operations. Projects may be organized within
programme and project portfolios.

ISO 21500 is process-based: it describes work as being
accomplished by processes. This approach is consistent with
other management standards such as ISO/IEC 9001:2008 and
the Software Engineering Institute’s CMMI. Processes overlap
and interact throughout a project or its various phases. Processes
are described in terms of purpose, description and primary
inputs (documents, plans, designs, etc.), and outputs (documents,
products, etc.).

The guideline identifies 39 processes that fall into five basic
process groups and ten subject groups that cover the typical
managerial aspects for almost every project.

The five process groups are Initiating, Planning, Implementing,
Controlling and Closing.
The ten subject groups are Integration, Stakeholder, Scope,
Resource, Time, Cost, Risk, Quality, Procurement and
Communication.

Each of the ten subject groups contains the processes that need to
be accomplished within its discipline in order to achieve effective
management of a project. Each of these processes also falls into
one of the five basic process groups, creating a matrix structure
such that every process can be related to one subject group and
one process group.

4 ISO 21500 books Target audience
All roles with an interest in project management, such as
senior managers and project sponsors, project managers,
project management teams, and project team members, but
also members of a project office, customers and other project
stakeholders. It may be used by any type of organization (public,
private, community organizations, ..) and for all types of project,
with different levels of complexity, size, or duration.

5 Scope and constraints of ISO 21500 books
ISO 21500 is a generic approach that can be applied to any
project.

Strengths
• Extensive participation by different industry sectors and
organizations that are using project management and
developing project management good practices all over the
world
• Recognized as a ‘globally accepted’ standard in the profession
• Generic; it can be applied to any project
• Focus on process, similar to other frameworks and standards
from ISO

Constraints
• ISO 21500 is high-level and generic and therefore not
exhaustive
• It does not provide real life examples, methods and tools and
techniques.

6 Relevant website of ISO 21500 books
www.iso.org

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