Project Management goes International


2 November 2007

New international guide to project management takes British Standard as starting point. 

Work has begun on ISO 21500, an international project management standard, which will use a British Standard, BS 6079-1, as its base document.   BS 6079-1, Guide to Project Management, gives guidance on the planning and realisation of projects and the application of project management techniques.

This week BSI British Standards is hosting the inaugural meeting of the UK-chaired ISO (International Organization on Standardization) committee, established to develop ISO 21500.  Over 50 delegates from around the world will be in London to begin work on the international standard, which is intended to provide overarching generic guidance, explaining and promoting the core principles and good practice in project management. 

Originally published by BSI British Standards in 1996, BS 6079-1 aims to draw attention to the management challenges encountered in different project environments and to present possible solutions.  It is applicable to organizations of all sizes and sectors and is primarily designed for relative newcomers to project management, or as an aide-mémoire for more experienced practitioners. 

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards, said, “Nearly every management activity that has a definitive start and finish and implements change is classed as project management, so this new standard will be of use to organizations regardless of sector and size.  The success of BS 6079-1 is demonstrated by its use as a base document for an international standard.”  

Jim Gordon, Chair of ISO/PC 236, the international committee established to develop the new standard, said:  “The development of an international standard will be welcomed by many other countries and will have broad relevance to projects in many industries and the public sector, both at home and abroad. The meetings in London this week will see Working Groups discussing the initial phases of the work which has to be completed by 2010”

The UK’s mirror committee, which consolidates and feeds industry opinion into the international committee, includes representatives from the Association for Project Management, Office of Government Commerce, Institute of Civil Engineers, Health and Safety Executive, Society of British Aerospace Companies and the Ministry of Defence.