In the above example, two versions of the PMBOK®, Prince2®, and CMMI® are external Project Management Methodologies standards. Each project will use PRINCE2 if it is in the UK, and will use an appropriate version of the PMBOK® if outside the UK. Which version of the PMBOK® is unambiguously determined by the start date of the project. “Conducting Staff Evaluations” is an internal standard. There are two versions of the “Meeting Process Standard,” and which one must be used is determined by the start date of the project in which the meetings are taking place. Maintaining a clear, unambiguous list of standards has two benefits:
– At any time, any Project Manager or other standards customer can determine which standard must be complied with.
– Reviews, auditors, and the managers of projects they are auditing all have immediate access to identical standards. This reduces hassle, ensuring that the standard the reviewers will use is the project management methodologies standard the managers have been instructed to comply with.
The standards themselves are available through the list of standards. There are two types of links maintained in the list of standards:
– External. When the Project Management Templates standard is external to the organization, the link should go directly to the official, authoritative source for the standard. The PMO Standards Expert should ensure that everyone who is required to comply with the standard can access this link, whether it is to an external web site or a CD-ROM or other authorized copy of the standard.
– Internal. When the standard is internal, the link should go directly to the official, authoritative source for that internal standard, whether it is on the PMO web site or elsewhere within the organization.
There are three important technical notes with regard to creating and maintaining these outputs:
– Sometimes multiple versions of a standard must be maintained. When a standard changes, it is not effective to require that all projects already in process adhere to the new standard. Often, it is better to allow existing projects to complete in compliance with the older version of the standard while ensuring that new projects comply with the new version. As a result, it may be necessary to have two links to two different versions of a standard within the List of Standards document, as illustrated in the example above.
– Occasionally, standards undergo major revision. Occasionally – typically every few years for each standard – a standard may be thoroughly revised. In that case, the company’s Standards Experts should determine when and how to shift to requiring the new standard. Making the shift can require extensive training to bring staff up to date.