Project Business Foundation - Code of Conduct

09 February 2020

Preamble

As members of the Project Business Foundation, we are prepared and required to subscribe to a set of moral norms, standards, and behaviors as a basis for professional project business. In addition to their impact on the way we do project business, these principles also govern our conduct as members towards other members, the Project Business Foundation, the society, and the environment we live in.

This Code of Conduct is based on five elements:
  1. Accepting ethical norms as binding and enforceable
  2. Welcoming personal and organizational accountability as a core pillar of ethical norms.
  3. Upholding moral principles as baselines for ethical norms and accountability.
  4. Understanding personal integrity as the foundation of ethical  norms and behavior.
  5. Regarding values as the inner core of ethical norms and behaviors.

1. Ethical Norms

We implement ethical norms, when we make decisions and act as professionals, and expect others in the profession to follow them as well. These norms are:

  • Reliability: As contractors, we meet the obligations entered towards our customers in a timely and dependable manner. As customers, we do the same for our contractors. 
  • Partnership: As contractors and customers, we go the extra mile for our contract partners to ensure joint project success.
  • Trustworthiness: We uphold our trustworthiness with others by building relations that are founded on respect and honesty.
  • Good faith: We respect the interests of those we make business with and help them achieve success from working with us. When we identify risks that can impact their success from working with us, we inform them and are prepared to help find and implement solutions.
  • Thoughtfulness: We are aware that our actions as professionals have impact on others, including current and future generations. 
  • Clean and clear language: We refrain from insulting people, however, we address moral misconduct directly. 

2. Accountability

We accept accountability for our actions and require others to do the same. We understand that accountability cannot be delegated to others and that deferring due accountability to others is unacceptable.

  • Answerability: As we work, we make errors from time to time. We accept responsibility to communicate these errors to affected stakeholders in a timely manner and take ownership for their impacts and the costs and efforts to resolve them.
  • Transparency: Working with business partners and other professionals, we notice from time to time that they make errors. While we are open to help them resolving the errors, we do not support deflection, concealment, or any other form of cover-up. 
  • Leadership: We do not undercut our staff or our stakeholders in public, however we help them fix errors, heal conflicts, and inspire them to improve as individuals and in teams.
  • Loyalty: When we have given guarantees to business partners and people inside our own organization, we do not act as wishy-washies but meet our commitments with zeal and decisiveness.
  • Intellectual property: We respect the ownership of others on tangible and intangible works, such as texts, pictures, and others, and do not use them unless we have been granted the right from them or use them under fair use rules.

3. Principles

Our work as professionals is based on moral principles, which we uphold particularly in times, when they are challenged by others.

  • Fairness:  We resolve conflicts between our vested interests and those of other parties in project business in a spirit of partnership and mutuality that brings about results that are beneficial for all parties.
  • Peacefulness: We do not  decide or act in a way that disrupts peace between people, organizations, communities, or nations. Instead, we strive to act as professionals in project business in a way that supports connectivity among humans.
  • Civility: We treat our partners in project business with respect that enables us to do more teaming with them in future business. We also treat our competitors respectfully today, they may become our most important cooperation partners in future projects.
  • Proactive handling of uncertainties: When we communicate uncertain information, such as expectations, assumptions, estimates, forecasts, and risks, we mark this information as uncertain and separate it from facts.
  • Active listening: We invite others to raise concerns and objections and listen, when they are brought up. When our decisions and actions are criticized, we do not resort to personal attacks or turn a discussion dealing with facts to one dealing with party politics. Instead, we use the discussion for learning and improvement.

4. Integrity

We accept our personal integrity as an asset that we do not give up for perceived or real benefits. 

  • Inspiration: We decide and act in a way that others could use us as positive role models for their actions and decisions.
  • Whistleblowing: We bring immoral, anti-social,  and illegal behavior to the attention of appropriate parties, however, we communicate warnings as facts only, if we can support them with evidence. 
  • Truthfulness: We communicate our true strengths and weaknesses and do not claim to have experience, qualification, and credentials that we do not have.
  • Rule of law: We make ourselves familiar with the laws under which we do our projects and do our best that people and organizations involved in the project business adhere with these laws.  
  • International business: In project contracts that span over two or more country jurisdictions, at least one party must decide and act under foreign and unfamiliar law and jurisdiction. We do not abuse this imbalance of familiarity to the disadvantage of the other party.
  • Moral conduct: We do not condone or commit bribery, nepotism, favoritism, money laundry, or any other form of corruption.

5. Values

We understand that ethical values are not situationally bendable, but are an integral element of the way we do business and treat others, who depend on our professional actions.

  • Responsibility: We own our decisions and actions and do them in a way that is beneficial to our stakeholders, society, and the environment we live in and also for ourselves. 
  • Facts-based conduct: We reject the influence of ideologies and superstition on our projects. Instead, we make decisions and act based on facts or in their absence on plausible assumptions.
  • Fairness: We ensure equal opportunities in our projects for employees and contractors, independent of their gender, physical appearance, nationality, age, or other criteria often used to discriminate people.
  • Goodwill: As professionals in project business, we separate the common good from the interests of the organizations involved, and also from our personal benefits. We then strive for the first before we pursue the second and then care for the last. 
  • Authenticity: We communicate our values to others and ensure that they perceive our conduct as genuine and authentic. 
  • Strength: When we identify intimidating behavior by domineering abusers towards vulnerable people in our projects, we take clear position to protect the latter.

Closing Notes

This Code of Conduct of the Project Business Foundation is open to adaptations as they may emerge as necessary or helpful. 

Comments, concerns, and suggestions for it are welcome at info@project-business.org