The Importance of Department Ground Rules

Erick Pino is a PMP certified project and quality management professional located in Miami, Florida. He is the Director of Quality Assurance & Website Translation at ProTranslating and is passionate about promoting and evolving in the field of project management.

Organizational values, project boundaries and performance expectations are all important areas that exist within every organization with varying degrees of thought and implementation behind them.

I’ve had several opportunities to work in project management roles across various industries in sectors such as computer manufacturing and localization. These roles not only provided me first-hand experience in how organizational rules and norms are presented and communicated to employees and project team members, but also in how they can be interpreted—or at times, unfortunately, misinterpreted.

While A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) highlights the importance of establishing ground rules for projects, I find that it is just as important to develop them at an organizational and department level. Organizations that haven’t taken the time to document their ground rules may provide their team members this information by email or verbal communication in a piecemeal manner. Worse yet, they are communicated only when a situation or project goes wrong. In either case, this can lead to team members potentially becoming disengaged from the organization or project.

In my experience, defining and documenting ground rules at an organizational and department level provides the team with much-needed clarity and quickly helps team …

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