Project Management

Digital Ethics and the Project Manager

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

As anyone who has read a few of my articles will know, I’m not exactly short on opinions—but this time I don’t have any opinions about the topic I’m going to write about. So why am I writing it? Because I think it’s important, and I think it’s a topic that has never even crossed the mind of most project managers: digital ethics.

We all know that when we interact with an organization or body digitally, we leave a footprint. We’re all used to seeing those notifications about cookies on web pages, and we know that the ads that are presented to us adjust based on recent search activity. If we use social media or similar platforms, we may well have adjusted our privacy and security settings, and whenever we sign up for something online, we agree to the terms and conditions presented to us (which I’m sure we all thoroughly read before accepting!).

But how many of us think about the concept on the solutions that are being developed on our projects? We may see requirements that cover cookies, terms and conditions, and so on, but do we ensure that our teams are careful about documenting wherever personally identifiable information is collected? How often do we encourage the development of solutions that only capture the minimum necessary data? How frequently do we ensure audits occur for compliance with policies over secure storage …


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It's the old gag: people that pay for things never complain. It's the guy you give something to that you can't please.

- Will Rogers

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