Project Management

Ethics Bistro

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We all tackle ethical dilemmas. Wrong decisions can break careers. Which are the key challenges faced? What are some likely solutions? Where can we find effective tools? Who can apply these and why? Dry, theoretical discussions don't help. Join us for lively, light conversations to learn, share and grow!

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Kimberly Whitby
Simona Bonghez
Karthik Ramamurthy
Alankar Karpe
Fabio Rigamonti
Mohamed Hassan
Valerie Denney
John Watson
Deepa Bhide
Amany Nuseibeh
Enrique Cappella
Gretta Kelzi
Albert Agbemenu

Past Contributors:

Lily Murariu

Recent Posts

The A, B, C’s of Ethics

The Traps of a Conflict of Interest

Is there something called an ethical protest?

Avoiding the Alligators While Navigating Uncharted Territory

Ethics as a competence of the Portfolio Program Project Manager: a personal journey.

Viewing Posts by Simona Bonghez

Vacation time...

I read some time ago that a good project manager is the one who can leave for vacation without causing any impediments to his/her project (as the team is prepared, everyone knows exactly what to do and how to do it).

Assuming that you are such a project manager, who will enjoy your vacation not worrying about your project 😊, we thought to give you some nerd kind of entertainment: do you fancy a crossword?!

Solve it and let us know if you succeed to find the hidden word (made of the light blue highlighted letters). Enjoy!


  1. Our duty to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us. 
  2. It outlines the ethical principles that govern our decisions and behavior. 
  3. A conclusion or resolution reached after consideration of all involved aspects, including ethics in most cases. 
  4. Moral principles that govern a person's behavior or the conducting of an activity.
  5. Our duty to make decisions and act impartially and objectively. 
  6. …. Ethics Assessment – ethics tool, component of the Ethics Toolkit, that provides an effective four-step process to assess team members’ knowledge on ethics. 
  7. Project Management Institute (abr.).
  8. Situations in which we must recognize divergent interests and refrain from influencing decisions (3 words).


  1. Ethics …. - designed by PMI to help project management practitioners to address ethical issues in their professional and volunteer activities.
  2. Our duty to take ownership for the decision we make or fail to make, the actions we take or fail to take, and the consequences that result.
  3. Framework developed by PMI, component of the Ethics Toolkit, that guides project managers toward ethical choices and accountability. (abr.)
  4. One of the most important factors that affect business ethics, through different interpretation of values, practices, behaviors.
  5. Morally good, justified, or acceptable. 
  6. A professional in the field of project management (2 words).
  7. Our duty to understand the truth and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct.
  8. Ethics ..... Assessment - ethics tool, component of the Ethics Toolkit, that allows one to become self-aware of own ethics knowledge, understandings, and principles.

Note: the Ethics Toolkit is available on the PMI website:

Posted by Simona Bonghez on: July 15, 2019 09:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (24)

Mice, Kids and Pens… (short story)

'Oh no, not this now… This could only happen to me. Fudge and fiddlesticks!'

'What's got into you, Mishu? Why are you so hot under the collar? Rather ‘warm under the collar', Gogu thought to himself amused, as Mishu, the giant Transylvanian, always looked calm even when he was at his wits' end. But this time he must have been more upset than usual, as he wouldn't react to his friend's challenge. He continued to stare at the laptop screen, clearly affected by something on it, summoning – in a slow and emphatic way – all sorts of demons and spirits, without specifying exactly how they were supposed to contribute.

Suddenly, Mishu jumped to his feet, getting ready to leave.

'I'll be on my way now…'

'That I can see for myself… But where are you going? I thought we were supposed to have a beer…'

'What beer, Gogu? Fudge and fiddlesticks and freaking mice!'


'Aha', Mishu nodded, 'those race-car shaped mice that we received from the partners of the event. They're gone!!! Fudge and…'

'Wait a minute, Mishu, have a seat and explain this to me. What do you mean by they're gone? And what in the world do we have to do with them?'

The giant sat down obediently and, with a bit of fudge-and-fiddlesticking, he started talking about the reason of his distress. They had received some promo materials from their partners for the new product launch event: some race-car shaped mice. Gogu recalled the gadgets that faithfully replicated the hundreds-of-horsepower rides, with logos and accessories, colours and markings: some miniature gems, made with a strong sense of duty. Mishu, who was in charge with organizing the event, seeing how mesmerized was one of his colleagues with the mouse, had encouraged him to take one. Probably as a result of this encouragement, the other colleagues, as well as the interns in charge with the booth had raided the received promo materials until there were none left.

'How could they have taken them?! They belong to the company, right? We got them in the name of the company. How come they left with them at home? The next thing I know, they are going to take all the equipment with them, too. Are they going to take the office furniture at home, as well? Gogu, you do realize that this is as if they took money from the account of the company, right? This is theft, Gogu! Larceny!

Mishu's face was changing colors like a traffic light, as he kept getting worked up over this. When the thought about theft sprouted in his mind, he turned all red and seemed to settle for that. The conclusion that he had reached was terrifying him, and he was bereft of fudge and fiddlesticks and any other words. He was staring at Gogu, quietly begging for help. Suddenly, another idea popped into his mind and now not only was he left without words, but now he was also left without any air:

'And I was the one encouraging him... Thievery! I shall go to blazes, Gogu, hell is going to take me over!'

Gogu added another piece of wood to the fire:

'Mishu, what can I tell you? I think you are right. You told Robert he could take a mouse... and all the others thought they were given the green light...'

'What green light, man? What green light? Robert was the most hardworking one; it was a reward for his efforts. I didn't say anything to the others. Put a sock in it! So what, if I had told them to do so, they would have taken money from the account of the company?'

'I don't think they made the connection, Mishu, they must have seen the mice as some freebie accessories, without connecting their financial value with the fact that they had been received by the company and they are, therefore, company property. In this case, the fact that they took them did not look to them like stealing. Just like in that joke about the kid and the pens...'

'Fudge and fiddlesticking kid and his pens, what in the world would he have to do with my mice?'

Gogu burst into laughter: the fudge and the fiddlesticks were back again.

'It goes like this: a kid comes home and his dad notices that he has a new pen. He asks the kid what happened and the kid admits that he had taken his desk mate's pen. The father gets upset and lectures the kid on how wrong it is to take someone else's things, on respect for other people's property. In the end, he adds: 'And if you have nothing to write with, just let me know and I will bring you from work as many pens as you want...'

Posted by Simona Bonghez on: November 20, 2017 06:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (23)

"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things."

- Rene Descartes