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Very interesting your question
Thanks for sharing
I am convinced that the projects must be aligned with the organization and / or company strategy.
The concept of sustainability is thought in the strategic formulation
There even is a manifesto for sustainability in project management.
My opinion: sustainability is not the target of all projects and cannot be.
For some it should be, especially regarding the values in the PMI Code of Ethics, respect and responsibility. If that is sufficient to be included in PMBoK is up to the update team.
I heard from a Maori: Our purpose is to become good ancestors.
As projects are (still) temporary, they are short-minded, to achieve a goal. Think firefighters putting out fire, pilots flying a plane from A to B, planning an event for next week, fixing a bug in a critical application. There are projects that rightly focus on short term critical goals, and as such de-prioritize sustainability.
Another scenario is, when the business case puts sustainability as one of the primary expected benefits. But that's not the PMs responsibility.
Given that Rich Maltzman (who is a major champion of sustainability in project management), like me, is part of review team #1 for the Seventh Edition, I would be shocked if he didn't look to add more content about sustainability into the guide...
Very interesting question. Personally I think it is out of scope unless you are talking about sustaining the organization as a direct result of performing PM functions. How the output of a project affect the external environment falls in the domain of the Business Analyst or Systems/Project Engineer, not the PM side.
That is not to say that it's not important both strategically for a business and ethically as a person living in society, but I really struggle with how you would include those performance attributes of a project with the PM's domain. On the SE side, it's absolutely relevant as when one considers the architecture of a system that will become a project, that includes the interaction of the product and the process to produce the product with the external environment.
I see sustainability as more of an organizational goal and strategy than at the project level.
As part of our project approval governance process, projects are required to submit an environmental impact assessment report, as well as a Gender Based Analysis report. Although, not specifically sustainment related in the purest context, it still shows initiative outside the normal bounds of project outcomes and deliverables. Additionally, a few years ago, a Sustainment Initiative was started that requires projects to capture the entire project lifecycle costs all the way to disposal. For example, a "disposal plan" is now part of the mandatory project deliverables. For more info on our Sustainment Initiative, follow the link below:
Thanks you for your views and thougths, nevertheless even that i agree with some points refered in several interventions, what i am seeing today in the others institutions like ipma is the integration of the triple bottom line, others like green projects develop PRiSM as principles-based, sustainable project management methodology. There are several projects where sustainability is very importante even at project management level, for example the construction of a dam, or partnerships that are formed for the sole purpose of carrying out a project, such as organizing an area's forest patch or the implications of fueling an airport, and avoiding contamination of soil and groundwater. should not these situations be taken into account in the plan, with specific guidence provided by PMBOK in a generic way?
In this community there is a blog that addresses topics related to sustainability
I don't see the issue as whether or not it is important, but whether it fits into the PMI differentiation of job roles. They place product level qualities in the domain of the BA and not the PM. In reality, the PM has to consider the role of the BA and vise versa.
In my own field, rather than use the term BA, we are called Systems Engineers. In that domain, product qualities are critical. The qualties that determine how well the solution fits the problem are often referred to as the "illities". Sustainability fits in with qualities reproducibility and affordability, and not all apply to all projects. How PMI organizes job roles, whether or not the solution even works is not relevant to the PM role so long as it addressed the scope within cost and schedule requirements. Poorly defined scope? Not the PM's issue.
A similar situation is affordability. Key stakeholders determine whether or not the budget plan is affordable, not the PM. Obviously, a budget that is not affordable would not be a good plan and the PM must consider that, but PMI does not assign that evaluation to the PM.
As a contributor to documents like the PMBOK, I have found that what is included and not included is always a challenge. If you try to include every practical application, it quickly grows beyond control. What PMI does well to address this is their additional knowledge like webinars. Those are usually much more involved with practical applications, rather than pure theory from the perspective of a PM who doesn't even know what the solution is, or why they should care.
Sustainability is big whatever you do but there is one very important problem with sustainability that needs to be resolved before sustainability can become sustainable. COST.
Sustainability has become a big business in itself. There is an answer to make anything sustainable out there but to implement it is costly. 3rd world and underdeveloped countries as an example cannot absorb the costs and therefore you see them exporting waste to countries. Sustainability often means that labor cost escalates, something that nobody wants to see.
Good things i.e. social responsibility, healthy living, quality of living, sustainable living, etc. all come at a cost and often this cost is just too high.
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