as I am preparing for my PMP exam, I ran across the latter portion of the Code of Ethics video which asks the question:
"You are brought onto an ongoing project and you see that project status information has not been correctly communicated to the stakeholders. What do you do?"
The correct answer is given as: "You notify the stakeholders and provide the correct information."
I think this sounds great but let me put this into context:
I am a freelance consultant to one of the largest ITK companies in Europe where I am involved in the management of several projects. So let's take a project where I only co-lead a sub-project but not the overall project. And let's further assume that one of the external vendors has told the CTO of that ITK company that they were not able to deliver a perfect product because of mistakes we made in the sub-project that I am involved with.
Naturally, that CTO now wants to know what is going on - so he asks the area manager who asks the department head who asks the team leader who asks the PM of "my" sub-project. All of these people are employees of that ITK company. That PM now asks me to prepare some slides for the CTO. I do and I include the mistakes we made as well as the mistakes the vendor made that led to his poor performance. Facts show, we were responsible for 5%, the vendor contributed the other 95% to the problem.
In other words: my slides prove that the claim of the vendor is pretty much unjustified.
However, somebody in the "chain of command" (one of the middle managers listed above) used to work for that vendor and edited the slides so that they now say "we made all the mistakes, the vendor has no part in it, we need to give them more time and more money so they can perform better".
This is not a fictional piece but daily reality in the project environment I work in.
So let me ask the above question again: "What do you do?"
I know that the CTO is being fed lies.
I know that he is led to believe that we caused all the problems.
And he is further being asked to spend extra cash so that the poor, poor vendor can finally do what he was payed for to begin with.
However, if I approach the CTO and tell him, I have 2 problems:
a) I disrespect my "superiors" - that is the middle management of the ITK company who essentially represent my client (including the PM of the sub-project I only co-lead and am therefore not fully responsible for)
b) I disregard the fact that I am only an external consultant
On the other hand, if I don't do anything, the CTO is being fed B.S.