ISO 21500:2012: How to increase efficiency and maximise the effect of investments in the new year

With pressure on business for faster and cheaper results, this ISO standard for good practice in project management will increase efficiency and maximise the effect of investments.

ISO 21500:2012, Guidance on project management, can be used by any type of organisation, including public, private or community organisations, and for any type of project, irrespective of complexity, size and duration.

Project management is now big business. According to the Anderson Economic Group study commissioned by the Project Management Institute, over 24.4 million employees were participating in projects in 11 major economies in 2006. By 2016, this demand will exist to support 32.6 million employees in the same countries.

ISO 21500 provides high-level description of concepts and processes that are considered to form good practice in project management. New project managers as well as experienced managers will be able to use the project management guidance in this standard to improve project success and achieve business results.

Miles Shepherd, Chair of the ISO project committee that developed the new standard, states: “ISO 21500 enables people in any organisation to understand how the discipline fits into a business environment. It is also intended to be used as a basic guide, aimed at the informed reader without an in-depth knowledge of project management.”

Additional benefits of ISO 21500 include:

  • Encourage transfer of knowledge between projects and organisations for improved project delivery
  • Facilitate efficient tendering processes through the use of consistent project management terminology
  • Enable the flexibility of project management employees and their ability to work on international projects
  • Provide universal project management principles and processes
  • Providing a shared project management processes and principles
  • Transparent and improved decision-making
  • Helps to unify the profession by building a common language and standard processes
  • Better performance reviews
  • Better access to jobs and higher incomes
  • Increased self-esteem

Karl Best, Secretary of the project committee, comments: “In an increasingly global economy project managers need guidance to help them understand the basic principles of managing projects. ISO 21500 can help those involved in projects improve the success of a wide variety of project types.”

ISO 21500 is the first in a planned family of project management standards. It is designed to align with related International Standards such as ISO 10006:2003, Quality management systems − Guidelines for quality management in projects, ISO 10007:2003, Quality management systems − Guidelines for configuration management, ISO 31000:2009, Risk management – Principles and guidelines, and some sector-specific standards in industries such as aerospace and IT.

What is ISO 21500?

ISO 21500 provides guidance on concepts and processes of project management that are important for, and have impact on the performance of projects. This guide comprehends a straightforward introduction and also explains the practical application on how to deliver projects successfully and ensure a sustainable future. ISO 21500 is a professional methodology which combines project management best practices and conveys them collectively. Also, it can be used by any type of organisation, including public, private or community organisations, and for any type of project, regardless of its complexity, size or duration.

Why is Project Management important for you?

ISO 21500 will guide you towards significant project improvements by enabling the project to be completed within budget and time constraints while ensuring minimal interruption to the rest of the business operations. ISO 21500 will guide you toward significantly project improvements by completion of projects within budget and time constraints while ensuring minimal interruption to the rest of the businesses operations. It will also enable organisations to fulfill all project management requirements and minimise the chance of project failure.

Gaining ISO 21500 certification will help you to sufficiently plan, manage and monitor the progress of a project, at the same time, equips you with the fundamental skills to properly allocate the time needed to finish the tasks and meet the deadline. Most importantly, this methodology based on best practices gives you the knowledge and guidelines how to productively document the results. This certification proves that you possess the necessary skills to lead a project and manage a team effectively. This certification helps you to grow your career opportunities and your team-building skills and reach a greater level of commitment with your team members. It will enable you to be more confident and competent to define the proper resources needed to deliver projects on time and on budget.

ISO Internationally Certified: ISO 21500: Project Management:

Crest Advisory Africa is accredited by the PECB to conduct internationally accredited training with our Public Courses through our CAA Training Academy (CAATA), we also offer correspondence training and if needed, to do it on site, with our In-house Training offerings.

The training for each of the standards consists of the following modules for different audiences:

Lead Project Manager

(5 days)

  • ISO 21500 Lead Project Manager training enables you to acquire the expertise to lead an organisation and its team to implement, manage and maintain projects based on ISO 21500. During this training course, you will also gain a comprehensive knowledge of the best practices of Project Management and be able to effectively apply them in an organisation in order to successfully plan, implement, control and close a project while meeting project objectives.
  • After mastering all the necessary concepts and processes of Project Management, you can sit for the exam and apply for a “PECB Certified ISO 21500 Lead Project Manager” credential. By holding a PECB Certificate, you will be able to demonstrate that you have the professional capabilities and competencies to effectively lead and manage the implementation of projects.


Based on practical exercises, you will be able to master audit techniques and become competent to manage an audit program, audit team, communication with customers, and conflict resolution.

Organisational Gap analysis against ISO 21500

Organisations will then need to perform a gap analysis to assess the nature of changes that are required in their business. Should you not feel confident in conducting a gap analysis, you may call on a CAA qualified Lead Implementer and Auditor to assist. CAA offers guidance that will lead your team to certain compliance.

Once ready, you can contact CAA to conduct a pre-certification, or readiness audit, implement corrective action and you’re good to go.

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