Date: June 1, 2016
To: Mark Langley (President and CEO of the Project Management Institute)
Cc: Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, MBA, PMP (PMI BOD Chair), Mark Dickson, MBA, PMP, FAICD (PMI BOD Vice Chair), J. Davidson Frame, PhD, PMP, PMI Fellow (PMI BOD Secretary/Treasurer and Chair of the Audit and Performance Oversight Committee), Caterina La Tona, BCS, PMP, PfMP (PMI BOD Chair of the Strategy Development Oversight Committee), Randy Black, P. Eng., PMP (PMI BOD Director), Margareth Carneiro, MBA, MSc, PMP (PMI BOD Director), Steve DelGrosso, MSc, PMP (PMI BOD Immediate Past Chair), Todd Hutchison, MCom, MBA, PMP, FPMIA (PMI BOD Director), Victoria S. Kumar, MM, PMP (PMI BOD Director), Wagner Maxsen, PMP, PMI-RMP (PMI BOD Director), Kathleen P. Romero, MBA, PMP, CSM, SAFe PM/PO (PMI BOD Director), W. Stephen Sawle, PE, CMC, PMP, PgMP (PMI BOD Director), Jennifer Tharp, PMP (PMI BOD Director), Cecil White, MBA, EdD, PMP (PMI BOD Director), Al Zeitoun, PhD, EVP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, PMP (PMI BOD Director) and others (see email)
I am writing to you for the benefit of all PMI members and all persons involved with managing projects in organizations.
This letter is to request the following:
That PMI effectively manage the OPM3 standard;
That PMI make the Capability Statements of OPM3 available to everyone (and preferably place the Capability Statements in the public domain);
That PMI remove Human Systems International’s (HSI’s) diagnostics for organizational project management, 4Q Quadrant Assessments, and any other HSI OPM3-related products and services from the PMI website; and
That PMI terminate all activities that may compromise the OPM3 standard and its use.
PMI is engaging in unethical and perhaps illegal business practices by replacing OPM3, temporarily or permanently with HSI’s products and services. The OPM3 Standard was created by volunteers with the expectation that the fruits of their labor would become a standard (this happened) and that the project management community would continue to be able to access and benefit from this standard. For this to happen, the community must have access to the OPM3 Capability Statements.
When OPM3 was first published, these OPM3 Capability Statements were provided on a CD in the back of the OPM3 book. But soon PMI removed the CD from the book, announcing that the OPM3 Capability Statements were no longer part of the standard itself (which was ludicrous), and made the CD of OPM3 Capability Statements the basis of an expensive OPM3 Professional certification scheme (at a much higher price than the OPM3 book). This severely limited adoption of OPM3, and ultimately PMI suspended this misguided certification in 2015. However, in doing so, PMI did not simultaneously make the OPM3 Capability Statements available again to the project management community.
To be clear, despite PMI’s Core Value on Volunteerism that “Volunteers and effective volunteer partnerships with staff are the best way to accomplish the Institute’s goals and objectives,” PMI has made intellectual property developed by volunteers unavailable (i.e. the OPM3 Capability Statements), intellectual property that volunteers created with the explicit understanding that it would remain available to the world. PMI has made the Capability Statements available only to OPM3 Professionals whose expiring certifications were current when PMI finally suspended the certification process, so new users cannot become certified (and cannot obtain direct access to the OPM3 Capability Statements as a result). PMI has not made the Capability Statements available to any OPM3 Professionals who let their certifications lapse in the face of PMI’s mismanagement of OPM3. Worse, PMI has not made the OPM3 Capability Statements available for PMI members at large to obtain for their own use.
PMI has mismanaged the OPM3 standard from the outset. PMI never created a database for OPM3 results, which could have at a minimum provided standard benchmarking reports. PMI seriously diluted the OPM3 standard by creating a “Self-Assessment Mechanism” or “Best Practice Self-Assessment” that misdirects users from the only content that enables identification of the steps necessary to implement OPM3 (i.e. the Capability Statements) and produces an assessment result that simply cannot be used to identify the improvements an organization must make to increase its maturity in OPM3. But PMI’s gravest mismanagement of OPM3 began with removal of the Capability Statements from the OPM3 book, which was compounded by PMI’s mismanagement of a certification process that continues to severely limit OPM3 adoption today by virtue of the fact that not a single new user of OPM3 can obtain for their own use the OPM3 Capability Statements, which are absolutely essential to the implementation of OPM3. It is impossible to implement OPM3 without these OPM3 Capability Statements, and withholding this IP is unethical.
Despite the fact that OPM3 was developed by thousands of volunteers from 35 countries and based on surveys to 30,000 people; despite the fact that OPM3 was created with more input and expertise than any other model for assessing and improving Organizational Project Management to date; despite the fact that OPM3 has been certified by ANSI and updated to its 3rd edition (each time adding the experience and expertise of hundreds of professionals, a testimony to the broad consensus regarding its value); and despite the visible success of OPM3 consultants who have implemented OPM3 in a myriad of Fortune companies, the OPM3 standard has been effectively suspended for nearly two years and is officially under review. To be clear, PMI has said that it is not suspending the OPM3 standard, but PMI has withheld the OPM3 Capability Statements from purchase by new users, effectively suspending its adoption by new users, who must rely on a small number of OPM3 Professionals whose certifications are expiring, which has signaled to the market that OPM3’s future is questionable.
PMI has said repeatedly that PMI would complete its review of OPM3 in early 2016, yet we are already in in the sixth month of 2016 with no conclusion in sight. No other PMI standard has received such treatment, and this has been concomitant to PMI’s acquisition of HSI. PMI has been marketing its subsidiary HSI aggressively this whole time, going so far as to state in the “OPM3 FAQ” on PMI’s website that customers interested in assessing their Organizational Project Management (OPM) capabilities should consider hiring PMI’s subsidiary HSI instead. Never before has PMI blatantly offered on its website PMI’s own commercial products and services that compete with one of its standards while actively degrading the standard’s adoption behind a murky review process. This must stop. PMI is marketing HSI as a substitute for OPM3 even before it has completed its “review” of OPM3, and PMI is withholding the essential components of OPM3 while doing this! The conflict of interest is blatant and egregious. It appears that PMI may use false claims of the alleged “ineffectiveness” of OPM3 to terminate it as a standard and defer to HSI’s products and services. It would be interesting, and perhaps enlighten this matter, to know exactly what the legal and business relationships are between PMI and HSI.
By not addressing these issues in a timely manner, PMI is provoking other stakeholders to take matters into their own hands. On April 18, 2016 the Supreme Court supported the lower courts that ruled the scanning of books by Google for its searchable online database was “fair use.” Do you believe that it is better for PMI to take a leadership position in making the OPM3 Capability Statements available again voluntarily or to provoke others to challenge the status of that material under “fair use” statutes?
Mark, you have not responded to several previous inquiries about OPM3, the Capability Statements, and related topics. It leads one to wonder, and to ask questions, such as - are you/PMI hiding something? Or, is this a covert operation? – what is going on behind the scenes? – why so secretive? Further, and more important, PMI is obligated to its membership and the project management community to make its standards effective and to continuously improve each standard, including OPM3, or to release this material by placing it in the public domain. The “end run” PMI appears to be making around OPM3, and to ultimately terminate OPM3 is unethical and perhaps illegal.
Please address this matter now.
I look forward to your prompt response.
PMI member and OPM3 charter team member