The GPM P5 Standard Makes International Development Projects Sustainable

International development projects (ID) aim to improve people’s lives in developing countries. However, these projects often need more resources, complex stakeholder networks, and high levels of uncertainty. Effective project management is critical to overcoming these obstacles, and the P5 standard can be a valuable tool for organizations managing international development projects.

The P5 standard offers a comprehensive approach to assessing project sustainability focusing on the delivery and outcome. It comprises five basic building blocks: People, Planet, Prosperity, Product, and Process. These building blocks emphasize ethical considerations that guide project management practices.

Implementing the P5 standard in international development projects can help improve project outcomes in various ways. Here are five big ones:

1. P5 Standard brings internationally recognized standards, accords, and treaties to the forefront of project management, including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The P5 Standard provides a holistic framework for project management that incorporates internationally recognized standards, accords, and treaties, making it easier for organizations to align their projects with global sustainability goals. By combining these international standards and treaties, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development while benefiting from global organizations’ expertise and guidance. Furthermore, by following the P5 Standard, organizations can improve transparency and accountability, essential for building trust with stakeholders, including investors, customers, and the public.

For example, a company implementing a renewable energy project in a developing country can use the P5 Standard to ensure that the project aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By aligning the project with these international standards, the company can demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and human rights, which can help to build trust with local communities and other stakeholders. Additionally, by using the P5 Standard, the company can ensure that the project is implemented transparently and accountable, which can help mitigate risks and improve the project’s overall success.

 

2. P5 impact analysis can identify potential positive and negative impacts on sustainability that can be analyzed and presented to management for informed decisions and effective resource allocation.

P5 impact analysis is a powerful tool for identifying a project’s potential positive and negative impacts on sustainability, allowing organizations to make informed decisions and allocate resources effectively. By analyzing the impact of a project on various sustainability factors, such as environmental, social, and economic impacts, organizations can identify potential risks and opportunities and develop strategies to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities. Additionally, by presenting this information to management, organizations can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with a project and how to allocate resources effectively.

For example, a transportation company that is planning to introduce electric buses in a developing country can use P5 impact analysis to identify potential environmental, social, and economic impacts of the project. By analyzing the impact of the project on factors such as air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, public health, and local employment, the company can develop strategies to mitigate risks and maximize benefits. Additionally, by presenting this information to management, the company can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the project and how to allocate resources effectively.

 

3. The P5 Standard supports the alignment of projects with organizational goals for sustainability by focusing on the potential impacts of the project’s activities, results, and outcomes.

The P5 Standard provides a framework for aligning projects with organizational goals for sustainability, by focusing on the potential impacts of the project’s activities, results, and outcomes. By aligning projects with organizational goals, organizations can ensure that they are working towards their sustainability objectives and can improve their effectiveness in achieving these goals. Furthermore, by focusing on the potential impacts of the project’s activities, results, and outcomes, organizations can identify potential risks and opportunities, and can develop strategies to mitigate risks and maximize benefits.

For example, a manufacturing company that is implementing a waste reduction project can use the P5 Standard to align the project with its organizational goals for sustainability. By focusing on the potential impacts of the project’s activities, results, and outcomes, the company can identify potential risks and opportunities, and can develop strategies to mitigate risks and maximize benefits. Additionally, by aligning the project with organizational goals for sustainability, the company can demonstrate its commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.

4. P5 elements support specific SDG goals and targets, providing many connections and combinations that are possible in any given project.

The P5 Standard supports specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, providing many connections and combinations that are possible in any given project. By aligning projects with specific SDGs and targets, organizations can improve their effectiveness in achieving these goals, while also demonstrating their commitment to sustainable development. Furthermore, the P5 Standard provides a flexible framework that allows organizations to adapt their projects to meet different SDGs and targets, depending on their priorities and objectives.

For example, a non-profit organization that is implementing a social development project in a developing country can use the P5 Standard to align the project with specific SDGs and targets, such as SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 4 (Quality Education). By aligning the project with these specific SDGs and targets, the organization can improve its effectiveness in achieving these goals, while also demonstrating its commitment to sustainable development. Additionally, by using the flexible framework provided by the P5 Standard, the organization can adapt the project to meet different SDGs and targets, depending on its priorities and objectives.

5. The P5 Standard can be applied as is by simply changing the word project to program or portfolio, providing significant value and benefits across different domains.

The P5 Standard is a versatile framework that can be applied across different domains, including programs and portfolios. By applying the P5 Standard to programs and portfolios, organizations can ensure that they are working towards their sustainability objectives and can improve their effectiveness in achieving these goals. Furthermore, by using the same framework across different domains, organizations can streamline their sustainability efforts and improve their overall efficiency.

For example, a government agency that is implementing a large-scale infrastructure program can use the P5 Standard to ensure that the program is aligned with its sustainability objectives. By applying the P5 Standard to the program, the agency can identify potential positive and negative impacts of the program on sustainability and develop strategies to mitigate risks and maximize benefits. Additionally, by using the same framework across multiple programs and portfolios, the agency can streamline its sustainability efforts and improve its overall efficiency.

In another example, a private equity firm that manages a portfolio of companies can use the P5 Standard to ensure that its portfolio companies are aligned with its sustainability objectives. By applying the P5 Standard to its portfolio, the firm can identify potential positive and negative impacts of its portfolio companies on sustainability and develop strategies to mitigate risks and maximize benefits. Additionally, by using the same framework across its portfolio of companies, the firm can streamline its ESG investing efforts. 

Over the next year, we will begin showcasing projects that put P5 into action. If you have one, we would love to hear about it!  

 

Hasyimah Afandi

As the Executive Director for Asia Pacific at GPM, Hasyimah brings over 14 years of experience in energy and human development to her role. She holds an MBA from University Tun Razak and a bachelor's degree from University Technology Petronas in Malaysia. Hasyimah is also a Certified Green Project Manager (GPM-b) and has been recognized with a Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management & Leadership by the Chartered Management Institute UK. In addition to her impressive credentials, Hasyimah is an active member of the Chartered Management Institute UK (CMI) and a graduate of IPMA-USA Young Crew.

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