ISO 21500:2021 – Project Management Context and Concepts

Writing goal on post-it with ISO 21500:2021 project management, program management, and portfolio management concepts.

Worldwide, there are 16.5 million project managers. The work carried out by these professionals is essential to completing temporary endeavors to meet an organization’s objectives. Project managers, while championing these projects, are not alone in the comprehensive realization of a business’s goals.

In fact, the international standard ISO 21500:2021 – Project, Programme And Portfolio Management – Context And Concepts is applicable not only to project management, program management, and portfolio practitioners and professionals, but also members of academia, relevant stakeholders, developers of standards and public policy, and executives, senior management, sponsors, and other governing bodies overseeing projects, programs, and portfolios.

This international standard specifies organizational context and underlying concepts for undertaking project, program, and portfolio management. In doing so, ISO 21500:2021 addresses the organizational environment, external environment, strategy implementation, and integrated governance and management approaches. Since project management is an interest untethered by industry, this standard is applicable to most organizations regardless of size or type.

Users of related standards prepared by ISO Technical Committee 258 (ISO/TC 258) can benefit from adherence to ISO 21500:2021, as the international standard offers an overview of these standards and their relationship to one another, and it outlines their benefits for any organization that wants to to adopt project, program, and portfolio management.

Changes to ISO 21500:2021

This international standard revises the 2012 edition of the same document, but so does a new standard designated ISO 21502:2020. From this change, ISO 21500:2021 provides an overview of project, program, and portfolio management and related factors, as well as high-level view of the standards prepared by ISO/TC 258 addressing these concepts, while ISO 21502:2020 gives guidance on project management.

You can learn more about this other international standard in our post ISO 21502:2020 – Guidance on Project Management.

ISO 21500:2021 – Project, Programme And Portfolio Management – Context And Concepts is available on the ANSI Webstore. Any users of the past edition of the standard might be interested in ISO 21500:2021 Plus Redline, which clearly marks changes made to the document.

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