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ISO 21500

ISO 21500 is an international standard that provides guidelines for project management. The standard was developed to help organizations plan, implement and complete projects effectively and efficiently. In this glossary entry you will learn more about the meaning, scope, benefits and important terms related to ISO 21500.


ISO 21500 is an international standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2012. It aims to provide organizations and project managers worldwide with a framework for the successful management of projects. The standard is industry-independent and can be applied to projects of any size and type. It is therefore an important component for and serves as a guide for companies that want to make their projects more effective.

Scope of application

ISO 21500 is aimed at both experienced project managers and beginners in the field of project management. It serves as a reference for organizations wishing to implement projects and provides guidance for the planning, implementation and control of projects.

The standard can be applied in a wide range of industries and to projects of varying size and complexity. Regardless of whether it is a small project in a start-up or a large project in a multinational corporation - ISO 21500 is a valuable aid for everyone involved.

Advantages of ISO 21500

The application of ISO 21500 offers numerous advantages for companies and project managers. These include, among others:

  • Effectiveness: ISO 21500 helps to plan, implement and complete projects effectively. This leads to better use of resources and a higher probability of success for projects.
  • Efficiency: By applying the standard, projects can be carried out more efficiently. This saves time and costs and helps to increase competitiveness
  • Transparency: ISO 21500 ensures uniform terminology and clear processes in project management. This enables better communication and coordination between project participants and leads to greater transparency
  • Quality: The application of ISO 21500 helps to improve project quality. This leads to more satisfied customers and a better image for the company.
  • Risk management: The standard supports organizations in identifying risks in the course of a project at an early stage and managing them appropriately. This minimizes possible negative effects on the project.

Important terms in connection with ISO 21500

Various terms are used in ISO 21500 that are of central importance for understanding the standard. Some of these terms are presented and explained below:

  • Project: A project is a time-limited undertaking that is carried out to achieve a unique product, service or result.
  • Project management: Project management involves the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to successfully carry out projects. It includes the planning, implementation, monitoring and control as well as the completion of projects.
  • Project manager: The project manager is the person responsible for achieving the project objectives. He or she controls and coordinates the project activities and is responsible for the success of the project.
  • Stakeholder: Stakeholders are people or organizations that are directly or indirectly affected by or interested in a project. These include, for example, customers, project staff, suppliers, clients or regulatory authorities.
  • Risk: A risk is an event or condition that can have a negative impact on the achievement of project objectives. Risk management is an important part of project management and involves identifying, analyzing, assessing and controlling risks.


ISO 21500 is a helpful standard for organizations and project managers who want to successfully plan, implement and complete projects. It provides a framework for project management that is applicable across all industries and for projects of varying size and complexity. The application of ISO 21500 helps to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of projects and supports companies in increasing their competitiveness.