(updated 1-apr -2020)

Development of the ISO 21500 family of standards for Project, Programme and Portfolio Management (PPPM) started in 2007. It is done with worldwide participation of more than 100 subject matter experts from some 50 countries. The overall portfolio of work is managed by the international ISO Technical Committee TC/258 and the actual documents are prepared and compiled by Working Groups and Ad Hoc Groups (Study Groups).


In the Netherlands, members of the NEN standards committee 381236 “project management”, in which some 10 companies take part, are taking part in the actual development of the standards, while the Local Interest Work Group “ISO for projects” reviews these documents from the NL perspective and takes part in the promotion of them.

The LIWG was established in 2009 as an initiative from PMI Netherlands Chapter and IPMA Nederland. The group consists of some 10-20 professionals, interested in the ISO standards for PPPM.


Reason for existence / Objectives

  1. To be sounding board for ISO standards on PPPM
  • Look at ISO standards, independent of developers
  • Review and comment standards
  • Use and application in NL


  1. To promote ISO standards for PPPM
  • Keep NL professionals up to date on products
  • Write articles & practice guides
  • Have presentations and stands on meetings & congresses



The following standards have been published by ISO and reviewed by the LIWG “ISO for projects” to get the NL perspective and input:

  • ISO 21500:2012 “Guidance on project management”.
  • ISO 21504:2015 “Project, programme and portfolio management – guidance on portfolio management”.
  • ISO 21505:2017 “Project, programme and portfolio management – guidance on governance”;
  • ISO 21503:2017 “Project, programme and portfolio management - guidance on programme management“;
  • ISO/TR 21506:2018 “Project, programme and portfolio management - Vocabulary“;
  • ISO 21508:2018 “Earned value management in project and programme management”;
  • ISO 21511:2018 “Work breakdown structures for project and programme management”.


The following standards are under development and the LIWG will form an opinion about them:

  • ISO 21500 “Project, programme and portfolio management – Context and concepts“ (overarching guideline)
  • ISO 21502 “Project, programme and portfolio management - Guidance on project management“ (revision of ISO21500:2012).


The following standards are under study and the LIWG will form an opinion about them:

  • A certifiable ISO management system standard for projects, programs and portfolios.
  • An ISO standard for project environment


To support the promotion of the standards for PPPM the following material has been written by the experts from the NEN standards committee and the LIWG:

  • An internal document comparing ISO 21500 and PMBOK Guide 4th Edition, ICB3 and PRINCE2
  • NEN-ISO 21500 (nl) Richtlijnen voor projectmanagement, 2012 (translation of the English version)
  • ISO 21500 in de praktijk, 2012 (NL); ISO 21500 in practice, 2013 (EN)
  • ISO 21500 A pocket guide, 2013


Next steps

Members of the NEN standards committee continue their contribution to the development of the ISO standards. As the documents are being issued for comments the LIWG will review them and deliver input. To help with the promotion of new standards the authors club might decide to write supporting whitepapers, guides and books about them and to deliver presentations at (chapter) meetings and congresses.

Joining the LIWG “ISO for projects”: learn as PPPM professional, keep up-to-date with important developments in your field and last but not least: have fun!


LIWg leaders: