Project Management

On the Road to Maturity

Mark Mullaly is president of Interthink Consulting Incorporated, an organizational development and change firm specializing in the creation of effective organizational project management solutions. Since 1990, it has worked with companies throughout North America to develop, enhance and implement effective project management tools, processes, structures and capabilities. Mark was most recently co-lead investigator of the Value of Project Management research project sponsored by PMI. You can read more of his writing at

In pursuing project management maturity, what capabilities make sense and when does the law of diminishing returns kick in? How do you sell and implement an improvement program, and what activities have the greatest impact in leveraging ongoing change? This article begins a research-based series that will shed light on these and other questions.

The series is based upon results from the Organizational Project Management Baseline Study, conducted the past eight years by Interthink Consulting. The study is a worldwide benchmarking effort to understand current capabilities, trends and best practices in the realm of organizational project management. Based upon a maturity model developed in 1993, the study has harvested insights and information from more than 650 organizations and 3,000 individual respondents.
The need to increase project management maturity is one that is appearing on the radar of more executives and senior managers. In part, this is a result of the increasing popularity of maturity models. It is also a reaction to localized improvement efforts not resulting in significant or lasting change. The marketplace is growing crowded with the number of maturity models on offer, and project executives are being inundated with promises as to their effectiveness and viability. What is missing from most of these claims is any objective demonstration that …

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"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

- Francis Bacon