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 markmullaly.com.
The idea of branding organizations was a really, really big thing for a while. And then we got the great idea of branding ourselves. Tom Peters, among others, advocated that we challenge ourselves to find out just what made “Brand You” the type of people that other people would want to hire. So to a certain extent it was inevitable that we should start to look at branding our projects. The big question is, should we? Does it make a difference? Does anyone care? And most importantly, does it help? And if it helps, exactly who is it helping, anyway?
Let’s start with fundamental motivation. If the idea of establishing a brand for a project is one that resonates, it must be in order to serve some underlying inspiration or other. On the face of it, in fact, there is some logic. Every project competes with every other project within an organization for resources, money, time and attention. There is a high prevalence of projects in most organizations, with the sheer number far exceeding the bandwidth of staff available to complete them. Add in an economy where resources (financial and otherwise) are scarcer than ever, and the competition starts to ratchet up. If there is something that can make our project stand out from the crowd, that should theoretically be helping our cause.
So what if we do? What if we brand our project? What would that look like, and what