Project Management

Smile! You're in Organizational PM!

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

As I have spent time planning the launch of the Organizational PM department for gantthead, I’ve done a lot of thinking and reflecting on what the department is supposed to be, why it is needed and how to approach its development and ongoing evolution.

One of the things that I remarked upon in reviewing not only my writing, but also the writing of a number of other writers here and elsewhere, is that most articles are--unless they are trying to sell something--quite negative. They focus on what doesn’t work, why it doesn’t work and how if (select one: senior management/sponsors/PMOs/customers) would just behave better, life would be perfect. But they don’t, so it isn’t. The number of articles that explain why something doesn’t work--or is wrong, or isn’t working the way it should --is profound.

In starting this department, however, I am consciously trying to take a different approach by focusing on what actually does work. There are companies that are producing some great tools and software, once one looks beyond the usual suspects. Even the usual suspects can be good under the right circumstances, but we need to be clear about what those circumstances are. And there are certainly organizations that are being remarkably successful in implementing project management. While this may not be the norm, it does occur. Where success…

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"Work is what you do for others . . . art is what you do for yourself."

- Stephen Sondheim