Project Management

Project Management: A Tale of Two Futures

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

Predicting the future is a dangerous thing. Mostly because it hasn't happened yet, and there is always the risk that you might be wrong. There are strategies of course to avoid this fate. In the words of Alan Kay, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." And while I don't have the sufficient ego necessary to believe I can pull that off with all of project management, sites such as certainly do their part in helping to shape what project management is and where it is going.

But where is it actually headed?

There are, broadly, three large trends. Project management could become increasingly specialized, perhaps evolving into a fully recognized profession. It could develop into something that is just done in managing strategic change. Or project management could continue to muddle along much as it has over the last decade or three.

Is the status quo sustainable? We should never doubt the power of inertia. As we wrote about last month, people don't like to change. And there are powerful forces that want to keep it the same. Those powerful forces would largely, of course, be us. We value our current structures, processes and understanding, and we resist (often so deftly that we don't even notice ourselves doing it) anything that takes us out of that comfort zone.

Of course, there are also those who would argue …

Please log in or sign up below to read the rest of the article.


Continue reading...

Log In
Sign Up

When someone is lying, is it true that their pants are actually on fire?

- Jerry Seinfeld