Project Management

Looking Beyond The PMI Talent Triangle®

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

One of the things that I delight in is that project management is as diverse as it is.

To be a successful project manager, we need skills, knowledge, experience and understanding from a variety of different perspectives. The learning opportunities—for someone who has an appetite for learning—are enormous. We’ve got the ability to study the technical process of project management. Leadership. Strategy. Communications. Organizational behavior. Politics. And all of that’s before we even get into the subject of our project, and the technology and process understanding of how to deliver the project results.

Recognizing this—and prompting project managers to broaden the boundaries of their skill development—was one of the prompts for PMI in developing the The PMI Talent Triangle®. And regardless of what you may personally feel about the hard boundaries and learning quotas represented by each dimension of the triangle, it certainly has some use in that regard.

The dimensions of the triangle are straightforward: there is technical project management; leadership; and strategic and business management. The first two are relatively clear-cut: project management addresses the technical discipline of being a project manager, with all of the tools and techniques that entails, from project charter to risk register to earned value calculation. …

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