Project Management

Use Your Project Management for Good

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.

Project management covers a lot of ground. That it does so is a necessary by-product of its origins. Project management as its own discipline borrows from a wide range of other ones to create the practices, the tools, the processes and the systems that we call ours. We have synthesized together an array of influences to create a new and meaningful thing.

Of course, there isn’t just one project management. This doesn’t refer to the broad brushstrokes of “agile” versus “waterfall” versus “hybrid.” If we were genuinely honest with ourselves, every application and instance of project management is hybrid on at least some level. Every instance of project management is supposed to be hybrid. As A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) itself states, project managers need to adapt their practices as appropriate to support the unique needs of each project.

Even where defined organizational practices exist, there is room for adaptation and flexibility in how project management is practiced. Where there are good practices, that is by design. In other practices, that variation can be a product of benign neglect or willful noncompliance. The agency we have as project managers means that we have free play in what we do and how we do it. Our agency lives at the intersection of what our organizational …


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