Project Management

How to Optimize PM Methods for Personal Goals

PMI Toronto Chapter

Bruce is the founder of, a resource for growing IT project managers.

Today’s project management methodologies are used to run many of the world’s most significant projects. Whether you are managing software, directing the construction of a bridge or a product launch, there is a full suite of project management tools, techniques, and resources to help.

But when we focus on personal project management—achieving our goals—project management methods don’t work typically. How can we truly harness these skills in our personal life?

What Happens When You Apply Regular PM Methods to Personal Goals
The full suite of plans, budgets and other tools covered in the PMBOK® Guide and other resources are best suited for organizational life. Traditional project management guides and resources often assume you work in a large company. When you have access to a project management office, a variety of project team members and powerful PM software, traditional PM often works well.

Achieving our personal goals is quite a different context. Here are some of the most significant differences between running a personal project and managing a project in a large company:

  • Project sponsor: Instead of working with an influential executive, you are often the sponsor of a personal project.
  • Project budget: Personal projects tend to have minimal budgets with some notable exceptions (e.g., home renovations that involve …

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