Project Management

You Are Your Most Important Project

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

Being a project manager requires a significant spectrum of skills and abilities. Doing it well means mastering a range of perspectives. We need to be able to confidently guide, structure, lead and support as we manage complex challenges and navigate uncertainty.

For most of us, however, that means focusing on the projects of others. Project managers are the stewards of the dreams and ambitions of those we serve. We respond to their visions, and work out the strategies to bring them to fruition. I have long characterized myself in my role as a facilitator of other people’s content; I bring the capacity, skill and knowledge required to create requisite structure and deliver desired results.

What this also means is that we are comparatively less focused and attentive to our own personal projects. That is unfortunate, and potentially limiting. It may be something you may want to reconsider thinking about going forward.

When I talk about personal projects, I’m not speaking of all of the bits-and-pieces of navigating life: planning your vacation, or renovating your kitchen, or coordinating your next move. Sure, those are projects. Yes, they are also projects that are personal to you. I fully expect you to apply your awesome and amazing project management skills to make those happen (even if your family strongly questions the need to have a Gantt chart to manage …

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"A noble spirit enbiggens the smallest man"

- Jebediah Springfield