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PMI 2017 Pulse of the Profession: Project Success Rates Climb, Fewer Dollars Wasted

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Project Management Institute’s (PMI) latest research shows that for the first time in five years, more projects are meeting original goals and business intent while being completed within budget — and that fewer projects are deemed failures.

Findings unveiled today in PMI’s 2017 Pulse of the Profession®: Success Rates Rise: Transforming the High Cost of Low Performance demonstrate that last year organizations around the globe reduced the average amount of money they wasted on projects and programs by 20 percent compared to the previous year. Specifically, the study found that, globally, organizations wasted an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested in projects and programs in 2016, compared to an average of $122 million per $1 billion in the year prior.1

The report determines that organizations are becoming more mature with project management and are distinguishing themselves by:

  • Developing project management talent. Developing technical, leadership and business skills for the management of projects continues to draw significant attention. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents consider both technical and leadership skills a high priority — a 3 percent increase over last year.
  • Managing project benefits. There’s growing attention to benefits realization management, which is the collective process of identifying benefits at the outset of a project and ensuring, through purposeful actions during implementation, that the benefits are realized and sustained once the project ends. One in three organizations (31 percent) reports high benefits realization maturity.
  • Establishing Project Management Offices (PMOs) and strategic Enterprise Project Management Offices (EPMOs). Organizations can bridge the gap between high-level strategic vision and implementation with a project management office (PMO). Among organizations in the survey that have a PMO, half report having an enterprise project management office (EPMO). And those that align their EPMO to strategy (i.e., have a strategic EPMO) report 38 percent more projects meet original goals and business intent and 33 percent fewer projects are deemed failures.
  • Driving executive sponsorship. Actively engaged executive sponsors continue to be the top driver of whether projects meet their original goals and business intent. That fact was not lost on survey respondents, who revealed an increase in the percentage of their organizations’ projects with actively engaged sponsors compared to last year — an average of 62 percent compared to 59 percent, respectively.
  • Addressing agile approaches. Organizations increasingly embrace agile as a technique for managing projects. A full 71 percent of organizations report using agile approaches for their projects sometimes or more frequently.

“We are encouraged to see that organizations are making significant progress and experiencing more success with implementing strategic initiatives and delivering intended project benefits,” said PMI President and CEO Mark A. Langley. “We have long advocated that project management is essential for any organization’s success and are excited that others are increasingly realizing this fact as well. Organizations that invest in proven project management practices waste 28 times less money because more of their strategic initiatives are completed successfully.”

Of the industries included in the study, healthcare reported the highest average waste on project spending. A more detailed breakout of several key industries included in the study, ranked from highest to lowest, demonstrates the range of efficiency achieved:

Healthcare – $112 million per $1 billion
Telecom – $106 million per $1 billion
Energy – $101 million per $1 billion
Manufacturing – $98 million per $1 billion
Government – $97 million per $1 billion
Financial Services - $97 million per $1 billion
Construction – $94 million per $1 billion
IT – $78 million per $1 billion

Of the geographic regions covered in the study, specific markets stood out. India reported the lowest average monetary waste on projects ($73 million per $1 billion), followed by both China and the Middle East ($82 million per $1 billion). Conversely, Europe reported the highest average waste on project spending at $131 million per $1 billion. 2

The 2017 Pulse of the Profession features feedback and insights from 3,234 professionals globally who represent diverse levels of experience and industries, including government, information technology (IT), telecom, energy, manufacturing, healthcare and construction. The global totals in the report represent feedback from North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific region.

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

Project Management Institute is the world's leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. PMI advances careers, improves organizational success and further matures the profession of project management through its globally recognized standards, certifications, resources, tools academic research, publications, professional development courses, and networking opportunities. As part of the PMI family, ProjectManagement.com and ProjectsAtWork.com create online global communities that deliver more resources, better tools, larger networks and broader perspectives. Visit us at www.PMI.org, www.facebook.com/PMInstitute and on Twitter @PMInstitute.

1 Figures are U.S. dollar amounts, but represent a percentage that applies to any currency.

2 Figures are U.S. dollar amounts, but represent a percentage that applies to any currency.

Contact information

Project Management Institute (PMI)
Karen Flanagan, +1 610-356-4600 x1092
Karen.Flanagan@pmi.org
or
Megan Kelly, +1 610-356-4600 x7030
Megan.Kelly@pmi.org

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