Published here January, 2005.

A New Report | Study Framework | Observations and Key Findings
 Interesting, Unexpected Findings | Conclusion

Observations and Key Findings

From the data provided in the report we learn that:

  • 26% of the companies surveyed run more than 100 projects yearly, but the across-the-board average is 53 projects per company per year
  • The average project size is around $450,000, i.e. under half a million
  • The average number of project or program managers or directors per company is 17 although 48% of them had fewer than 5
  • On average each such manager runs just over three projects annually
  • The main reason for the projects are to implement IT Change initiatives, e.g. package implementation, new technologies, major upgrades, or outsourcing, representing 73% of the cases

The key findings of the report are:

  1. Not surprisingly, a higher project management maturity will in most cases deliver superior performance
  2. The current overall maturity level is at 2.5 representing Informal Processes and is probably the main reason why so many projects are unsuccessful
  3. More than half the companies surveyed (60%) were not satisfied with their current maturity level
  4. Top and senior management frequently blame project managers for poor results when the causes were beyond the project manager's direct control
  5. The company's organizational structure has a big influence on overall project performance
  6. The optimal organizational structure is determined by the company's business objectives
  7. Investing in staff development does increase project performance
  8. Project management certification of staff does pay off
  9. Organizations that apply "change management" outperform the rest. By change management the authors mean: communication, stakeholder engagement, concern for organizational culture, demonstration of leadership, and so on. The authors probably mean "stakeholder management" because in North America "change management" generally implies the formal processing and approval of changes to the project plan.
  10. External resources add value to a project when employed in moderation, i.e. not exceeding 25%
  11. Specialized project management software can create value but may be destructive in low maturity organizations
  12. While reporting is an essential part of project management, it is time consuming and provides low added value
Study Framework  Study Framework

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