UK organisations showing improved project performance but more progress needed

As organisations worldwide face increasingly complex challenges resulting from the demands of a rapidly changing business environment, staying competitive calls for the effective management of projects and programmes. With this, we continue to advocate for organisations to embrace project management as a strategic competency for success. Our latest research demonstrates that while many organisations in the UK are listening, there is still more work to be done.

The results from Project Management Institute’s 2018 Pulse of the Profession®: Success in Disruptive Times: Expanding the Value Delivery Landscape to Address the High Cost of Low Performance showed organisations worldwide are wasting a significant amount of money due to poor project performance. On a global basis, the 2018 study showed that, on average, organisations waste 9.9 per cent of every pound due to poor project performance – that’s £99million for every £1billion invested, up from the £97million reported last year.

The 2018 survey, released in February, specifically revealed that roughly £700,000 is wasted every 20 seconds collectively by organisations around the globe due to the ineffective implementation of business strategy through poor project management practices. This equates to roughly £1.4billion wasted a year.

The data in the UK reports an interesting story. From our Pulse survey, UK-based organisations reported that they waste 10.8 per cent for every pound or £108million per £1billion invested on projects. This is a considerable improvement from last year’s figure as UK organisations reported wasting 12.8 per cent of every pound, or £128million per £1billion, in 2017.

Insights from the data suggest that UK organisations are starting to pay attention to their project management frameworks – and are beginning to implement project management approaches that allow for the success of a project. While the numbers are promising and show improvement, UK organisations are still wasting more money than the global average.

“Project managers play a very important role for each and every company,” Ted Dosch, CFO of Anixter International, a global distributor of communication and security products, wire and cable, told us. “A strong project manager helps a company to define the vision for a project or initiative. If they can bring robust project management skills it can make the difference between a successful project that helps companies to grow and a failed project that consumes resources with no measurable return.”

Projects that fail result in wasted money, resources and time. This is clearly not a sustainable business practice, and it’s up to other UK organisational leaders to focus on what matters for positive business outcomes. The survey results demonstrate that there are still a number of UK organisations that need to take another look at project management as the strategic competency that drives success.


by Mark A Langley, President and CEO, Project Management Institute 

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