16 Project Management Stats You Can’t Ignore 
A list of the latest project management statistics gathered for your reference.
It’s already 2019, so a significant question comes up for PMs: how will project management trends change in 2019?
The field of project management is changing, and it’s changing faster than ever did. New techniques, frameworks, and tools are disrupting entrenched players and undoing long-held beliefs.
But what is the impact of these changes — in absolute numbers? What’s the actual rate of PM adoption? How many projects fail, and why? To prepare for these changes, you first need to arm yourself with corresponding facts and stats.
To answer these questions, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the latest project management statistics and gathered data points culled from dozens of studies for your reference. Let’s go!
Project Management Adoption Statistics
What is the adoption rate of project management software across organizations?
- Only 58% of organizations fully understand the value of project management. (PMI)
- 93% of organizations report using standardized project management practices. (PMI)
- 68% — more than 2/3rd — of organizations in PMI’s annual survey said that they used outsourced or contract project managers in 2018. (PMI)
- File sharing, time tracking, email integration, Gantt Charts, and budget management are the top five most used and requested features in project management software. (Capterra)
- As per Wellingtone’s survey, only 22% of organizations use a PM software. Coincidentally, 55% of organizations don’t have access to real-time KPIs. As a result, 50% of respondents said that they spend one or more days to manually collate project reports — highlighting the immense productivity gains on offer by using project management software. (Wellingtone)
- Between 2017 and 2018, the percentage of organizations using spreadsheets to manage their agile projects dropped from 74% to 67%. Instead, these organizations moved to specialized PM tools. (VersionOne)
- 77% of high-performing projects use project management software. Despite its impact, adoption rates for PM software remains low (22% — see above). 66% of project managers say that they would use PM software more extensively if they had adequate support from their organization. (Hive)
- 56% of organizations have used only one project management system. On average, organizations spend $861/month on PM software. A majority — 54% — use on-premise PM software, though this is quickly changing. (Capterra)
Project Management Performance Statistics
What is the average failure rate of a project? Among successful projects, what factors have the biggest impact on success? Let’s see!
- Project performance has been rising globally. In 2018, nearly 70% of projects met their original goals or business intent, while nearly 60% were completed within the original budget. Both these figures are up from 62% and 50% respectively in 2016. (PMI)
- IT projects are notoriously difficult to manage. A survey published in HBR found that the average IT project overran its budget by 27%. Moreover, at least one in six IT projects turns into a “black swan” with a cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of 70%. (HBR)
- Poorly training project managers, attempting too many projects, and a lack of project funding are the top three project management challenges in Wellingtone’s survey. (Wellingtone)
- Among IT projects, failure rate corresponds heavily to project size. An IT project with a budget over $1M is 50% more likely to fail than one with a budget below $350,000. For such large IT projects, functionality issues and schedule overruns are the top two causes of failure (at 22% and 28% respectively). (Gartner)
- A PwC study of over 10,640 projects found that օnly 2.5% of companies complete their projects 100% successfully. The rest either failed to meet some of their original targets or missed the original budget or deadlines. These failures extract a heavy cost — failed IT projects alone cost the United States $50-$150B in lost revenue and productivity. (Gallup)
- Among IT projects, project performance varies significantly. While software projects have an average cost overrun of 66%, the same figure for non-software projects is 43%. However, 133% of non-software projects fail to meet their stated benefits, compared to just 17% for software projects. (McKinsey)
- 17% of IT projects can go so bad that they can threaten the very existence of the company. (McKinsey)
There you have it — the brief list of the latest project management statistics, updated for 2019. Use it to understand the project management landscape, benchmark your own success rate, and understand how others are using project management practices and tools.
- PMI: Pulse of the profession 2018, Project Management Institute
- Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value, McKinsey
- The cost of bad project management, Gallup
- Survey shows why projects fail, Gartner
- The state of project management: Annual survey 2018, Wellingtone
- PMI: Pulse of the profession 2017, Project Management Institute
- Why your IT project may be riskier than you think, Harvard Business Review
- Project management user research report, Capterra
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