May 25, 2011

New Project Management Benchmark Study Confirms Value of Training Initiatives

GLEN MILLS, Pa. (May 25, 2011) — A new benchmark study from project management firm PM Solutions on “The State of Project Management Training,” found that the average firm invests US $2,211 per year per employee for project management training. Multiplied across a department, division, or enterprise and this figure can swell into a major line item. Is it effective? Is it worth the expense? The results of PM Solutions’ study confirm that project management training – particularly courses that are instructor-led – is worth the investment. Firms reported an average 26% improvement across eight measures of project and business performance as a result of training initiatives. 

PM Solutions surveyed 262 high-level project management employees from 247 large, midsized, and small organizations in various industries including manufacturing, health care, technology, professional services, finance, and government. The primary purpose of the study was to identify factors that may lead firms to make better decisions regarding their project management training initiatives. The results point to the specific training methods used and their effectiveness, the revenue invested and the goals accomplished, and the improved business results demonstrated.

“You can’t overestimate the importance that well-trained employees have to an organization – training and experience have as much or more impact as even the best technology or processes,” said Matt Light, Research Vice President at Gartner Inc., the pre-eminent advisory firm to the global information systems industry.  “As enterprises grow increasingly ‘projectized,’ studies by Gartner and other industry thought leaders show that training in project management is essential to improving performance.”

The report reveals that organizations exhibit significant improvement in project and business performance due to project management training:

  • 29% improvement in stakeholder satisfaction
  • 27% improvement in schedule performance
  • 26% fewer project failures
  • 25% improvement in budget performance
  • 25% improvement in requirements performance
  • 25% improvement in project quality
  • 25% improvement in productivity
  • 24% improvement in time (speed) to market.

Additional findings point out that employees receive six days of project management training per year, on average, and that more than half of the training that organizations offer is provided by external training vendors. The research indicates that organizations intend to purchase a wide variety of training products and services in the next 12 months. In particular, they intend to continue their focus of building their employee’s project management skills with instructor-led classroom training, which is the most used and most effective method of training according to study respondents.

“The fact that instructor-led classroom training rated highest in terms of usage and effectiveness comes as no surprise to us,” noted Deborah Crawford, Executive Vice President of PM Solutions and President of its project management training division, PM College, sponsor of the study. “This is right in line with our own customer data. Since project management is so team-based, our training clients are primarily using instructor-led, interactive classroom training, and these courses continue to rank highest in terms of participant satisfaction and effectiveness.”

For a complete copy of the research report, visit

About PM Solutions
PM Solutions is a project management firm helping organizations execute, govern, and measure their portfolios to improve business performance. We are the leader in applying project and portfolio management processes and practices to drive operational efficiency for our clients. Our comprehensive offerings address organizational improvement, project execution, and learning and development delivered through our training arm, the PM College® ( PM Solutions serves a diverse client base that includes some of the world’s leading organizations. For more information, visit