Oct 7, 2014

Benchmark Study Shows Higher Project Management Maturity = Stronger Performance

High-performing organizations showed a 26% cost savings per project, on average, from improving their project management capability.

GLEN MILLS, Pa. (October 07, 2014) — For well over a decade, PM Solutions has been actively gathering data on project management practices and trends, and has seen a steady climb in the prevalence and influence of project management in most organizations. PM Solutions’ most recent study, Project Management Maturity & Value Benchmark 2014, confirms the hypothesis that when organizations improve their project management maturity, they experience corresponding gains in project management performance. More importantly, they also show improved organizational performance.

Earlier this year, PM Solutions surveyed 293 high-level project management personnel from organizations of all sizes in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, technical, finance and government. The primary purpose of the study was to understand current project management practices as well as trends that will lead to improved project management success.

What sets high-performing organizations from the rest? They are much more mature in their project management practices than low performers (average level of maturity 3.4 vs. 2.5 on average and 1.7 for low performers). And they show substantially greater value in a variety of project management performance measures that matter most to executives, especially the percentage of cost savings per project (26% vs. 16% on average and 6% for low performers). Bottom line: More mature firms deliver more value.

“Project management continues to be an organizational practice that provides significant value to the business,” said J. Kent Crawford, PMP, CEO of PM Solutions and author of Project Management Maturity Model and The Strategic Project Office. “By benchmarking the project management maturity of your organization to that of high-performing organizations you’ll have a guide to improving your project management and organizational success.”

The report, now available at www.pmsolutions.com/research, identifies eleven guidelines for advancing project management maturity:
• Perform a project management maturity assessment to define a clear path; this will help engage employees and begin cultural change.
• Use the maturity assessment as a baseline to show the value of future investments in process improvement.
• The assessment will reveal the actions necessary to ensure success in the next step of PMO implementation.
• Repeat assessments can be used to track progress against the project management deployment plan.
• Use assessments to communicate successes and milestone achievements to executives and management.
• Use assessments to identify specific areas for improvement and target 6-month improvement goals.
• Establish an incremental improvement program with specific focus and measurable goals.
• Maintain project management maturity in synch with other corporate process maturity areas.
• Set an appropriate maturity goal — not every organization needs to reach Level 5 to reap important benefits.
• Focus on continuous improvement. Revisit your project management processes every 6 to 12 months.
• Get outside help, especially to help navigate the organization’s political climate to get progress in motion.

Additional findings suggest clear value in improving the organization’s project management capability. Project Management Maturity & Value Benchmark 2014 reveals that the average value organizations have seen by increasing their level of project management maturity include a 29% decrease in failed projects, 16% of projects delivered ahead of schedule, 23% of projects delivered under budget, a 37% improvement in projects aligned with objectives, a 21% improvement in productivity (21%), a 16% cost savings per project (% of total project cost), a 26% increase in customer satisfaction, and a cost savings per project of US $71K.

“Good project management practices continue to be critical to the success of organizations,” notes Crawford. “The question project management leaders should be asking themselves is: What do we focus on improving next to continue delivering value?”

About PM Solutions
For nearly 20 years, PM Solutions has been helping clients drive business value through improved project management capability. Comprehensive offerings provided by PM Solutions include project and portfolio management capability improvement, PMO transformation, program and project management resources, and corporate training and competency development delivered through its training division, PM College® (www.pmcollege.com). PM Solutions serves a diverse client base that includes some of the world’s leading organizations in industries such as manufacturing, IT, energy, insurance and financial services. For more information, visit www.pmsolutions.com.


Editors’ Note: All graphs and charts contained within the Project Management Maturity & Value Benchmark 2014 research report can be provided separately for sidebar use upon request.