21 Pivotal Project Management Statistics for a Better 2021

Project management is one of the most important aspects of every organisation. As a project manager, you’ll be responsible for helping a project run smoothly and ensuring that team members are productive.

In this article, we will show you some general project management statistics, trends that include an agile way of working, and the newest information on project management software. Of course, you will also learn some stats on where the UK stands in terms of project management.

For instance, did you know that due to miscommunication, small and large businesses lose up to £46 million every year?

Top Statistics on Project Management (Editor’s Choice)

  • 70% of organisations have at least one failed project behind them.
  • Only 23% of organisations use fully standardised project management practices.
  • Agile organisations have approximately a 70% chance to be in the top quartile.
  • Agile methodology projects have a 64% success rate.
  • Gartner confirms that 85% of organisations are adopting or have already adopted a product-centric approach.
  • Some 66% of companies using project management software tools keep their projects within the budget.
  • The project management software market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.67% between 2020 and 2025.
  • In the UK, project management creates £156.5 billion GVA annually.

General Project Management Statistics

1. 70% of organisations have at least one failed project behind them.

(Hive)

KPMG conducted research for several years in a row, showing that about 58% of organisations understand the value proper project management brings to a company. With US companies losing $122 million per billion invested annually due to project management failure, statistics show that 50% of companies have failed to meet a final project goal due to improper project management at one point or another.

2. About 23% of projects do not perform change management initiatives.

(FinancesOnline)

Change management initiatives consist of the tools used to implement change within an industry and to help employees adapt to said changes.

Although the report shows that change management initiatives were not used in almost a quarter of projects at all, the rest of the organisations reported using them. Notably, 32% of businesses reported change management practices were crucial and effective to organisational success.

This is just one of the many trends in project management that results in increased employee satisfaction and company profit.

3. Only 23% of organisations use fully standardised project management practices.

(PMI)

Standardised project management is an evidence-based approach to the successful planning and implementation of projects. According to project management stats, just 23% of organisations use standardised practices across the entire organisation.

On the other hand, 33% use them in most departments, and 38% use them but in some departments only. Notably, 7% don’t use any standardised practices at all.

4. By 2027, organisations will need 87.7 million people working in project management-oriented positions.

(PMI)

This is among 11 countries that were analysed by a study conducted by PMI, including China, India, US, Japan, Brazil, Germany, UK, Canda, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and UAE. This shortage of skilled project management professionals will present a risk for organisations in the future. Specifically, it could cost a potential loss of $207.9 billion through 2027 for these 11 countries if the current project management trends continue.

5. In the US, the health sector registered the biggest increase in project management-oriented positions.

(PMI)

As they see the value of project management, more and more industries have opened up to hiring people in this field. For instance, as a result of new trends in project management, the health sector in the US registered a 17% increase in hiring project management-related employees.

6. Projects with budgets over $1 million have larger failure rates than those under $350,000.

(Medium)

Based on the statistics on project management, the most frequent reasons reported for failed projects include late timeframes, high costs, cancellations, and quality issues. For instance, the failure rate for all projects hovers around 70%, while those with larger budgets have a 94% chance of failure.

Project Management By Industry Statistics

7. In 2020, there were about 75,000 project managers in the construction industry.

(Statista)

The number of these professionals in the construction industry has been steadily declining over the last three years.

For reference, construction project management trends in 2019 show that there were around 83,000 project managers in the construction industry, whereas, in 2018, there were 86,000. Most notably, the COVID-19 crisis hit the construction industry hard, which undoubtedly influenced the 2020 decline.

8. The failure rate of IT projects range from 5% to 15%.

(Gallup)

The cost of failed project management varies by industry. Project management industry trends in the last decade show that the EU spent €440 million on gas projects, which have already or will most likely fail. Some reports also show that failed IT projects cost the Union around €142 billion per year. In the US, failed IT projects cost around $50–150 billion annually.

9. Project failure statistics for April 2020 show that about 15% of global construction projects suffered delays or cancellations due to COVID-19.

(Global Data)

The failure rate in construction projects was particularly devastating due to mass closures and stalls in production. Notably, the failure rate for construction projects was 3–6% higher compared to previous years.

Agile Project Management Statistics

10. Agile organisations have approximately a 70% chance to be in the top quartile of organisational health.

(McKinsey & Company)

Company performance data show that organisational health helps fast track a company’s performance. On that note, agile companies have a new and different approach to business. They rely on a dynamic and ‘easy to mobilise’ way of completing projects, thereby helping companies accomplish good organisational health. Companies that rank highly for organisational health accomplish more customer-first models, deploy products faster, and have larger revenues and fewer costs.

For instance, one of the interesting facts about this project management methodology is that one global electronics enterprise delivered $250 million in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) and increased its price share by 20% in just three years by adopting it in product management.

11. Projects that use agile methodology have a 64% success rate.

(Medium)

The agile methodology is not a new practice, but only recently, it has gained in popularity in business circles and is considered one of the latest modern trends in project management.

Agile represents a good contrast to the more traditional, waterfall model where development teams report a 49% success rate. According to the same research, this methodology proved to have higher success rates for ROI, product quality, stakeholder value, and engagement in the workplace.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that the waterfall method doesn’t work. Many organisations adopt hybrid models to better fit their needs.

12. In the US, about 80% of IT federal projects are ‘agile.’

(Deloitte)

The agile method adoption in terms of US federal projects follows particular project management trends that were originally used in the private sector. They gravitate toward less expensive and more flexible IT projects. For instance, between 2014 and 2015, most federal IT projects went from an average length of nine years to just two with the introduction of agile tactics.

13. A quarter of manufacturers are using agile methodology.

(RoboDK)

Around 27.4% of manufacturing companies use the agile method in project management. This doesn’t include companies that use a hybrid approach.

Project management facts in 2020 demonstrate that manufacturing can have an agile project management approach in many ways. For example, agile methods help streamline processes, improve decision-making, and improve efficiency by updating old tech.

14. According to Gartner, 85% of organisations are adopting or have already adopted a product-centric approach.

(Gartner)

The product-centric approach mainly prioritizes the faster delivery of a product’s important features. This streamlines project goals and allows important features to be completed quicker.

Despite the latest project management facts released by Gartner, it doesn’t mean that each of the 85% of organisations has fully adopted this model. Instead, 40% use this model, and the rest are slowly migrating.

Notably, some projects require a more traditional approach, resulting in 32% of organisations planning to integrate hybrid solutions to their approach.

15. Among companies that transitioned to agile methodology, leader focus on strategy is increased by 30%.

(Harvard Business Review)

The agile methodology encourages a humble leader, opening management to ideas from more than just upper-level workers. If anything, the current trends in project management in terms of agile methodology are changing the way a true leader of the organisation should act and treat their team.

This methodology reduces the focus from operational tasks and management by 45% and lends additional focus to employee management.

Project Management Trends: Software

16. Some 66% of companies using project management software tools keep their projects within the budget.

(PMI, SaasList)

Typically, having project management software is perfect for keeping in line with a projected budget. Notably, 47% of those without software go over their budget. Project management trends for 2021 show that companies that adopt these solutions can save up to 28 times more money than those that don’t. Notably, 47% of the companies that used software solutions confirm it had a positive impact on their project cost estimates.

17. The project management software market will grow at a CAGR of 10.67% between 2020 and 2025.

(Business Wire)

Because of the faster adoption of new methodologies in project development, growth is imminent. Many companies are increasing in size, and they need software solutions to manage their portfolio. According to project management statistics, in 2020, the adoption of these solutions increased and pushed digital transformation across many industries.

18. Jira is the leading project management technology by market share.

(Datanyze)

There are many options to choose from when it comes to PM software tools, but some are far superior to others. Jira was developed by Atlassian and has had the highest market share (37.76%) for some time now. The second on the list is Microsoft Project, with a 19.01% market share.

Emerging trends in project management software show that these two solutions serve the most number of organisations than any other project management software on the market right now — 37,226 and 18,736, respectively. The third on the list, Airtable, only has a 5.59% market share, with only 5,509 organisations using it.

19. Around 52% of the organisations believe that AI can act as a project management assistant.

(FinancesOnline)

Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool and one of the latest trends in project management that many project managers are already using. Many are wondering whether AI can fully replace project managers. Based on one study, around 42% of organisations think it can be a good project management advisor, while only 3% believe it can totally substitute PMs.

No matter how efficient it is, AI can’t address every complex issue, especially those that involve human interaction and productivity. However, it is suitable for assessing big data.

Notably, emerging trends in project management for 2021 show that using AI to perform analytics on web activity, customer behaviour, and team productivity levels helps project managers predict possible team issues and effectively troubleshoot them before they become out of control.

Project Management Statistics in the UK

20. In the UK, project management generates £156.5 billion GVA annually.

(PwC)

Project management has a huge contribution to the UK economy. Considering there are around 2.13 million full-time equivalent workers (FTE) in project management, they make up around 7.9% of the total workforce. This percentage of workers contributes to 8.9% of the total GVA in the UK.

On top of that, some interesting project management facts show that this profession’s total contribution surpasses other more popular fields, such as law, marketing, or design.

21. Depending on the sector, the annual salary of seasoned project managers range from £40,000 to £80,000.

(Prospects)

In general, project management is a lucrative profession in the UK. Starting salaries are lower — somewhere between £20,000 and £35,000 — but the potential is significant. This varies among different industries, of course. For example, project managers in IT earn much more than those in marketing. Project managers can also choose to work as consultants, with an average daily rate ranging from £300 to £500.

Project Management Statistics — Final Words

Project management is an integral and growing profession with the potential to span across all industries. It has demonstrated that it can not only streamline processes and make companies more efficient but also increases employee engagement while saving millions of dollars.

There is enough evidence to support the success of project management, and new trends suggest that innovative methodologies, such as the agile business model, and PM software, such as Jira, are catching on with many companies across the globe. So much so that the rise in demand for project management professions may not be matched by the available talent that currently exists.

Frequently Asked Questions

To better plan and conduct a successful project, you need to keep these factors in mind.

  1. Identify the stakeholders’ needs. Stakeholders can be sponsors, end-users, or employees. Nonetheless, their needs are important.
  2. Set up specific, measurable, and attainable objectives.
  3. Define which products you want to deliver to the client, and set deadlines.
  4. Devise a detailed project timeline with all the activities involved.
  5. Define roles within the project.
  6. Assign tasks to respective teammates.
  7. Allocate budget and forecast costs in advance.
  8. Create a good communication plan for all activities.

The importance of project management lies in the value it brings to organisations, which aligns with the objectives of the company.

Aside from that, project management is also applicable to your everyday life. Transferable skills that are important for this line of work — communication, planning, and team leadership — could easily apply to everyday situations, especially in dissecting everyday routines to manageable tasks.

According to the latest available research from Glassdoor, this role is the most in demand profession in the UK today. It is followed by finance and IT jobs. Latest data shows that the average salary for project managers is around £41,808.

It’s hard to pinpoint what percentage of a project is dedicated to project management versus the bulk of the work involved in the project. When coming up with this percentage, a lot of factors come into play, including the complexity of the project, project management best practices, project manager skill level, and the project customer.

However, as a general rule of thumb, 20% of a project’s allotted time is spent on project management.

Having a career in project management can be beneficial. For example, project managers have better job opportunities and more rewarding salaries. On top of that, their skills are globally recognised.

Additionally, more industries are seeing the importance of project management, so the palette of opportunities is plentiful.

Not all projects succeed, even with a project manager, but without one, the chance of success is much lower.

For reference, old statistics show that one-third of all projects fail, and recent stats confirm not much has changed, with 70% of companies reporting at least one project failure within the last year.

Project management statistics show that while not all projects completely fail, 50% of companies state that they regularly do not meet their desired deliverables for a project.