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Main » 2015 » February » 7 » Mastering the Fundamentals: Study Confirms Key Performance Factors Critical to Business Success
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Mastering the Fundamentals: Study Confirms Key Performance Factors Critical to Business Success

PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® report shows how high-performing organizations embed efficiency by developing strategies, techniques and teams built from use of sound project management practices

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. - Thursday, February 5th 2015 [ME NewsWire]

(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Organizations still waste an average of $109 million for every $1 billion invested in projects and programs due to poor performance. High-performing organizations, however, waste 13 times less money than their low-performing counterparts, according to the 2015 Pulse of the Profession® Report: Capturing the Value of Project Management, published today by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The difference: high performers use their mastery of fundamental project and program practices as the foundation for organizational success and competitive advantage.

The survey of 2,800 project leaders and practitioners at multi-national corporations and government agencies found that the highest performing organizations are proactive in aligning their business models and talent management practices to a proven, fundamentally sound set of basic project management principles:

    Fully understanding the value of project management
    Having actively engaged executive sponsors
    Aligning projects to strategy
    Developing and maintaining project management talent
    Establishing a well-aligned and effective PMO
    Using standardized project management practices throughout the organization

High-performing organizations—those that complete 80 percent or more of projects on time, on budget and meeting original goals—are demonstrating that adhering to proven project, program, and portfolio management practices reduces risks, cuts costs, and improves success rates. This focus emphasizes the need for all organizations to reduce waste and boost productivity by prioritizing essential skill areas such as knowledge transfer, risk management, organizational agility and benefits realization. By building a culture around a project management mindset, organizations will be better able to create a sustainable competitive advantage.

For instance, the importance of knowledge transfer – the act of capturing and sharing lessons learned between employees – is a critical competence. This may be directly tied to the demographic reality that, as Baby Boomers transition into retirement, Generation X and Millennials are assuming project, program and portfolio management leadership roles. PMI’s research shows that having a formal knowledge transfer process significantly improves project outcomes: 75 percent of high-performing organizations have an established knowledge transfer system in place compared to just 35 percent of low performers.

“Our research underscores the competitive advantage for organizations that have mastered the fundamentals of sound project management: cultivating a top-down culture of standardized practices, emphasizing the critical role of executive sponsorship, and investing time and resources in the development and training of professional project managers,” said PMI President and CEO Mark A. Langley. “With these foundational elements in place and functioning at peak efficiency, organizations have the potential to achieve superior project performance and execute strategic initiatives more successfully.”

Pulse also underlines risk management practices as an essential component of project management excellence. Eighty-three percent of high performers report frequent use of risk management practices, compared with just 49 percent of low performers. Interestingly, the frequent use of risk management practices has gone down to 64 percent from a high of 71 percent in 2012.

Additional takeaways

    The frequent use of agile/iterative/incremental project management practices continues to rise, with 38 percent of organizations reporting frequent use – up 8 percentage points since 2013.
    Though only one in five organizations reports having a high level of benefits realization maturity, we have seen an increase of 63 percent compared to the level in 2013.
    Organizations that understand the desired benefits of a project at the onset are better able to bring them and future efforts to fruition.

To learn more, visit

About PMI’s Pulse of The Profession®

Conducted since 2006, PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® is the annual global survey of project management practitioners. The Pulse of the Profession® charts the major trends for project management now and in the future. It features original market research that reports feedback and insights from project, program and portfolio managers, along with an analysis of third-party data.

The newest edition of the Pulse features feedback and insights from over 2,800 project management leaders and practitioners across North America; Asia Pacific; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Latin America and Caribbean regions.

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

Project Management Institute is the world's leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. PMI advances careers, improves organizational success and further matures the profession of project management through its globally recognized standards, certifications, resources, tools academic research, publications, professional development courses, and networking opportunities. As part of the PMI family, Human Systems International (HSI) provides organizational assessment and benchmarking services to leading businesses and government, while and create online global communities that deliver more resources, better tools, larger networks and broader perspectives.

Visit us at, and on Twitter @PMInstitute.

Karen Flanagan,
+1 610-356-4600 x1092


Megan Maguire Kelly,
+1 610-356-4600 x7030





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