Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - Important Stats

Five Project Stats Project Managers Should Pay Attention To

The life of a project manager can be hectic, chaotic, and stressful. Managing deadlines, regulating scope, and steering teams in the right direction all while staying under budget are skills project managers must continue to develop throughout their career. Seeing how the day can come and go so quickly, it makes sense that managers are not always paying attention to external information.

However, it is vital to keep an eye on trends and recent statistics to make sure your skills, departments, and teams are comparable to —or better than— industry standards. We know it can be challenging to do this, so we are bringing the information you need to you.

Read on for five project stats project managers should pay attention to when assessing how key project metrics are measuring up to standards. These statistics can also help managers start the conversation about how the company can offer improved support for problem areas.

A lack of clear goals is the most common factor (37%) behind project failure, according to executive leaders.

How are your project completion numbers? Are they on a bit of the low side so far this year? You may feel that it has to do with a lack of time, money, or talent, but the real reason could be a lack of clear goals. As a project manager, communicating the purpose of a project, as well as, the resulting deliverables are vital to success.

It is likely the client’s needs that will not be met if teams have no idea why they are working on a project, and what the end goals should be. Every project should start with an “onboarding meeting,” to help teams become familiar with the project as well as what their work should ultimately amount to. This step can prevent the threats of going over budget, widening the scope, or failure altogether.

Also, communication is critical. So, managers may want to invest in a system like Slack to allow everyone the opportunity to offer ideas, ask questions, and check progress to ensure everyone is on the right page.

In 2017, depending on the industry, a project manager’s salary could exceed six figures.

Are you looking to hire additional project managers for your team? Then this information should be at the forefront of your mind. Project managers are worth their weight in gold, and human resources have to do what they can to make your company attractive enough to recruit the best individuals for the job. Even project managers without a PMP certification are approaching a salary of $90,000.

Therefore, if you cannot offer a lucrative wage, you should be looking at other ways to make the offer, one a talented project manager cannot refuse. Can you provide remote work? Are unlimited vacation days an option? Can the company offer training or professional development opportunities competitors cannot? For those who are already in project manager positions, make sure you are making what you are worth because, with numbers like these, competition is stiff for excellent project managers.

Managing project costs (49.5%) was the biggest problem faced by manufacturing project managers in 2017. Hitting deadlines (45.8%) and sharing information across teams (43.9%) weren’t far behind.

Having issues staying on budget? You are not alone. Keeping costs low, meeting deadlines, and team communication issues are plaguing other project managers. While it may not be possible to fix all these at one time, start with the most crucial obstacle and then work your way up the ladder. One of the best ways to fix issues like this is to measure everything. Keeping good metrics is key to identifying when and how factors become a problem.

Are you staying on a budget until the client asks for additional work? Then maybe you have to set up an agreement about how many times clients can ask for changes.

Does the team have problems meeting deadlines because members are scheduling vacations during the project lifecycle? This situation requires managers to set up better times for employees to rotate leave time.

Is no one on the same page when it comes to communicating project progress? Maybe you should invest in a project management program like Asana or Trello.

The solutions are there but keeping an eye on these factors helps you to make a better decision down the road.

80% of “high-performing” projects are led by a certified project manager

It is true that nothing is a substitute for experience. Getting first-hand interaction with project management is more than favorable.

However, the numbers don’t lie, as stated above, a certified project manager is more likely to gain favorable project results. Eighty percent is not a fluke; it is a trend. It is crucial for project managers to receive as much training and professional development as possible to continue their knowledge of what it takes to be an excellent project manager.

Some specific skills and lessons can only be picked up in certification classes that relate directly to project managers. Therefore, it is no secret as to why these individuals are performing better than their peers who have not attained these certifications. Again, this is not to downplay experience. Everyone knows they would rather have a doctor who has experience taking care of his or her illness, but at the same time, this doctor received valuable knowledge from classes he or she would have never gotten anywhere else.

77 percent of high performing companies understand the value of project management. 40 percent of low-performing companies recognize the importance of project management

This statistic speaks to how important it is for the company to understand the real purpose and value of sound project management practices. A good understanding can lead to increased company buy-in, more training for project managers, cross-training for employees from other departments, support from senior management, and budgets that make sense. All factors that lead to high performance.

When companies do not feel project management is a priority, then efforts to improve will not receive as much support. Everyone needs to be on board with supporting the strategies of project managers and his or her teams. Managers can start out by approaching senior management about company training that introduces workers to ways project management impacts their workday.

Once everyone understands how pivotal managing projects are to the company, then it will be easier to instill high-performance practices that satisfy clients every time.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing easy about project management. There are so many people that managers have to satisfy in their work: clients, senior management, and the team members they lead.

This is a tall order, but these statistics reveal areas where project managers can begin to work to make life easier for themselves. They help managers understand they are not alone, and taking these numbers to senior management (in comparison with the company’s project results) can help to start the conversation of how the company can offer better support. These statistics can lead to new strategies, and improved management approaches overall.

If you are facing poor results, all is not lost. Start monitoring the areas that need improvement, and get the conversation started. Within everything, communication is vital, and this goes for improvement plans, as well as, the project management process itself.

Article sources include: The Project Management Institute (PMI®), Gartner Group, Capterra, Liquid Planner, and Wrike