15 Management Statistics for Running Successful Projects
Updated · May 20, 2023
Globally, 90 million people work in various positions related to project management—a number that’s expected to shoot up to over 100 million within the current decade.
In short, project management is a busy, dynamic field, and there’s lots of work to be done. No, seriously, experienced professionals can oversee a whole dozen projects simultaneously!
On this page, you’ll find the latest and most thought-invoking management statistics as we ponder the future of the industry.
Project Management Statistics (Editor’s Choice):
- 47% of project managers don’t have access to real-time KPIs.
- Only 34% of organizations complete their projects on budget.
- 38% of businesses intend to hire more employees for their PMOs.
- 15% of project managers run over ten projects simultaneously.
- Only 7% of project managers say their career goal is to deliver high-quality projects.
- The world will need 25 million new project-oriented professionals by 2030.
- 64% of teams use more than one task manager when working on a project.
- The global project management software market is set to reach $9.81 billion by 2026.
Project Management Statistics for 2022
What is project management?
Is it truly necessary, or is it a redundant feature of a vastly swollen employment apparatus where many jobs produce little to no tangible benefit for humanity?
When it’s not done right, it certainly feels like the latter, but statistics show that project management can not only increase profits but also make everybody else’s jobs easier.
Let’s delve into it.
1. 86% of organizations have at least one PMO.
Project management statistics show that the vast majority of organizations—now 86%—have at least one project management office (PMO). Roughly half of those have more than one.
The main tasks PMOs undertake are reporting on the status of current projects, managing the project portfolio of the firm, and project assurance. A few of them also mentor new professionals and track post-project benefits.
Whatever it is, PMOs are doing, they must be doing it right. Just a few years ago, in 2016, only 71% of organizations had one—that’s a 15% increase in five years.
2. When working on a project, 64% of teams use more than one task manager.
Project management tools come in many forms, including the good old pen and paper. Nowadays, though, most people tend to prefer suitable software instead.
A study found that most teams not only rely on modern technology for their project management needs but that 64% use more than one application simultaneously. Why?
Because different programs often offer exclusive features that are hard to pass up.
Popular choices include Jira, Asana, Trello, and ClickUp—though none of these are the most popular among project managers.
3. More than half of project managers use Microsoft Project.
The most used project management software globally is none other than Microsoft Project. Specifically, 59.04% of managers say they use the tech giant’s application to build project plans, 16.9% use Excel, and 9.6% prefer Word or PowerPoint.
This is unsurprising, considering that Microsoft Office 365 controls 47.5% of the office productivity software market. Nevertheless, management statistics show that 12.6% of the professionals in the field use planning tools that aren’t included in the MS Office suite.
Fun fact: Although Excel isn’t the most popular tool to plan projects, it is the most popular option when it comes to managing project resources (people, equipment, materials, etc.)—35.5% of managers use it.
4. Can you imagine handling more than 10 projects simultaneously? That’s what 15% of project managers do.
What would you say are the signs of a bad project manager? Managing too many or too few projects at once?
It’s hard to say for certain, but it’s likely the latter.
As it is, 59% of professionals take care of 2-5 projects at the same time, 15% handle just one at a time, and the remaining 15% are able to focus on 10 or more.
But it’s when you look at experienced PMs that things become clearer—22% of them simultaneously manage at least 10 projects, a figure that’s significantly higher than the average.
Why Projects Fail and How to Fix Them
Project management can be immensely helpful, but it’s far from a surefire way of ensuring success. Projects still can—and do—fail.
From managers who simply aren’t good enough at their job to circumstances largely out of any single employee’s control, there are many reasons for failure.
Here, we’ll look at some stats that caught our attention.
5. Only 7% of PMs consider delivering high-quality projects as their main career goal.
Here are some rather bizarre management statistics—just 7% of project managers say their main career goal is to deliver high-quality results.
What are their real ambitions, then?
Well, 17% say they’d like to work on bigger projects; 19% see promotion as their primary ambition, while 21% find certification to be the most important goal in their immediate future.
Interestingly enough, the more experienced managers are, the more likely they are to want to move on. A survey revealed that, in general terms, 20% of project managers are looking for a new job, but that number goes up to 40% if we focus only on the answers of experienced PMs.
6. Just 34% of organizations complete their projects on budget.
Companies that use project management tend to do so because they’re looking to improve their performance and productivity. And while we’re sure that a PMO helps, it doesn’t automatically solve all problems.
How do we know?
Only 34% of organizations complete their projects on time, and just about the same percentage do so on a budget. Moreover, just 36% say they usually deliver “the full benefits” of a project—in other words, 64% fail to meet all their goals.
Funnily, 45% claim that their organization has a “track record of success.”
7. Barely half of the project managers have access to real-time KPIs.
Using statistics in project management is a crucial element of good decision-making. One way to do that is through key performance indicators (KPIs), which allow companies to quantify and measure success.
Unfortunately, 47% of project managers don’t have access to real-time KPIs. This means that many of them have to spend at least one day of every month collating reports to figure out whether the team is actually performing well manually.
8. 75% of executives in the IT industry believe their projects are often doomed from the get-go.
It’s hard to say what percentage of projects fail due to varying definitions of “failure”: some will consider a project failed if it doesn’t fully meet its prescribed goals; others will be happy with partial success.
What we do know, though, is that 75% of those working in the IT industry believe many of their projects are doomed from the start. Sounds like too big a number?
What if we told you that only 55% of managers and executives have a clear understanding of the business objectives of the projects they supervise?
A classic case of the blind leading the blind right there.
Fun fact: Just 23% of executives are in agreement when a project is finished. Sounds like great teamwork!
9. A high budget can increase the chance of failure by up to 50%.
If you thought project management in organizations with unlimited budgets would be fun, think again.
It turns out that the higher the budget, the more likely the project will end up a failure. Specifically, a project that costs over a million dollars is 50% more likely to fail than one worth $350,000 or less.
There are various possible reasons for this bizarre phenomenon. For instance, more expensive projects are likely to be more complex, thus, harder to complete successfully.
However, it’s important to note that budgets often balloon out of proportion when a project isn’t going well, and m8anagement tries to patch things up by throwing money at it. Our project failure statistics indicate that that tends not to work and is a sure sign of impending doom.
10. Substandard management causes roughly 12% of invested money to go to waste.
Failure in project management can be quite costly—statistics show that up to 12.2% of the money invested in any given project goes to waste.
In other words, out of every $1 billion you put into a project, approximately $122 million will be squandered—and that’s just the average, so you can imagine how much worse it is for projects that actually fail.
Fun fact: Firms with poor project management waste up to 21 times more money than top performers.
11. Bad management practices cost businesses around the world $3 million per minute.
(Source: Business Wire)
A project management survey found that organizations across the world collectively waste a million dollars every 20 seconds primarily due to management practices that lead to ineffective implementation of business strategies.
This translates into colossal global losses of $2 trillion on an annual basis.
Interestingly, geography seems to play a major part in how careful companies are with their monetary resources. For instance, China misspends the least (just 7.6% of the budget) while Australia wastes the most (13.9%).
Management Trends—Technology Changes Many Things
Although project management may at first seem to have little to do with cutting-edge technologies such as AI, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
PMOs are now adopting advanced software powered by artificial intelligence to facilitate their work and access to data as well as improve the ability to analyze it successfully.
12. Only 38% of PMOs intend to hire more employees.
Project management statistics from 2021 indicate that businesses are hiring fewer employees compared to the year before. Only 38% of PMOs expected to see a rise in headcount in 2021, whereas 57% did in 2020.
Since global trends seem to point at a need for more project management professionals rather than fewer, this drop in hiring will likely translate into more responsibilities for current employees.
Hopefully, it’ll mean higher pay, too.
13. By 2030, 25 million new project-oriented professionals will be needed.
The project management industry is set to expand—significantly. There were approximately 90 million employees in the field in 2019, but there will be a need for roughly 102 million of them by 2030.
Moreover, 13 million are expected to retire within the next decade. What this all means is that businesses will have to scout out 25 million new project management-oriented employees (PMOEs) in a very short period of time.
By the end of the decade, PMOEs will make up 3.2% of global employment.
14. The global project management software market is set to reach $9.81 billion by 2026.
(Source: Mordor Intelligence)
Given that many teams use not one but several software solutions to satisfy their project management demands, it comes as no surprise that the global market was valued at $5.37 billion in 2020.
As project management technology implements the latest AI to boost its performance, it’ll become practically indispensable. Analysts expect the market to reach $9.81 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 10.61%.
15. More than half of project managers believe that AI will become their best assistant.
AI can bring many benefits to project management, such as automating menial tasks and allowing humans to focus on duties a machine cannot perform.
A new study found that 52% of employees in the industry believe that AI’s main purpose will be to assist project managers with such chores; 44% believe it will take on an advisory role. Just 3% think AI will be able to substitute project managers entirely.
Fun fact: AI has taken offices by storm. In 2021, 86% of CEOs were using the technology in one way or another. By 2030, AI will have rendered 400-800 million jobs obsolete, but don’t worry—the technology will create more jobs than it rules out.
We at Web Tribunal would say that the main takeaway from these management statistics is that hard data is essential for good decision-making.
So, invest in some good software, get those KPIs at ready, and keep managing.
Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.