In today's fast-paced business world, project management has become an indispensable part of ensuring success. Project managers play a crucial role in driving projects to completion on time and within budget. This article will delve into the current state of project management, exploring key statistics and trends in the field. Join us as we uncover the challenges and opportunities that project management professionals face.
Project management is evolving at an unprecedented pace, driven by technological advancements and changing business dynamics. As organizations strive to remain competitive, they increasingly rely on project management frameworks and software to achieve their goals.
One of the most significant trends in project management is the explosive growth of the project management software market. Projections indicate that this market will reach a staggering $15.08 billion by 2030. This growth is a testament to the increasing importance of technology in streamlining project management processes.
Effective collaboration is the lifeblood of successful project management. However, a concerning statistic reveals that 54% of project management professionals feel they lack the necessary collaboration technology. This deficiency hampers their ability to coordinate teams and ensure seamless communication.
Project managers are the linchpin of project success. They are tasked with overseeing multiple projects simultaneously, often spanning different departments within an organization. This multifaceted role demands a high level of skill, coordination, and adaptability.
An astounding 85% of project managers are responsible for managing multiple projects concurrently. This juggling act requires exceptional organizational skills and the ability to prioritize tasks effectively.
Despite their pivotal role, project managers face numerous challenges in their day-to-day work. An alarming 91% of project management professionals report that their organizations encounter project management challenges regularly. These challenges can range from scope creep to resource constraints, making the role of a project manager even more critical in navigating these obstacles.
As we peer into the future, it's essential to consider the direction in which project management is headed. The industry is poised for further transformation, driven by technological innovations and changing business landscapes.
A notable concern is the potential talent drain in the project management field. Recent statistics reveal that 37% of project managers have contemplated leaving the profession in the past year. Retaining and nurturing talent will be a crucial focus for organizations in the coming years.
Project management practices can look wildly different across organizations. Some companies have well-established PM best practices while others manage projects on the fly—often without a person in an official “project manager” capacity. These stats reveal the state of project management today.
The project management software market is projected to reach $15.08 billion by 2030, according to Zion Market Research. In 2021, the PM software market was valued at $6.1 billion. Experts predict it will experience a 10.68% CAGR throughout the 2020s. Increasing demand for cloud-based project management solutions is a key driver behind the market’s future growth.
A whopping 91% of project management professionals say their organizations face project management challenges, as reported by Smartsheet. These challenges arise from various factors, including employees being moved from project to project (45%), remote work (40%), and extended time leave (34%). Moreover, 85% of those who report organizational hurdles say they experience burnout from projects moving too quickly or with unrealistic deadlines.
It's evident that project managers today are multitasking experts. An astounding 85% of project managers run multiple projects at the same time, as reported by RGPM. The vast majority handle between two and five projects, with 11% managing between six and ten projects, and 15% overseeing ten or more. Experienced project managers are even more likely to run large amounts of projects simultaneously, with 22% managing ten or more.
What are the top challenges facing project managers today? A 2023 survey of 217 project management professionals asked that very question. The top answers include not having enough resources (44%), dealing with unrealistic deadlines (31%), not having the right resources (26%), insufficient budget (17%), poor project quality (13%), and a lack of schedule (11%).
Surprisingly, 37% of project managers have considered leaving the profession in the past year, as per RGPM. While less than 30% of new project managers are looking for a career change, more experienced PMs show a higher inclination to leave, with 41% of those with some experience and 35% of very experienced PMs contemplating a shift.
Only 37% of project managers report being satisfied with their organizations’ level of PM maturity, according to Wellingtone. While 70% of project managers rate their department’s level of maturity at a 3 out of 5, only 55% give their entire organization the same rating. Level 3 maturity organizations have project management standards in place but have yet to use past metrics to inform future strategy.
Less than half of organizations exhibit consistent project success. Only 34% complete projects mostly or always on time, 34% complete projects mostly or always on budget, and 36% mostly or always deliver full project benefits.
Documentation emerges as the most common task project managers wish to eliminate, with 20% stating so. Other tasks high up on PMs’ "least favorites" list are meetings (11%), chasing teams (11%), budgets and procurement (10%), non-PM duties (8%), studying (6%), and planning and scheduling (5%).
A significant 43% of project management professionals feel that project teams are understaffed, according to Smartsheet. However, there's a disconnect between project management teams and C-suite executives, as only 20% of executives agree that project teams are understaffed. There's also a disconnect in future outlooks, with 60% of executives believing they’re taking the right steps to help projects succeed more often in the future, while only 36% of project management professionals agree.
Successful projects lead to higher job satisfaction. After a successful project, 54% of employees say work feels more satisfying, 54% experience less stress, 49% feel more in control at work, and 42% report better focus.
Organizations that don’t prioritize soft skills lose 47% more of their budgets due to project failure, according to PMI. Soft skills are key ingredients for success in project management teams. Organizations that prioritize soft skills have a 72% project success rate compared to 65% in organizations that don’t. In organizations that don't prioritize soft skills, 40% of projects experience scope creep, compared to 28% in soft skill-focused companies.
Project management software is critical for organizations to deliver projects on time and on budget. Software solutions offer a complete view of projects, from the big picture down to the most granular tasks. Here are some of the latest PM software stats.
Jira leads the project management software market with a 20.59% market share, according to Datanyze. Over 34,000 organizations use Atlassian’s Jira software for project management, making it the most widely used software on the market today. Other key players include Microsoft Project (16.01%), Airtable (8.55%), Kanban (8.18%), and Smartsheet (6.98%).
A notable 54% of project management professionals say they lack effective collaboration technology, as reported by Wellingtone. Technology limitations can hamper project management teams, with 36% of project management professionals spending between four hours and one day manually collating project status info every month. Annually, that’s 50-100 hours wasted per person on manual tasks.
Surprisingly, only 23% of project management professionals use PPM or Resource Management software, as per Wellingtone. Over one quarter of project managers say they build project schedules manually using Excel, Word, or PowerPoint. Furthermore, 54% don’t have the technology to track KPIs in real-time.
Despite the challenges, 71% of project management professionals say their organizations’ use of collaboration software has increased over the past 12 months, according to KPMG. Microsoft Teams is the most prolific collaboration software, with 88% of PMs reporting using it in their organization. Additionally, 64% also use SharePoint, while 27% use Confluence.
With so many organizations struggling to manage projects, what are the career prospects for project management? These stats examine what the field looks like today and what the future may hold for project management job-seekers.
The median pay for US-based project management specialists is
$94,500 per year, according to BLS. The top 10% of US-based project managers earn more than $159,140 per year, while the bottom 10% earn less than $49,750. Salaries trend higher in finance, insurance, and professional services and lower in construction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 70,400 job openings for project managers per year through 2030.
Earning new certifications is the top career goal for project managers, according to RGPM. When asked about their top career goal, 21% of project managers said getting certified. Other top goals include getting a new job outside their current company (20%), getting a new role within their organization (19%), working on bigger projects (17%), and delivering higher quality projects (7%).
Project management remains a male-dominated profession, with women making up just 28% of project management professionals, according to KPMG. However, the representation of women is higher in healthcare (41%), education (37%), and financial services (29%). Despite this, the median salary for women is 12% less than men in the United States. Women are 3.6% more likely to use agile and 5.4% more likely to use hybrid project management approaches.
A significant 51% of project managers don’t hold any certifications, as per KPMG. Only 31% of project managers have a PMP or other PMI certification, and 13% have a PRINCE2, MSP, or other Axelos certification. Many are still new to the field, as 41% of project managers have five or less years of experience.
Communication is the most important skill for project managers to develop over the next five years, according to KPMG. When asked about the top skills project managers would need to improve in the next five years, 35% of executives and PMs mentioned communication. Other essential skills include the ability to drive change within organizations (33%), leadership (30%), conflict management (26%), and agile methodology expertise (25%).
Across every industry, organizations are undertaking complex projects to meet the evolving needs of their customers. But too often, companies drop the ball on project management. Lack of formal project management processes, employee burnout, and the new remote work landscape are all challenges organizations need to overcome if they wish to stay competitive. Successful project teams have a strong project manager at the helm and the resources (time, budget, and talent) to ensure even the most complex projects meet their goals. project management is at a crossroads. While it faces challenges such as collaboration deficiencies and potential talent shortages, it also holds immense potential for growth and innovation. The ever-expanding project management software market and the increasing reliance on project managers to drive organizational success are testaments to its importance. As organizations adapt to the evolving business landscape, project management will remain a cornerstone of their strategies. Embracing technology and nurturing project management talent will be key to harnessing the full potential of this dynamic field.