The Center for Business Practices (Havertown, USA) conducted a survey in April 2006 with 84, mostly USA based project managers in 3.874 projects. The companies had average project budgets of US$65 Millions per year. 47% of the projects got in trouble, were recovered or were cancelled. These are the most frequent issues in troubled projects, i.e. their main symptoms:
- Critical problems in reaching milestones or completing deliverables
- High risk that the project will not achieve the expected benefits
- Project’s completion will be unacceptably delayed compared to schedule baseline
- Critical or significantly increasing technical issues in the project
When being asked how to recover the project, project managers in 24% of the companies answered there is a standardized process for project recovery, in 31% of the companies there is no plan at all for this situation…
Another CBP study at 16.110 projects with a total value of US$29,8 Billion showed 7% were completed with more or less difficulties, 25% stay troubled until the end and 6% fail completely. And 33% of project expenses go into self-managed project recovery or measures to compensate project mistakes’ impacts.
A Standish Group (CHAOS Research 2006) research nearly confirms these results: 46% of troubled vs. 35% successful projects, but also 19% failed initiatives. There seems to be a tendency of improvement in the recent years thanks to better project manager education and implementation of project supporting structures within the organizations.
This proves: investing in professional project management pays back in the end against the biggest issues in troubled projects !
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