Project management statistics (2022)

Project management statistics (2022)

Many organizations seek to reap the benefits of project management, without truly understanding its value or showing any willingness to integrate it into the company culture.

By doing this, organizations lose roughly 11.4% of all resources.

Not surprising, given how statistics show that undervaluing project management results in a 50% project failure rate. And, 58% of organizations openly admit to not understanding the value of project management.

On top of this, despite more work being done in projects, there simply isn’t a large enough supply of trained project managers to meet this demand. 

This explains why 34% of project managers don’t use risk management and why 42% of them don’t utilize any formal methodology. 

In this overview, we’ll showcase more of such relevant project management failure statistics.

However, we’ll also focus on project management success statistics, displaying what organizations are capable of when they properly integrate project management into their culture — such as finishing 75% of all projects with the desired quality.

Table of Contents

Statistics on project managers

The great demand for project managers has made it possible for non-certified PMs to thrive in this profession. 

Therefore, a project manager is anyone willing to manage projects, so long as they’ve got the ambition to try, the required skills, and the endurance to not quit. 

In more concrete terms, only 47% of projects are run by project management professionals, leaving the remaining 53% to be championed by non-certified PMs.

Statistics on project managers

What to know about Project Management Professionals

Nominally, certified PMPs do the same job as their non-certified counterparts, but their outlook (and remuneration) couldn’t be more different.

For starters, being a certified Project Management Professional will net you a higher pay by approximately 22% (globally).

In the US, the average yearly salary for PMPs in 2021 was $123,000. Non-PMPs averaged out a $93,000 yearly salary — in other words, 32% less than PMPs. This difference in pay isn’t the same in all countries.

What career goals do PMs have?

Across the board, the top 3 career goals for project managers include:

  1. Acquiring a PM certification
  2. Getting a new job
  3. Getting promoted

To clear up the ambiguity surrounding the goal of “getting a new job” — it mostly pertains to landing a better project management gig or getting hired by an organization that values project managers more highly.

According to PMI, only 47% of organizations have a clearly defined career path for PMs — so, joining one of these organizations with a higher level of PMM is one way of facilitating professional development.

However, “getting a new job” can also mean leaving project management altogether.

Rebel’s Guide to Project Management survey shows that, even among experienced PMs, 35% say they’ve contemplated leaving the profession. Among less experienced PMs, this percentage increases to 41%.

How many projects do PMs work on?

Contrary to popular belief that project managers only manage one project at a time, the previously mentioned survey shows that 59% of PMs manage anywhere between 2 and 5 projects concurrently.

In fact, only 15% of PMs manage a single project at a time.

Interestingly enough, 15% of PMs also manage more than 10 projects at the same time.

How big are project teams?

It’s easy to imagine project managers as conductors coordinating the efforts of hundreds of people on large-scale projects — but the reality is often much humbler.

The 2021 Project Management Report shows that approximately 70% of all project teams are made of 10 or fewer members.

And 53% of respondents from Wellingtone’s 2021 The State of Project Management report believe that even more work will be carried out by small informal teams in the future.

What project management skills should PMs have?

It’s no secret that PMs need as many as 14 hard and soft project management skills to do their job efficiently. And while all of these skills are important, a pragmatic PM looking for work will focus on the ones that organizations value the most.

In PMI’s 2020 survey asking organizations which skills they consider as the highest priorities for project managers, these were the answers:

In-demand skillsHow highly organizations value them
Technical skills68%
Leadership skills65%
Business skills58%
Digital skills50%

Focusing on these four in-demand skills is more likely to net you a job as a project manager.

How valuable are PM certifications?

Flaunt the above-said skills as much as you want, they still won’t help you much if the competition is certified.

We know this because no fewer than 72% of PMO leaders argue the importance of project management certification for the professional development of PMs.

PMI’s PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is the gold standard for certifications, but it’s far from the only one. 

According to Wellingtone’s study, we can see that the PRINCE2 certification is the one most project managers have.

This might have something to do with the basic-level PRINCE2 test being a 60 question multiple-choice test with a national average pass rate of 97% in the UK.

Are PMs workers of the gig economy?

Being a project manager isn’t always a stable source of income, as only 32% of organizations hire full-time, long-term project managers.

According to PMI, the remaining 68% of organizations opt to outsource or contract project managers on a per-project basis.

This statistic may change as more organizations embrace raising their project management maturity by integrating project management into their culture.

How big is the demand for project managers?

We’ve mentioned that the demand for project managers keeps growing, but the rate at which it’s growing has to be emphasized.

In 2019, an estimated global tally of project management-oriented employees was 90 million.

By 2030, it’s expected to reach 102 million.According to PMI, if we account for the number of employees expected to retire by 2030, there will be a demand for 25 million project professionals.

Statistics on project management maturity

Project management maturity (PMM) is the process of developing an organization’s project management competencies.

The PMM model recognizes 5 distinct maturity levels. 

Higher maturity levels have been linked to many benefits and invariably lead to higher project success rates.

What’s the maturity level of organizations?

The higher an organization’s maturity level is, the better. At the turn of the century, an industry-wide assessment of project management maturity showed that the overall maturity was overwhelmingly stuck at the 2nd level.

Even now, only 35% of project managers are satisfied with the project management maturity level at their organization.

Nevertheless, strides in company culture integration of project management over the past two decades have demonstrated the good that it brings.

High PMM is a safe haven for PMs

One of the often-overlooked benefits of increasing an organization’s PMM is the positive effect it has on project managers working there. 

In 2019, only 55% of PMs reported feeling a rise in the perceived value of their role. 

In 2020, this percentage skyrocketed to 71% of PMs.

Unfortunately, no data is available for the following years, but we can already see this rising trend as a sign of overall PMM levels increasing.

Organizations with higher PMM are also more likely to provide project management training. Currently, only 61% of organizations do so.

High PMM improves success rates

Organizations with high PMM see significantly better results across the board in their projects.

The most recent project success rate comparison conducted by PMI shows the following:

High maturity organizationsLow maturity organizations
Project deemed failures11%21%
Projects suffered from scope creep30%47%
Projects met initial goals77%56%
Projects delivered within budget67%46%
Projects delivered on time63%39%

In other words, increasing an organization’s PMM level can increase the consistency of project completion with regards to:

  • Initial goals (quality) by 21%
  • Budget by 21%
  • Deadlines by 24%

Despite this, a PMI survey on the effects of COVID-19 on project management shows that 80% of project management practitioners felt the pandemic has negatively impacted general business.

This same survey shows that 6% of qualified respondents lost their job due to the effects of the pandemic.

The 20% of respondents who reported feeling no negative impact were mostly in the IT/IS industry.

Statistics point to low PMM

Nevertheless, not all organizations are willing to aim for higher PMM.

As mentioned, to increase an organization’s maturity level, it first has to integrate project management into its culture. 

However, the results of PMI’s surveys state that only 46% of organizations are willing to do so.

So let’s look at some project management statistics provided by Wellingtone’s survey that can only be explained by low maturity:

  • Only 52% of projects regularly have a scoping document
  • Only 58% of projects follow a defined methodology
  • Only 64% of PMs regularly engage in risk management

PMM neglect is costly

Willful neglect of risk management, scoping documentation, and project management methodologies can only end badly.

How badly, you ask?

According to PMI, this PM maturity neglect costs organizations roughly 11.4% of all their resources. That’s $114,000 out of every million.

Low PMM stems from a lack of understanding

Perhaps framing the slow adoption of PM practices in organizations with lower PMM as willful neglect is unwarranted. 

This would imply that all organizations are aware of the benefits of integrating project management into the company culture and leveling up their PMM.

But statistics suggest that the more likely cause of PMM level stagnation is a lack of understanding.

Namely, only 58% of organizations that took part in PMI’s survey claimed to fully understand the value of project management.

This doesn’t change the fact that the average rate of project failure in companies that undervalue project management is a staggering 50%.

There are different types of maturity

It should be noted that maturity scaling isn’t exclusive to just project maturity in PM. In one of PMI’s surveys, respondents were asked to evaluate their organization’s program management and portfolio management maturity.

However, less emphasis seems to be placed on them, as evidenced by the number of respondents in PMI’s yearly survey who ranked these maturity levels in their organization highly:

  • 39% ranked their project management highly
  • 33% ranked their program management highly
  • 30% ranked their portfolio management highly

Statistics on Project Management Offices (PMOs)

One of the best indicators of PMM levels increasing across the board is the emergence of Project Management Offices (PMOs).

PMOs are departments in charge of organization-wide project management standards, resources, and documentation. Larger organizations with several concurrent projects that need to be coordinated live and die by their PMOs.

Wellingtone’s 2021 project management report provides us with many interesting statistics regarding PMOs.

What do PMOs do?

The top 5 activities performed by most PMOs include:

  1. Project status reporting
  2. Maintaining the project list/portfolio
  3. Maintaining the PM methodology and document templates
  4. Facilitating project approval process
  5. Project assurance

In addition to project assurance, the two fastest-growing activities among PMOs are:

  • Ownership of an enterprise PPM solution
  • Cross-project dependency management

PMOs are on the rise

PMOs are on the rise, with 89% of organizations claiming to have at least one PMO and 50% claiming to have more than one. For reference, in 2016, only 71% of organizations claimed to have a PMO.

In fact, roughly 1 in every 4 PMOs has been opened in the last two years or less.

However, while PMOs keep growing in number, they aren’t growing in size.

Whereas in 2020 Wellingtone reported that 57% of PMOs received new hires, this number has only dwindled to 38% in 2021. Of the remaining 62% of PMOs, 46% will maintain their size, while 17% project getting smaller.

This reduced trend of hiring for PMOs is attributed to COVID-19, but it’s not the only issue.

A downward trend is noticeable in the perceived value increase of PMOs, dropping to 54% from its lofty 71% value in 2020.

PMOs across the board are also set to receive smaller increases in scope and responsibilities compared to 2020, dropping from 72% to 57%.

More organizations have centralized PMOs

As a testament to the rising importance of cross-project dependency management and project coordination, 57% of organizations opt to use a centralized PMO.

Further supporting this is the fact that only 19% of organizations have disestablished their centralized PMO over the past two years. 

For reference, the same survey by AIPM and KPMG shows the percentage of organizations that have disestablished their centralized PMO in 2018 was 30%. Back then, only 49% of organizations used centralized PMOs.

A report from a decade prior shows that 66% of PMOs operated under some department, rather than at a corporate level. This correlates to neither centralized nor decentralized PMOs in the modern sense of the word, indicating just how far PMOs have come in the last decade and a half.

The activities performed by centralized PMOs mostly coincide with the previous, generalized findings, with quality assurance and performance reporting topping the list.

Statistics on project management software

According to a recent survey by AIPM and KPMG, 69% of project managers use project management software.

Interestingly enough, 10% of PMs use non-PM software for project management. Despite this, we’ll still use the former statistic for comparing the rate of PM software adoption.

The reason being that the third global survey conducted by PWC in 2012 showed that 44% of project managers used PM software back then. And this statistic also accounted for many PfM (Personal Financial Management) solutions being used to manage projects.

This indicates a 13% greater adoption rate of PM software in the span of roughly a decade.

And there’s evidence to support that use of PM software results in better project performance.

Even back in PWC’s second global survey from 2007, 87% of the highest performing projects had the benefit of PM software. This survey also showed that an overwhelming 95% of organizations with the highest level of PMM used project management software. Conversely, only 55% of organizations with the lowest level of PMM used PM software.

The rising PM software market value can also be seen as an indicator of its significance.

In 2020, the PM software market was valued at $5.37 billion

By 2026, it’s estimated to reach a value of $9.81 billion.

Statistics on project management software

How do PMs choose the right software?

There doesn’t seem to be a method to the madness when it comes to choosing the right PM app. 

This may be so because project managers don’t utilize software demos to their full potential.

Despite the fact that most products of this kind come with a demo, Capterra’s statistics show that:

  • 46% of users demo 2 products,
  • 31% of users demo 3 products, and
  • 13% of users demo only 1 product before making their purchase.

This means that only 10% of users make an effort to guarantee the software they purchase will have everything they need by demoing 4 or more products.

Most products of this kind come with demos, and some — like Plaky — offer full functionality for free. With Plaky, you can:

  • Manage an unlimited number of projects
  • Create an unlimited number of tasks
  • Add an unlimited number of users
  • Organize your projects visually in table or Kanban view
  • Filter displayed information
  • Attach files to tasks and comment on them to enhance collaboration
Plaky project management software
Plaky, project management software

It’s all about the PM features

According to Capterra’s research on project management software, the most important factors when choosing software are:

  1. Functionality (29%)
  2. Price (18%)
  3. Ease of use (17%)
  4. Customer support (13%)
  5. Implementation (10%)
  6. Software popularity (8%)
  7. Vendor reputation (5%)

In other words, the list of features is the biggest selling point for any piece of PM software.

This is affirmed by the fact that most respondents (39%) cite the lack of a specific functionality as the leading cause of their dissatisfaction with certain software.

Another benefit of using PM software is the ability to track project KPIs in real-time. According to Wellingtone’s 2021 State of Project Management report, a total of 50% of PMs are unable to do this.

Consequently, PMs waste approximately 1 day each month manually sifting through data and compiling reports.

What PM features are a priority?

The most used PM software features include the following features:

FeatureUsed by % of users who have access to it
Document management64%
Requirements management57%
Resource planning54%
Time tracking53%

What PM features are neglected?

The most neglected PM software features include the following features:

FeatureNot used by % of users who have access to it
Velocity charts34%
Gantt charts34%
Burndown charts34%
Risk management32%
Kanban boards30%
Project request intake form29%
Product roadmapping28%

What PM features are sought after?

Demonstrating the lack of demoing, many of these unused features also top the list of most sorely missing features:

Feature% of users who want the feature but don’t have it
Gantt charts22%
Burndown charts21%
Automated workflows20%
Velocity charts20%
Portfolio management19%
Product roadmapping19%
Project request intake form19%

Statistics on project management methodologies

You’d think the use of formal PM methodologies would be a given — but many PMs still attempt to reach the finish line without them.

The recent survey by Wellingtone is a testament to this, highlighting the fact that only 42% of PMs don’t follow a defined project management methodology.

To showcase the importance and benefits of using formal PM methodologies, here are some hard-cold facts from PMI’s surveys contrasting the success rates between projects that use them and those that don’t. 

Just to be clear, hybrid approaches also count toward formal methodologies for the following statistics.

Projects with formal PM methodologiesProjects without formal PM methodologies
Met goals/intent73%58%
Completed within budget63%48%
Completed on time59%43%

Across the board, we can see a significant increase in the percentage of projects that get completed on time, within budget, and at the projected quality level when formal PM methodologies are used.

What type of PM approach do the best-performing organizations use?

Among the projects headlined by top-performing organizations exclusively, this is the breakdown of project management approaches reported by PMI:

  • 44% of projects used predictive approaches
  • 30% of projects used agile approaches
  • 23% of projects used hybrid approaches
  • 4% used “other” approaches

Since these project management statistics were derived using only data from top-performing organizations, they shouldn’t be taken as an indication that predictive approaches are the best.

Instead, what this shows is that not all projects should be approached the same way. Each project works best with a specific approach.

What are the most (and least) popular PM methodologies?

Moving away from top-performing data and into global tallies, here is the percentage use of the individual PM methodologies by organizations.

(traditional/ waterfall)

As this is a global tally from PMI, and not data taken strictly from top-performers — it should be taken as an approximation of popularity, rather than an indicator of quality.

Nevertheless, it does paint a picture of what the average project is most likely to look like.

Topping the list, 44% of organizations regularly use predictive methodologies, and 41% always or often use agile.

Meanwhile, a mere 8% of organizations regularly use PRINCE2, with a whopping 78% electing to ignore it either always or most of the time. 

Project management failure statistics

Lack of adequate sponsor support is often cited as the primary cause of project failure.

But this looks to be a way bigger issue in underperforming organizations.

Whereas 41% of underperformers will point to inadequate sponsor support as the cause of project failure, this percentage dwindles to a mere 17% in high-performing organizations.

The sweeping generalization of inadequate sponsor support driving project failure is inaccurate according to these PMI statistics.

This is further supported by the findings of AIPM and KPMG’s survey, which show that 61% of projects have actively engaged sponsors.

Project management failure statistics

What causes project failure?

According to a survey by Wellingtone, the top 10 challenges projects face include:

  1. Attempting to run too many projects
  2. Poorly trained Project Managers
  3. Poor resource management
  4. Ineffectively implement PPM Solution
  5. Inconsistency in approach
  6. Poorly trained Project Sponsors
  7. Lack of planning skills
  8. Poor risk management
  9. Lack of appropriate software
  10. Lack of visibility of project status

Statistics link decision latency with project failure

It’s not always the case that organizations know exactly why their projects failed.

For example, a major indicator of project failure is decision lag, despite it never being featured on self-evaluation surveys.

In other words, the time it takes for leadership to make decisions directly reflects on the project’s success rate.

On average, the success rate of projects where leadership can make decisions in less than 1 hour is 58%.

Conversely, when leadership drags out the decision-making process to 5 hours, project success rate plummets to just 18%.

Statistics show the pandemic has boosted success rates

It seems unusual, but stats don’t lie.

The overall success rate has grown during the pandemic, and we know by how much:

Pre-Pandemic projects (2019)Pandemic projects (2021)
Met original goals68%73%
Completed within budget57%62%
Completed on time51%55%
Failed project, budget lost37%35%
Experienced scope creep37%34%
Deemed failures15%12%

Across the board, projects have been more successful by all metrics since the pandemic started.

The explanation for these stats provided by PMI, who conducted the survey, was that many planned projects have been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Attempting to run too many projects is the biggest project management challenge for many organizations, so it makes sense that more projects have been successful during the pandemic.

Statistics on project management in gymnastic enterprises

A common trend among best-performing organizations was discovered in PMI’s latest survey.

Namely, the thing that these organizations had in common — which allowed them to thrive during the pandemic — was their outcome-focused attitude, unshackled by processes. 

In other words, they were willing and able to effectively mix the planning-oriented approach of predictive enterprises with the iterative approach of agile enterprises.

The name given to distinguish these organizations from the rest was gymnastic enterprises.

Do gymnastic enterprises fare better than traditional ones?

As previously established, 2021 has been great for project success rates.

But, gymnastic enterprises still pull ahead of traditional ones.

The project management success statistics speak for themselves:

Gymnastic enterprisesTraditional enterprises
Met original goals75%72%
Completed within original budget64%59%
Completed on time58%52%
Experienced scope creep33%37%
Failed project, budget lost36%37%
Deemed failure11%13%
Wasted investment due to poor project performance9%10.5%

Gymnastic and traditional enterprises have different values

There is a distinct difference in company cultures of organizations that embrace gymnastic enterprises versus those that don’t.

When asked how highly they prioritize different aspects of organizational culture, the following percentage of respondents answered with very high or somewhat high:

Gymnastic enterprisesTraditional enterprises
Is centered on delivering customer value80%65%
Is aligned with organizational values71%60%
Embraces digital solutions67%52%
Supports flexible work options66%52%
Fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion63%51%
Is receptive to change62%40%
Fosters innovation62%41%
Values project management52%42%
Values upskilling52%38%
Is attractive to next-gen project leaders45%34%

Gymnastic enterprises focus more on talent development

Gymnastic enterprises also place a much higher emphasis on fostering talent within their organizations. 

Across the board, gymnastic organizations scored at least 10% higher when asked how highly their organizations valued the following:

Gymnastic enterprisesTraditional enterprises
Performance management58%44%
Learning and development56%44%
Workforce planning52%41%
Talent acquisition50%36%
Talent retention47%34%
Investing in youth45%32%
Fair compensation44%33%
Succession planning for key employees38%31%

When asked which skills they consider most important for talent development, gymnastic enterprises doubled down on the following:

Gymnastic enterprisesTraditional enterprises
Collaborative leadership54%42%
Innovative mindset46%32%

Gymnastic enterprises are adaptable

Given that gymnastic enterprises embrace change, it comes as a given that they need to be highly adaptable to thrive in these unprecedented times.

Financial services, IT, and Government sectors were compared on how much change they’ve gone through with regards to organizational adaptability, with the following scores:

  • 68% of respondents from financial services reported many or some changes
  • 67% of respondents from IT reported many or some changes
  • 53% of respondents from Government reported many or some changes

Statistics on project management during the pandemic

You’d think that the use of PM software and general digitalization would be par for the course in this field, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

Many organizations were forced to change and adapt as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, not all sectors were as quick to embrace these changes.

Below, you will find additional statistics on how organizations from the financial, IT, and government sectors were changed by the pandemic.

Statistics on project management during the pandemic

How different sectors welcomed digital transformation

For many organizations, the biggest challenge posed by the pandemic has been the switch to a more digital-oriented workflow.

However, the digitalization of work has not been equally smooth in all areas.

For the most recent Pulse of the Profession survey by PMI, organizations were asked how much change they’ve changed with regard to digitalization. Here is how the respondents from different sectors answered.

  • 77% of respondents from financial services reported many or some changes
  • 72% of respondents from IT reported many or some changes
  • 61% of respondents from Government reported many or some changes

Gymnastic enterprises also displayed a higher propensity towards complex problem-solving tools, artificial-intelligence-driven tools, and on-demand microlearning tools.

How different sectors adapted their business strategy

The challenges posed to all businesses by the pandemic have been as difficult as they have been consistent. To counteract them, a change in business strategy was often necessary. But some decided to power through without changing much in terms of how business gets done.

When asked how much the organizations changed their business strategy, these were the answers:

  • 74% of respondents from financial services reported many or some changes
  • 69% of respondents from IT reported many or some changes
  • 49% of respondents from Government reported many or some changes

Conclusion: Project management statistics show how to improve project success rates

As more organizations turn to project-based work, the importance of project management grows with it. But the supply of trained, experienced, and certified PMs can’t match the growing demand by organizations.

Consequently, many project managers are left winging their way through projects, as evidenced by the substantial number of PMs who ignore quintessential elements of project management such as risk management, document scoping, or the use of PM methodologies.

At the same time, many organizations are eager to exploit the benefits of project management without properly understanding or valuing it. This, too, has been shown to backfire.

However, investing in project management by integrating it into the company culture has shown to bring great results. 

All project management success statistics listed here have to do with organizations that have fully embraced project management and thereby increased their PMM.


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