Project Management Statistics for 2023

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.

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

On the flip side, highly agile organizations (so called gymnastic enterprises) finish 75% of all projects with the desired quality.

In this overview, we’ll showcase more of such project management statistics relevant in 2023.

Project management statistics for 2023 - cover

Table of Contents

Statistics on project managers

The demand for project managers is so great at the moment that even non-certified PMs have no shortage of work.

According to Wellingtone’s The State of Project Management 2021 annual report, only 47% of projects are run by project management professionals, leaving the remaining 53% to be championed by non-certified PMs.

The anatomy of an average PM

What to know about PMP-certified project managers

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

According to the most recent Project Management Salary Survey, PMP-certified project managers globally make 16% more than their non-certified colleagues. This discrepancy varies from country to country.

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.

In most countries, the discrepancy is in favor of certified PMs by at least a double-digit percentage. Notable exceptions include the UK, Australia, and Japan, where certified PMs only earn 8%, 5%, and 2% more respectively.

Interestingly enough, non-certified PMs in Qatar actually earn 23% more than PMP-certified PMs, but this is definitely the exception to the rule.

What career goals do PMs have?

According to the 2021 Project Management Report by RGPM, the top 3 career goals for project managers include:

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

In this case, “getting a new job” mostly pertains to landing a better project management gig or joining an organization that values project managers more highly.

According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2020 report, only 47% of organizations have a clearly defined career path for PMs. Joining an organization with a higher level of project management maturity is one way of facilitating professional development, but roughly half of all organizations lack this.

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

The 2021 RGPM report 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 RPGM 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.

How valuable are PM certifications?

While many project managers get by without PM certifications, it’s worth noting that they are at a disadvantage when competing directly with certified PMs.

We know this because 72% of PMO leaders that took part in PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2018 survey argued the importance of project management certification for the professional development of PMs.

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

According to Wellingtone’s study, 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?

According to PMI, only 32% of organizations hire full-time, long-term project managers.

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.

According to PMI’s Talent Gap report from 2021, the estimated global tally of project management-oriented employees was 90 million in 2019.

By 2030, this number is 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.

AIPM and KPMG’s The state of project management in Australia 2022 report paints a higher resolution picture of this by showing that the majority of the project workforce is nearing retirement. Namely, more than 40% of project workers in Australia have 20+ years of experience.

In this same study, 42% of respondents from this same study claimed that their organizations weren’t preparing for the oncoming mass retirement of experienced project workers by attracting new young talent.

At first glance, this runs contrary to KPMG’s Keeping us up at night 2022 survey, where more than 400 CEOs and business leaders were polled on the biggest challenges of 2022. 

Namely, 69% of respondents ranked talent acquisition, retention, and re/upskilling as the number 1 challenge, far surpassing the runner-up challenge — cybersecurity — at 50%. But, the CEOs in this case don’t make the distinction between young talent and talent nearing retirement.

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

The demand for project workers isn’t unwarranted. It is a direct result of the market realizing the benefits of applying project management practices to all sorts of endeavors. To learn more about why project management is important, read this guide:

Women in project management

The previous statistics referred to project managers and project workers in general, but there is still a discrepancy between men and women in project management — both in the number of workers and their remuneration.

According to PMI’s 2023 The State of Women in Project Management report, men outnumber women 3 to 1 in project management.

On the upside, 20% of female project workers reported taking part in management roles, compared to 23% of male respondents, leaving the margin between them at only 3%.

Despite this, women earn less than men across the globe, with the average salary differential in the US amounting to 12%.

While there is no industry in which female project workers outnumber male project workers, this discrepancy is the smallest in healthcare (41% to 59%) and the largest in construction (13% to 86%).

Women in project management are more likely to work as full-time employees rather than contractors.

And lastly, women are 3.6% more likely to use agile approaches and 6.8% less likely to use waterfall approaches.

Statistics on project management skills

It’s always been known that PMs need an assortment of both hard and soft project management skills to do their job properly. And while all of these skills are important, a pragmatic PM looking for work will focus on the ones that organizations value the most.

After all, 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%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2020

Therefore, focusing on these 4 in-demand skills is more likely to net you a job as a project manager.

However, PMI’s much more recent Pulse of the Profession 2023 highlights the importance of soft skills (or power skills, as they refer to them in this report).

Soft skills correlate with key drivers of project success

The previously mentioned 2023 PMI report shows that the key drivers of project success are:

  1. High benefits realization management (BRM) maturity,
  2. Low levels of scope creep,
  3. Frequent use of standardized risk management practices,
  4. Frequent use of standardized stakeholder engagement practices,
  5. High organizational agility,
  6. High performance of department-specific/regional/divisional project management office (PMO),
  7. High project management maturity,
  8. Overall performance of enterprise-wide PMO,
  9. Project management success metric used: Quality of work, and
  10. Project management success metric used: Adherence to schedule.

And now for the most interesting bit — the latest PMI report shows a distinct correlation between organizations that place a high priority on power skills and organizations that report highly on the abovementioned key drivers of project success.

Organizations that place high priority on soft skillsOrganizations that place low priority on soft skills
Report high BRM maturity57%18%
Report high project management maturity64%32%
Report high organizational agility51%16%
Meet business goals72%65%
Experience scope creep28%40%
Lose budget to project failure17%25%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2023

Soft skills in project management are underdeveloped

Despite the striking correlation between soft skills and overall project success metrics, the 2023 PMI report further shows that 57% of organizations rarely or never use power skills for performance goals (45% of organizations always or frequently do this). 

Moreover, power skills training is rarely or never discussed during recruitment in 51% of organizations (and is frequently or always discussed in 31%).

Organizations that place a low priority on power skills cite cost as the main reason for this in 41% of cases, but — more strikingly — they cite the lack of perceived value in 51% of cases.

Statistics on project management maturity

To put it simply, 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 in more recent surveys, like Wellingtone’s The State of Project Management 2020 report , only 35% of project managers were satisfied with the project management maturity level at their organizations.

Nevertheless, strides in company culture integration of project management over the past 2 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 Wellington’s The State of Project Management 2019 report, 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, Wellington did not expand on this statistic in their subsequent yearly reports, but the available data indicates strides in the right direction.

Organizations with higher PMM are also more likely to provide project management training. According to the 2020 PMI report, 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 Pulse of the Profession 2020 report highlighted the discrepancy between high- and low-maturity organizations.

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%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2020

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%

Statistics point to low PMM

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

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

However, the results of PMI’s 2020 report state that only 46% of respondents highly prioritize a culture that values project management in the first place.

So, let’s look at some project management statistics provided by Wellingtone’s 2021 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’s 2020 Pulse of the Profession report, 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 raising their PMM.

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

Namely, the 2018 Pulse of the Profession report shows that only 58% of organizations that participated in the survey claimed to have fully understood the value of project management.

Meanwhile, the average rate of project failure in companies that undervalue project management was shown to be a staggering 50%.

There are different types of maturity

It should be noted that maturity scaling isn’t exclusive to just project maturity. In the previously mentioned 2018 PMI survey, respondents were asked to evaluate their organization’s program management and portfolio management maturity as well.

However, less emphasis seems to have been placed on them, as evidenced by the number of respondents who ranked these maturity levels in their organization highly:

  • 39% ranked their project management highly,
  • 33% ranked their program management highly, and
  • 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 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, and
  5. Project assurance.

In addition to project assurance, the 2 fastest-growing activities among PMOs are:

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

PMOs are on the rise

According to Wellingtone’s 2020 report, 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, this same report states that only 71% of organizations claimed to have had a PMO in 2016.

In fact, roughly 1 in every 4 PMOs had been opened in the 2 years prior to this report’s release.

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 dwindled to 38% in 2021, according to their 2021 report. Of the remaining 62% of PMOs, 46% will maintain their size, while 17% expect to get smaller.

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

The 2021 Wellington report also shows a downward trend in the perceived value increase of PMOs, dropping to 54% from its lofty 71% value in 2020.

Moreover, 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, the AIMP and KPMG Project Delivery Performance in Australia 2020 survey shows that 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 2 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.

Statistics on project management software

The same survey by AIPM and KPMG shows that 69% of project managers use collaboration 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 global survey on the state of project management 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 the use of PM software results in better project performance.

Even back in PWC’s survey on the state of project management maturity 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 Project Management Software Market Analysis by Mordor Intelligence reported that the PM software market was valued at $5.37 billion

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

Software-related project management statistics

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 Project Management Software Market Research Report shows 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 all essential features for free, such as:

  • Managing an unlimited number of projects,
  • Creating an unlimited number of tasks,
  • Adding an unlimited number of users,
  • Organizing your projects visually in table or Kanban view,
  • Filtering displayed information, and
  • Attaching 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 the previously mentioned Capterra 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%), and
  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 The 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%
Source: Capterra, Project Management Software Market Research Report

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%
Source: Capterra, Project Management Software Market Research Report

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%
Source: Capterra, Project Management Software Market Research Report

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 State of Project Management 2021 report by Wellingtone is a testament to this, highlighting the fact that 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 2018 Pulse of the Profession report 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%
Source: Wellingtone, The State of Project Management 2021

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?

The most recent source on project management approaches from a large scale survey is still the 2018 Pulse of the Profession report by PMI. From it, we can see that, among the projects headlined by top-performing organizations exclusively, the breakdown of project management approaches looks like this:

  • 44% of projects used predictive approaches,
  • 30% of projects used agile approaches,
  • 23% of projects used hybrid approaches, and
  • 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 from the same 2018 Pulse of the Profession PMI report.

Predictive (traditional/ waterfall)15%29%25%10%5%
Agile/ incremental/ iterative8%33%32%18%13%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2018

As this is a global tally, 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. Given that PRINCE2 is mostly used with large projects, this isn’t surprising.

Project management failure statistics

According to PMI’s 2018 Pulse of the Profession report, lack of adequate sponsor support is often cited as the primary cause of project failure. However, if we were to separate organizations into two groups — underperforming organizations and high-performing ones — we’d notice a huge discrepancy.

Namely, while 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 Project Delivery in Australia 2020 survey, which show that 61% of projects have actively engaged sponsors.

Project failure statistics

What causes project failure?

According to Wellingtone’s The State of Project Management 2020 report, 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 implemented 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, and
  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 finding by ScrumInc shows that 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.

According to PMI’s 2021 Pulse of the Profession report, the overall success rate has grown during the pandemic, across the board, by all reported metrics.

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%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2021

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.

As PMI has not continued to track this comparison in their subsequent yearly reports, it’s hard to say whether this trend has continued or not — although the more recent report by AIPM and KPMG suggest that it hasn’t.

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 on project management in gymnastic enterprises

A common trend among best-performing organizations was discovered in the 2021 Pulse of the Profession PMI report.

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 was a great year for project success rates.

But, gymnastic enterprises pulled even further 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%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2021

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%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2021

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%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2021

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%
Source: PMI, Pulse of the Profession 2021

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, and
  • 53% of respondents from the government reported many or some changes — 8% below the global average.

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.

The effect of the pandemic on project management

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.

In the 2021 Pulse of the Profession survey by PMI, organizations were asked how much 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, and
  • 61% of respondents from the government reported many or some changes — 7% below the global average.

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 in the 2021 Pulse of the Profession survey, 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, and
  • 49% of respondents from the government reported many or some changes 15% below the global average.

The pandemic has caused staff shortages

According to the 2022 report by AIMP and KPMG, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt, with 73% of project professionals reporting their projects have experienced staff shortages. Furthermore, 52% of respondents reported suffering from delays in sourcing key roles or skills critical to projects.

It should be mentioned that the AIMP and KPMG study focused only on Australia, so this data should not be transposed with global statistics. The severity of staff shortages and role sourcing is likely to be less pronounced in countries that aren’t as geographically isolated as Australia.

📖 Now that you know the most relevant project management statistics, dive further into the topic of project management — Check out our Project Management Glossary of Terms and get acquainted with project management terminology.

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.

If you want to become part of the positive project management statistics, you may want to start using project management software like Plaky. Sign up for Plaky’s free account today and improve your project performance.


  • AIPM and KPMG. (2020). Project Management Survey 2020. 
  • AIMP and KPMG. (2022). The state of project management in Australia 2022. 
  • Harrin, E. (2022, January 6). The 2021 Project Management Report. Rebel’s Guide to Project Management. 
  • KPMG. (2022). Keeping us up at night. 
  • Montgomery, O. (2021, May 25). Project Management Software Market Research Report. Capterra.
  • Mordor Intelligence. (n.d.). Project management software market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 – 2027).  Retrieved February 8, 2022, from 
  • Pennypacker, J. S. & Grant, K. P. (2002). Project management maturity: an industry-wide assessment. Paper presented at PMI® Research Conference 2002: Frontiers of Project Management Research and Applications, Seattle, Washington. Newtown Square, PA. Project Management Institute. 
  • PMI (2018). Pulse of the Profession 2018: Success in Disruptive Times: Expanding the Value Delivery Landscape to Address the High Cost of Low Performance. 
  • PMI. (2020). Pulse of the Profession 2020: Ahead of the Curve: Forging a Future-Focused Culture. 
  • PMI. (2021). Talent Gap: Ten-Year Employment Trends, Costs, and Global Implications. 
  • PMI. (2021). Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey—Twelfth Edition (2021). 
  • PMI. (2021). Pulse of the Profession 2021: Beyond Agility: Flex to the Future. 
  • PMI. (2023). Pulse of the Profession 2023: Power Skills, Redefining Project Success. 
  • PMI. (2023). The State of Women in Project Management, 2023. 
  • Project Management Institute & Project Business Foundation. (2020). The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Project Business: Cooperative Survey of Project Management Institute (PMI®) and the Project Business Foundation. 
  • PwC. (n.d.). Insights and Trends: Current Portfolio, Programme, and Project Management Practices; The third global survey on the current state of project management. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from 
  • PwC. (n.d.). Insights and Trends: Current Programme and Project Management Practices; The second global survey on the current state of project management maturity in organizations across the world. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from
  • Scrumink. (n.d.). Why do 47% of Agile Transformations Fail?. Retrieved January 31, 2022, from 
  • Wellingtone. (2019). The State of Project Management Survey 2019.
  • Wellingtone. (2020). The State of Project Management Survey 2020. 
  • Wellingtone. (2021). The State of Project Management Survey 2021. 

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