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Project managers need to upskill in order to deliver – KPMG report

20 Apr 17

Advancement in new technologies is rapidly changing the way companies do business.

Organisations are finding that they need to respond faster and be more agile in the way projects are managed.

A survey of New Zealand’s private and public sector project management professionals, senior executives, and business representatives by KPMG shows that there’s room for improvement in how they handle project management.

KPMG’s Project Management Survey 2017 revealed that two-thirds of projects undertaken in New Zealand are failing.

Only 29 percent of projects are delivered on budget, 21 percent of projects are delivering on benefits, and 33 percent meet original goals or business objectives.

KPMG Advisory team director Gina Barlow says that while the results of the survey may seem discouraging, they present New Zealand organisations with an opportunity to embrace new ways of working to increase their performance.

“There is a need for project management to take a big step closer to business strategy and agile project management this year,” she says.

Interestingly, the survey also showed that the number and complexity of projects organisations are completing has risen, with 40 percent of organisations completing more than 40 projects a year.

“Organisations have more projects, less time, and change is constant, so ensuring that change management activities are integrated with project management activities is important to achieve desired results and planned business outcomes,” Barlow says.

Despite project failure rates, 61 percent of organisations feel project success rates have improved over the last two years, showing a disconnect between how well organisations think they are managing their projects and how well they’re actually doing. 

The survey also highlighted a skill shortage in the project management profession, finding that project managers were lacking skills to lead change in organisations, manage conflict, resolve grey issues, and in communication.

“It is no longer enough to focus on talent hiring and development for those who only have technical project management skills,” says Barlow.

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