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Corporate executives generally lack confidence in the ability of IT to provide the insight and control that is required throughout the lifecycle of a project and would like to see better integration with their business software. These are the findings of a study conducted by the International Project Management Association (IPMA) on behalf of IFS among 273 CEOs or COOs and project managers at project-based businesses across the U.K., U.S., Australia, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.
The study found that:
• Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of CEOs/COOs and project managers identify the ability to manage projects as critical or absolutely critical to the future growth of the business
• Despite this, just 11 percent of CEOs/COOs and project managers are very confident of their ability to manage business critical projects in the most efficient way
• Only one quarter (25 percent) of businesses surveyed have fully integrated IT systems for project management and just 12 percent of all businesses are very confident they have full visibility of information to run projects effectively despite identifying IT integration and real-time data as priorities for project control
The research also points out that the economic downturn has placed new business demands on project-based industries; 66 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that, post-recession, enterprise software tools have become even more important to run projects than ever before.
IFS CEO Alastair Sorbie said, "Change is the nature of projects, and we know from many years working with project-oriented companies that agility and scalability in project-based solutions are crucial to project success. Together with achieving a holistic view, where businesses have full visibility, control and insight into real-time data tracking, this is vital to manage the new generation of mission-critical projects and to future organizational growth."
Both the C-Suite executive leaders and project managers questioned agreed that the top three most important factors for consistent and efficient project management were resource planning (55 percent), integrated enterprise systems (52 percent) and real-time data (47 percent). These results mirrored organizational IT and project-based solution investment priorities, with 49 percent giving IT integration as their top priority. Real-time data (40 percent) was the next priority, followed by resource planning (37 percent). Despite being stated as an investment priority and being crucial to business success, just one quarter of organizations have fully integrated IT systems in place for project management.
"A project manager that doesn't see the complete picture of what the other project members or other corporate functions have planned and ordered will not be able to give a correct forecast of the project each month. When control of critical projects is not in place, the entire business is at risk. Because of this, many companies spend huge resources to gather information, managing projects with many different systems," Sorbie said. "This is not sustainable from an efficiency perspective, and can easily be solved using one, integrated system."
"This new evidence points to the fact that organizations are lacking the confidence in their ability to deliver effective projects-despite project management being a business-critical area. This is down to concerns about access to the important information required to run projects efficiently and on time," said Prof Brane Semolic, IPMA's Research Management Board Chair. "The results from this survey are in line with anecdotal evidence we receive from our fifty Project Management Associations around the world and make it clear that effective project management makes a vital contribution to customer delivery, cost control and future business growth."
This IFS research surveyed 273 respondents across the USA, UK, Australia, Scandinavia and Benelux, comprising 49 percent CEOs/COOs and 51 percent project managers. Respondents surveyed are from the Energy/Utilities, Telecom, Oil & Gas, Construction and Manufacturing sectors. In March, IFS announced that it has commissioned the IPMA, a world-leading non-profit-making project management organization, to investigate approaches to project management confidence and efficiency. The results of this research project will be available in September 2010. To register for updates on the research and register for the full report visit www.sustainable-efficiency.net.
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