Project Success Rates – Progress Over Time; Maturity and Tools Matter

There are a number of interesting studies with statistics on project success rates:

  • Standish Group’s famous Chaos report garnered attention starting in the mid 90s, in particular based on very high reported project failure rates ( ~ 90% are not successful). More recent data from their 2013 report shows improvement, but still only 39% of projects are successful, with 61% either ‘failed’ or ‘challenged’.


  • A PMI survey from 2012, showed, perhaps not surprisingly, that success rates are correlated with maturity.
    • Only 39% are on time in low maturity organizations, 44% are on-budget, and 53% meet business goals.
    • But even in high maturity organizations only two thirds are on-budget and on-time. 


So, increasing knowledge of project management, and organization process maturity has resulted in improved success, but there is clearly plenty of room for improvement. Recent research from PS Village shows that organizations adopting enterprise solutions such as Professional Services Automation software are characterized by higher maturity, and thus higher project success rates. This is not surprising as adoption of enterprise software requires standardization of process, as well as enabling metrics and reporting which help drive process improvements.    

"I’ve never done a timesheet so fast in my life! What an incredible change. I’m so glad we switched. They’ve really done a lot to polish it up, too."- Paco Hope Managing Consultant Cigital, Inc.
Being able to see where we are on projects REAL TIME instead of waiting for Monday processing has made it much easier to let clients know exactly where we are with their projects. Unanet has set a higher standard for project reporting and there is more to come!. - Jenny Clark director, solvability


"I love Unanet! It is great that you can run a report and easily see who is available, what projects a person is assigned to, and how many hours people are charging."- Michelle Graffin Controller, Orbital Technologies
An invoice that used to take 1 person 2-3 days that is now complete in 30 minutes, and a report that used to take 2 hours that is now produced in 2 minutes! - TJ Guarino, Tessada


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