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Successful projects and programmes are critical to success.

Whether for the development of new products and services or transformation of an organization’s structure, the results of successful projects and programmes can deliver huge financial and competitive benefits. Unfortunately though, we don’t always get it right.

Reports and studies from a variety of sources continue to highlight problems with project planning, design and execution, with overall failure rates still alarmingly high. It’s a problem for all industries and sectors too.

PMI’s “Pulse of the Profession®” is an annual survey and report that aims to chart the major trends in project management. Below is a selection of key findings from the 2016 report:

  • Organizations waste US$122 million for every US$1 billion invested due to poor project performance — a 12 percent increase over 2015
  • 38% of projects failed to meet the original goals / business intent
  • Only 53% of projects were completed within the original budget
  • Only 49% of projects were completed on time
  • 16% of projects were deemed failures

The need for best practice

Best practice standards & frameworks are critical to large numbers of organizations in helping them to achieve project and programme management (PPM) objectives. Benefits of adopting and embracing formal PPM practices include:

  • Learn from experience: methods and frameworks are typically developed on the back of extensive practitioner and real-word experience.
  • Common understanding: a standardized approach ensures an understanding of roles and helps simplify communication between project teams and stakeholders.
  • Repeatable practice: effective frameworks can be applied from one project to the next, avoiding the need to invent processes from scratch each time.
  • Measure & control: effective frameworks offer formal practices to review and measure project/programme performance and to implement lessons learned.
  • Efficiency and maturity: reduce variances in project results, improve efficiency in PPM delivery and develop maturity of capabilities.

In order to help reduce risk and wasted investment, and to increase the success rates of projects and programmes, it is vital that organizations embrace project management as a strategic competency.

A key summary of the PMI report states: “…when organizations embrace project, program, and portfolio management practices, they have better outcomes”. According to the report’s findings, projects are 2.5 times more successful when proven project management practices are used.

AXELOS Global Best Practice

The AXELOS Global Best Practice portfolio offers solutions designed to help organizations become more effective across a range of key business capabilities including project, programme and IT service management. The portfolio includes well-established PPM methods and frameworks including PRINCE2®, MSP® (Managing Successful Programmes) and MoP® (Management of Portfolios).

PRINCE2 has established itself globally as a best practice methodology for project management.  A recent report from AXELOS – compiled from the results of a survey of nearly 2,500 project management practitioners – highlights the importance and value of PRINCE2:

Approximately 85% of PRINCE2 certified respondents said PRINCE2 was valuable to their current role.