Even with the benefit of great planning, a robust business case and effective risk assessments in place, many projects can quickly reach the limits of the ‘comfort success zone’ and begin to experience failure.
Failure is costly. A recent survey launched at the PM Summit in Ireland found that around 20% of projects had failed at an average cost of €580,000 per project.
This ties in with a UK-wide survey published by Axelos last year which found that 31% of business projects were failing. The report went on to estimate that the overall cost of project failure to the UK economy was in the region of £250 billion.
From a global perspective, the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) annual Pulse of the Profession report on ‘High Cost of Low Performance 2013’ found that for every $1 billion spent on a failed project up to $135 million was unrecoverable.
The reasons for failure are manifold, including lack of clarity in the project scope or 'scope creep', through to communication within teams and with stakeholders, through to workplace culture.
So how should organisations respond?
The response from project management professionals in Ireland was clear. The PM Summit’s survey found that two out of every three businesses (68%) planned to increase investment in training to improve the success rate of their projects.
And the PMI’s 2018 study on the Pulse of the Profession reported a 27% decrease in the amount of money organisations are wasting due to poor project performance. This was in part due to investing in their project talent.
So where is the best place to begin?
For many, the PRINCE2 course - certified by Axelos and backed by government - is the starting point. Axelos certifications are globally recognised as the benchmark for best practice in project management.
There are lots of options around PRINCE2 training, which includes foundation for entry level candidates up to practitioner certification which demonstrates candidates have sufficient knowledge to adapt to a range of project types and scenarios. The full range of combined and individuals courses like PRINCE2 Leeds are available around the UK and Ireland, so they are accessible to most project management professionals.
The fast-paced nature of project management, taken alongside the increasing pace of technological innovation within this space, makes continuing professional development a critical element for ambitious professionals seeking to advance their careers.
Through PRINCE2 training, professionals can maintain their skills base and keep up to date with best practice and emerging trends. For companies in the early stages of planning, the question of investing in their human resources must be addressed. With the appropriate competencies in place, organisations can maximise the benefits of their projects and considerably reduce the costly risk of project failure.
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