New Data Reinforces Role of Project Leadership in Future of Work

Philadelphia, PA

PMI’s 2020 Pulse of the Profession® Survey Sheds Insight on How Organizations and Individuals Seize Advantage in The Project Economy

Those that undervalue project management and performance do so at their own operational peril, according to Project Management Institute (PMI)’s newly released Pulse of the Profession® report titled Ahead of the Curve: Forging a Future-Focused Culture. The report revealed an average 11.4 percent of investment is wasted due to poor project performance and stressed that organizations that undervalue project management as a strategic competency for driving change report an average of 67 percent more of their projects failing outright.

“The new decade is ushering in a world full of complex issues that require organizational leaders to reimagine not just the nature of work, but how work gets done,” said Mike DePrisco, vice president, global experience & solutions. “In this new era, individual projects are no longer viewed as separate yet adjacent to operations, but as how work gets accomplished and problems get solved.”

This year’s Pulse of the Profession report takes a closer look at the fundamentals that can make – or break – an organization’s success. The positive news is that more than half (53 percent) of organizations surveyed in Pulse say they place a high priority on building a culture receptive to change. And when it comes to change, the three areas executive leaders identified as the most important to achieve success in the future were: organizational agility (35 percent); choosing the right technologies to invest in (32 percent); and securing relevant skills (31 percent).

PMI is galvanizing the professional community to optimize how work gets done by focusing on three major takeaways:

  1. Practice being nimble: Organizational agility means being nimble and open to change to better address uncertainty and deliver results. It also means that organizations need to be ready to learn quickly and pivot to what’s next in order to be best positioned for the future.

  2. Invest in technology…and people: Disruptive technologies like AI and machine learning are only as smart as the people behind them. Executives and project leaders must have the training, processes and talent to get the job done right. Pulse data shows that approximately six in 10 (61 percent) of respondents report their organizations provide project management training and about half (47 percent) have a defined career path for project professionals. More than half (51 percent) even require project professionals to hold some type of certification for their role.

  3. Don’t be limited by title or functional area: With so much change, executives are increasingly turning to project leaders to help them turn ideas into reality. Today’s project managers have a mix of technical, leadership, business and digital skills in order to assess progress, review deliverables, and advocate for the customer. In The Project Economy, project managers will need to break down silos between an organization’s function areas to lead multidisciplinary teams of people.

“In many ways, the organization is its projects – led by a variety of titles, executed through a variety of approaches, and focused on delivering financial and societal value,” said DePrisco. “In The Project Economy, many organizations will look to the project manager as the specialist who can deploy global technologies and mobilize the right team members to help the company move faster and achieve results.”

Read more in the latest Pulse of the Profession Survey, Ahead of the Curve: Forging a Future-Focused Culture, at

About the PMI Pulse of the Profession® Survey

Conducted since 2006, PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® is the premier global survey of project management practitioners. The Pulse charts the major trends for project management now and in the future. It features original market research that reports feedback and insights from project, program and portfolio managers, along with an analysis of third-party data.

The 2020 edition of the Pulse highlights feedback and insights from 3,060 project professionals, 358 senior executives and 554 directors of project management from a range of industries, including information technology (IT), financial services, government, manufacturing, energy, construction, healthcare and telecom. Respondents span the globe including North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), China, India, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

PMI is the leading authority in project management, committed to advancing the project management profession to positively impact project success. We empower professionals to excel in project management practices through our growing global community, knowledge sharing, and best-in-class certifications—driving positive change in organizations and communities. Since 1969, our unwavering mission has been to advocate for the profession by offering life-long learning and connections to sharpen high-demand skills. Today, PMI provides professionals at every stage of their career journey with the globally recognized standards, online courses, thought leadership, events, and tools they need to succeed. With more than 300 chapters around the world, PMI members can network, find mentors, access career opportunities, and learn from peers, working together to drive greater impact.

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Project Management Institute, PMI, and BRIGHTLINE are registered trademarks of Project Management Institute, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Media Contact:

Amanda DeFuria

Regional Communications Lead, North America

[email protected]