Project Management Institute

Measuring project management's return on investment

This article summarizes a 1997 study by PMI members to develop a methodology for justifying return on the investment in project management tools, processes, and practices. Thirty-eight companies and government agencies benchmarked their current processes and practices by means of a rigorous and comprehensive questionnaire that covered eight functional areas and six project phases. Each organization was rated on a scale that measured project management process maturity. An analysis of the data demonstrated a correlation between improved project cost performance and higher levels of project management maturity, although it also showed diminishing returns at the highest levels. The study validated the methodology as a sound way of justifying investment in project management and recommended an Excellence in Project Management Practice Award as a way to recognize and encourage superior project management processes.
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