Economic Conditions are Mixed
Respondents have mixed feelings about the economic outlook on a global scale. When asked to assess current global economic conditions, only about a third say conditions are better compared to six months ago (Figure 1). However, respondents are optimistic about the future outlook—just about half feel that conditions will be better in the next six months compared to today (Figure 2).
The financial health of organizations is mixed; just about half of respondents feel their organization’s financial health is better overall compared to six months ago. Innovation and automation are cited as popular reasons for better financial health. Still, nearly two-fifths of respondents feels there was no change in their organization’s financial health (Figure 3).
Several indictors of financial health indicate mixed signals. Although 42 percent of organizations with better financial health have seen an increase in the number of project managers, another two-fifths of these same organizations have seen no change in that total (Figure 4). Further, the hiring of contract project managers may not be a priority in many of the respondent’s organizations. Among organizations that have seen better, no change, or worse financial health, they also have seen no change in the overall percentage of contract project managers (Figure 5). Additionally, internal project management training is an area that has not seen much traction in the past six months. Among organizations that have seen better or no change in financial health, the majority see no change in the amount of internal project management training. Organizations with worse financial health have an even lower amount of project management training at 42 percent (Figure 6).
Moreover, nearly a third of respondents report that technical project management was the most conducted type of training within their organization among the types of training listed (Figure 7). Additionally, nearly six in ten respondents (58 percent) report that their organization has not cancelled or delayed scheduled projects due to recent economic conditions.
In the most recent economic snapshot survey, potential risks have emerged that could possibly affect the growth of organizations globally. The majority of respondents, when asked about potential risks to their organization’s growth, feel economic stability is the biggest risk (Figure 8), and also the most concerning risk (Figure 9). Political risk and violence, and disruptive technologies are also cited as potential risks, but not nearly as pertinent compared to economic stability.
The 21st century has seen many disruptive technologies emerge, and this trend will continue for many years. When asked about which technologies will have the most disruptive impact on businesses in their sector within the next six months, respondents feel artificial intelligence (AI), cloud technology and internet of things (IoT) will have the most disruptive impact (Figure 10). Organizations will need to invest in training to sharpen the technological skillset of project managers in order to remain competitive.