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Businesses lacking integrated systems for project management says survey

Project-driven businesses lack fully integrated systems to manage business critical projects

Businesses lack integrated systems to give them complete oversight of projects, says Sorbie.
Businesses lack integrated systems to give them complete oversight of projects, says Sorbie.

Only 11% of CEO/COOs and project managers are very confident of their ability to efficiently manage business critical projects efficiently, and lack integrated systems to manage projects, according to new research from IFS and the International Project Management Association (IPMA).

Although nearly three quarters of CEO/COOs and project managers surveyed saw the ability to manage projects as critical to their business growth, only one quarter of businesses surveyed have fully integrated IT systems for project management and just 12% of all businesses are very confident they have full visibility of information to run projects effectively.

The study surveyed 273 respondents from the USA, UK, Australia, Scandinavia and Benelux, in project-driven businesses in the energy/utilities, telecom, oil & gas, construction and manufacturing sectors.

Survey respondents saw the value in enterprise software tools for project management, with 66% saying that post recession, these are more important than ever before. The three most important factors for consistent and efficient project management were identified as resource planning (55%), integrated Enterprise systems (52%) and real-time data (47%). These results mirrored organizational IT and project-based solution investment priorities with 49% stating integration of IT as top priority. Real-time data (40%) was the next priority, followed by resource planning (37%). Despite being stated as an investment priority and being crucial to business success, just one quarter of organizations have fully integrated IT systems in place for project management.

IFS CEO Alastair Sorbie commented: "Change is the nature of projects, and we know from many years working with project-oriented companies that flexibility and scalability in project-based solutions is crucial to project success. Together with achieving a holistic view, where businesses have full visibility, control and insight into real-time data tracking, this is vital to manage the new generation of mission-critical projects, and to future organizational growth.

"A project manager that doesn't see the complete picture of what the other project members or other corporate functions have planned and ordered, will not be able to give a correct forecast of the project each month. When control of critical projects is not in place, the entire business is at risk. Because of this, many companies spend huge resources to gather information managing projects with many different systems. This is not sustainable from an efficiency perspective, and can easily be solved using one, integrated system," Sorbie added.

"This new evidence points to the fact that despite project management being a business critical area, organizations are lacking the confidence in their ability to deliver effective projects. This is down to concerns regarding having access to the important information required to run projects efficiently and on time," said Prof Brane Semolic, IPMA's Research Management Board Chair.

"The results to this survey are in line with anecdotal evidence we receive from our fifty Project Management Associations around the world, and make it clear that effective project management makes a vital contribution to customer delivery, cost control and future business growth," he concluded.