The 2020 KPMG Australia and Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) Survey has found that 67 percent of Australian businesses believe that projects are becoming more complex, but more than half (53 percent) do not believe their organisations are investing in the skills needed to manage this complexity effectively.

The survey findings give an insight into current trends, practices and challenges in project management in Australia, and sheds light on what is working, and what is not, in the delivery of projects and programs. These insights are even more pertinent in 2020 as we all seek to adjust to a new reality operating environment.

This year, we looked beyond just the on time, on budget, on scope measures and considered elements of organisational project delivery to develop this performance report on project management in Australia. In doing so, we identified what we are doing well and what areas of improvement and investment are needed to continue to improve the effectiveness of project delivery.

Key findings

The challenges of 2020 underlined the importance of being able to deliver projects through times of uncertainty. While there has been upheaval in the way we work and how project teams are able to interact while working remotely, there has also been an on-going, and at times heightened, need to deliver critical projects.

Even within projects that have been impacted in terms of decreased priority, we have witnessed the importance of being able to change course smoothly. Throughout these times, the project manager has remained in high demand.

Overall, we saw:

  • 64 percent of survey respondents think that complexity of projects has increased over past decade
  • 65 percent of survey respondents think that project managers have a positive image in their organisation
  • 64 percent of survey respondents think that project management skills will be more important in the future
  • 53 percent of survey respondents do not believe their organisation does enough to improve project management skills and capability.

We have seen delivery metrics have improved with 25 percent of projects delivered successfully, at least most of the time (up 6 percent from the last report) and:

  • 52 percent of projects are delivered with stakeholder satisfaction 
  • 51 percent of projects are likely to meet original goal and business intent 
  • 48 percent of respondents feel their organisation manages projects and programs effectively or very effectively
  • 42 percent of projects are likely to be delivered on time 
  • 40 percent of projects are likely to be delivered on budget.

Where to go from here?

Overall, the picture is positive, and we have observed areas of improvement over the three years in which this survey has been undertaken.

There is still more to do. This year’s report highlights the need for continued investment in developing capabilities to support technologies and arming the next generation of project managers with skills to not only adapt to delivering increasingly complex projects and business demands, but to develop EQ skills alongside this.

Further information

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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