New research, released today by the Australian Institute of Project management and KPMG Australia, has found that 53 per cent of businesses are not investing enough in developing the skills needed to manage the successful delivery of projects, despite 67 per cent believing that projects are becoming more complex.

The report surveyed 464 project managers and business leaders in Australia working across construction, infrastructure, technology and business transformation projects.

It found that despite 58% reporting that projects were moderately or significantly disrupted in 2020, 25% of projects in Australia were delivered successfully most of the time in 2020, an increase from 19% in 2019. The research also found that due to the complexity of the projects 64% of respondents think that project management skills will be more important in the future.

“Strong project management skills have never been more critical,” said AIPM CEO Elizabeth Foley. “2020 has forced many businesses to quickly pivot their operating models, way of working or strategic direction. Doing this effectively relies on the successful delivery of critical projects.

“At the same time, the Federal Government’s increased investment in new infrastructure as part of the country’s economic recovery will rely on strong project management skills to ensure this work is delivered on time and within budget.”

“We must invest in developing these critical skills now to ensure that business, and the broader economy, is set up for success.”

The research found that in 2020, 42% of projects are likely to be delivered on time (up from 30% in 2019); 40% of projects are likely to be delivered on budget (up from 36% in 2019); and 51% of projects are likely to their original goal and business intent (up from 44% in 2019).

KPMG Australia Partner, Management Consulting, Peter Sexton said this shows improvement, but there’s still work to be done.

“In a year where there’s been significant turmoil across all sectors, it’s positive to see that organisations have an underlying confidence that projects will be delivered on time, cost and in scope. However, given that we are seeing the majority of businesses report that projects are becoming more complex, it’s clear that more needs to be done.”

Mr Sexton continued, “organisations need to continue to adopt new technologies and equip the next generation of project managers with the skills needed to manage complex projects to ensure they’re able to effectively deliver critical business projects.”

About AIPM

The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) is the premier, longest-serving body for project management in Australia. We are recognised by Australian business, industry and government as the key promoter, developer, and leader in project management professionalism for over 40 years. AIPM is a member of the International Project Management Association (IPMA).

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 147 countries and territories and have more than 219,000 people working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.