European Organisations Challenged to Protect Market Share, Maintain Competitive Advantage

Europe, North America, Turkey, United States

Global survey reveals need for increased talent management amid rise of emerging markets


Amid a volatile economy and a fragmented marketplace, European organisations are more challenged than ever to maintain high performance. However, in the 2013 Pulse of the ProfessionTM, Project Management Institute (PMI) found that organisations in Europe are 6% less likely than their global counterparts to finish projects on time, damaging time-to-market in the region and significantly impacting global competitive advantage and creating risk amid the rise of emerging markets.

Increasing investment in project management standards, practices and talent could help stabilise an increasingly uncertain business environment in the region, said PMI President and CEO Mark A. Langley. As more aggressive competition arises from burgeoning economies in other parts of the world, the stakes will be higher, and the potential for lost revenue and mismanaged capital will be even greater. To minimize the increased risk, organizations will need to improve and refine the processes used for managing the projects and programs that transform business strategy into measurable results.

Opportunities Exist, but Obstacles Remain

PMIs Pulse of the ProfessionTM research shows that high-performing organisations risk 14 times less money on projects than low-performing organisations 20 million per 1 billion spent versus 280 million per 1 billion spentcreating a significant competitive advantage and helping to ensure solvency in the midst of financial turmoil. However, the Pulse findings reveal potential roadblocks for future growth. Only 53 percent of European organisations have executive-level project sponsors, compared to 63 percent of organisations globally. In addition, they average fewer project managers who are Project Management Professional (PMP) certified (20 percent versus 28 percent).

Talent management is an area that should concern organisations in Europe. The 2013 Pulse of the ProfessionTM found that although consistent, continuous training and development for project managers significantly reduces financial risk, half of organizations have scaled back their training programs due to economic conditions. Only 44 percent of organisations in Europe offer formal project management training, compared with 58 percent of organisations around the globe. This deficit leaves organizations and individuals who practice project management unprepared to fill the 15.7 million new project management roles expected to be created between now and 2020more than two million of which will be in the EMEA region.

The Path to Performance

Aligning with overall organisational strategy and understanding what it takes to become a high performercompleting 80 percent or more of projects on time, on budget and within goalshas the potential to improve an organization’s outcomes. The Pulse of the ProfessionTM finds that high performing organisations are significantly more likely to focus on three key factors:

Talent management. High-performing organisations provide consistent, continuous training and development for project managers to enhance organisational success. They are significantly more likely than low performers to provide a defined career path for project managers, a process to develop project management competency and training on the use of project management tools and techniques.
Standardisation. Standardisation leads to an efficient use of resources, which allows more time and resources to focus on leading, innovating and delivering products and servicesand ultimately leads to a competitive advantage. High-performing organisations are almost three times more likely than low-performing organisations (36 percent vs. 13 percent) to use standardised practices throughout the organisation, and have better project outcomes as a result.
Strategic Alignment. High-performing organisations are at least four times more likely than low-performing organisations to have achieved maturity in their project management practices. The Pulse data show clearly that more mature project, program and portfolio management practices lead to better project performance. Organisations with successful project management practices, integrated benefits realisation processes, and aligned portfolio management capabilities along with high organisational agility all have significantly better project outcomes than their counterparts who are less advanced.

To access PMI’s Pulse of the Profession please visit

About the Pulse of the Profession/Methodology

Conducted since 2006, PMI’s Pulse of the Profession is the annual global survey of project management professionals. The Pulse of the Profession charts the major trends for project management now and in the future. It features original market research that reports feedback and insights from project, program and portfolio managers, along with an analysis of third-party data. The newest edition of the Pulse features feedback and insights from nearly 800 project management leaders and practitioners across North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) and Latin America and Caribbean regions.

About Project Management Institute (PMI)

PMI is the one of the world’s largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Our professional resources and research empower more than 700,000 members, credential holders and volunteers in nearly every country in the world to enhance their careers, improve their organizations’ success and further mature the profession.

PMI’s worldwide advocacy for project management is reinforced by our globally recognized standards and certification program, extensive academic and market research programs, chapters and communities of practice, and professional development opportunities.

Visit us at, and on Twitter @PMInstitute.


Carey Learnard, +1 610-356-4600 x1092
Pinar Farimaz, +9 (0)212 329 80 80

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