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Research Report: Secrets of High Performing Projects

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Secrets of High Performing Projects 15 6. Approximately what percentage of those large- scale projects achieved all of their expected business benefits? Our previous question looked at project control metrics – schedule and budget performance, but we also wanted to look at business performance by considering what percentage of our respondents' projects delivered the expected benefits. This is an even more critical success measure and the results were again rather disappointing, although they were more positive than the responses for the controls question. Just 35.1% of respondents – barely one in three, reported than more than 80% of their projects achieved the expected business outcomes and less than two thirds (65.4%) reported that more than 60% achieved those outcomes. At the other extreme, 13.9%, representing almost one in seven of the organizations surveyed, reported that fewer than 30% of their projects delivered the required business outcomes. Clearly that's not a sustainable model. Interestingly, executives were slightly more positive than the survey average. 39.3% reported that 80% or more of projects achieved their business outcomes and 70.8% reported success on more than 60% of initiatives. We must assume that executives have better visibility than the average employee into the success of their business so this is a positive sign, but the numbers still show significant room for improvement. As we might expect there was a strong correlation between business performance and controls performance. 84.8% of those who delivered greater than 80% controls compliance achieved the same level for business outcomes. These are strong numbers that clearly demonstrate the relationship between effective management of project controls and overall business benefit success. This is reinforced at the lower performance end of the spectrum. Among those organizations that achieved on target budget and schedule performance on 30% or less of their projects, fully 48.9% also failed to achieve business outcomes on more than 30% of their projects, and 20.6% achieved business outcomes on 10% or less. We have already seen a correlation between schedule and budget performance and the number of projects undertaken, with higher performance levels associated with conducting more projects. Given the strong correlation between controls performance and business performance it is no surprise to see a similar set of results here, although the results were not dramatic. Among organizations conducting more than 100 initiatives at any one time, 37.9% reported more than 80% of their projects achieved business outcomes compared with 33.0% among those conducting 25 or fewer concurrent projects. While there were some minor variations, neither industry nor geographic region had a significant impact on either business outcomes performance or schedule and budget performance. Almost two thirds of survey participants missed their expected business outcomes on at least 20% of projects. 0-10% 11-20% 21-30% 31-40% 41-50% 51-60% 61-70% 71-80% 81-90% >90% 4.6% 4.7% 4.7% 5.2% 5.5% 10.0% 11.4% 18.9% 20.4% 14.7% FIGURE 6: Approximately what percentage of those large-scale projects achieved all of their expected business benefits?

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