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Research Report: Secrets of High Performing Projects

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Secrets of High Performing Projects 6 High performance organizations differentiate themselves in many ways that combine to deliver big results In this research report we spent a lot of time focusing on high performance organizations – that section of our survey respondents who expect to achieve their business outcomes for at least 80% of their projects. That's because those organizations don't achieve that success by accident, it's the result of a series of best practices and consistent behaviors that combine to drive excellence. By identifying those behaviors, as we have done on many of the individual questions in this survey, we can provide guidance for organizations to adjust their own processes and approaches in order to improve performance. However, there are no silver bullets. Success doesn't come from cherry picking one or two areas and tweaking those. It requires a commitment to excellence at all levels resulting in permanent changes. 72.9% of high performers had a PMO, and it was clear from this group that if you have a PMO, or if you are considering investing in one, then creating a central strategic enterprise PMO is likely to drive higher levels of performance than simply deploying a departmental model. We recognize that funds to make changes are limited for many organizations right now, so identifying adjustments that don't make a difference is also important. While basic project level planning and resource allocations are key drivers, in our survey we saw that portfolio and investment planning were eclipsed in moving the needle. Instead, other foundational elements like training, hiring and improving processes had a bigger positive impact. Many underperforming organizations are either struggling with these basic elements or they are applying them inconsistently. That results in lost opportunity, higher costs and lower overall performance. All organizations are going to be faced with the need to invest in digital transformation in the coming years. Recently IDC forecast that 65% of global GDP would be digitized by 2022, requiring massive investments. Our survey respondents are committed to that process as well, with over half planning to spend at least $1 million. However, high performers reported higher planned expenditure levels, likely because they have the performance to support such investments, and that will allow them to gain further competitive advantage. Accept that excellence isn't a destination, it's a journey. There were many instances where even our highest performing organizations reported room for improvement, but they also showed that they were committed to delivering that improvement – only 33.6% said that they felt their project delivery was 'very effective' so most, if not all are focused on improving further. Any areas that you can improve will make a difference, but the most sustainable lifts in performance come from incremental and continued enhancements to all areas of project delivery. Technology is an important part of that improvement approach, and an area where improvements are often needed. We saw a lot of evidence for that in our survey, and that's our next recommendation area. Organizations must focus on steady improvements in all areas to deliver sustainable and meaningful change. $10M High performers were almost three times as likely to spend over $10 million on digital transformation in the next year. 73% 73% of high performers have a PMO. Central strategic PMOs are most effective at driving results.

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