Imaginist35’s Weblog

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The world is getting worse for programme managers

I just saw a survey which confirmed something I suspected from my own research: the world is getting more difficult for people responsible for bringing in change projects and programmes successfully, leading to more failed projects and managers spending longer at work, trying to overcome the barriers to successful change.

The Arras People 2010 Project Management Benchmark Survey confirms that:
“a whopping 74% of Programme managers work more than 40 hours per week out of which 40% put in more than 48 hours. This figure is up by 10.3% from the data collected 12 months ago.  Over the twelve month period the Project and Change Manager spreads have shown a slight increase in hours worked. The support group however have seen two interesting moves which indicate additional pressure; firstly an increase in the numbers working < 35 hours by 2% suggesting additional part time roles whilst a 12% increase has been reported in those working more than 40 hours.”

It was already clear from the Standish research that the number of successful projects is falling:  32% in 2009, down from 35% in 2006.  Unless we think there was a drop in project and programme management skills – unlikely – the world we operate in has become that much more challenging.

One of the key reasons for this, the fast-changing economic circumstances, reinforces our view that change programmes have to be phased into short projects so that the risks associated with TIME are reduced.  Time is one of the 3 risk factors we look at in our Exponential Complexity model. (The other two are No of Stakeholders and No of Processes affected.)

As the world becomes a less friendly place for project and programme managers, tools like our model become even more important in your armoury. More on our website:

Happy New Year?

January 13, 2010 Posted by | business change management, project and programme management | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment