PMI Pulse of the Profession 2019: A Summary

PMI Pulse of the Profession 2019: A Summary


It’s that time of year again when PMI release Pulse of the Profession®, their annual survey of project management professionals. This year’s focus is on the PMTQ (Project Management Technology Quotient), a key concept created by PMI which combines the idea of a Technology Quotient – the ability to use and integrate technology – with project management skills.

PMI’s data shows organisations wasted almost 12 percent of their investment in project spend due to poor performance. This number has remained almost unchanged for five years and PMI think having high PMTQ is the solution. We’ve summarised the report’s key findings, so read on to find out about the state of project management and what the future holds.


PMTQ – Project Management Technology Quotient

PMI say there are three traits which a project manager with high PMTQ has:

  • Always-on curiosity – Always on the lookout for new approaches and technologies

  • All-inclusive leadership – Getting the best out of a team, this can include both people and tech

  • A future-proof talent pool – Recruiting and retaining professionals with the digital skills required to succeed in this age


Digital Disruption

Global spending on digital transformation is expected to hit US$1.97 trillion by 2022, according to International Data Corp.

Nearly 80% of organisations have undergone a significant transformation using disruptive technology, but only 25% of those have realised benefits in line with their original goals.

PMI think this is down to a gap between what organisations say they want and what they are willing to do to get it.

That Accenture reports only 3 percent of business leaders said they would invest significantly in training and reskilling programs through 2020 goes some way towards explaining this.


What PMI thinks should be done

Organisations must create a culture which supports project management and is open to the technologies required to succeed. PMI gives the following points of advice for achieving this:


Put technology front and centre

Use digital solutions where possible to gain a competitive edge.


Build digital fluency across the enterprise

Everyone in the organisation should understand digital solutions, not just select professionals. This will take some retraining and rethinking.


Reimagine career journeys

Jobs are changing along with traditional project management career paths. New project professionals will need to be digital-literate and prepared for their role to develop into areas beyond project management.


Talent Triangle

The PMI Talent Triangle® is the ideal skill set PMI believes a project manager should have. It is a combination of three areas: Technical Project Management, Leadership and Strategic Business Management. PMI believes the project managers of the future should combine this skillset with digital skills and an awareness and knowledge of technology.


PMTQ Innovators vs. Laggards

In their survey, PMI groups its respondents into ‘PMTQ Innovators’ and ‘PMTQ Laggards’. ‘Innovators’ in this sense means companies which prioritise digital skills and combine this with a ‘strong project management culture’.


According to statistics, PMTQ Innovators:



  • Developing management technical skills

  • Developing project management business skills

  • Developing skills for executive sponsors



  • A formal recognition process for when staff meet certain milestones

  • A formal process to develop project manager competency

  • A formal knowledge transfer process

  • A formal process to mature existing project management practices

  • A defined career path for project managers


PMTQ Innovators also said that they provided ongoing project manager training and were more likely to use modern approaches such as Change Management, Hybrid Project Management Practices, Design Thinking, Agile and DevOps.


Project Success

PMTQ Innovators enjoy greater project success rates. These organisations met original goals, completed projects within budget and completed more projects on time than their counterparts.

Those lagging behind, on the other hand, all experienced more scope creep, failures and budget loss.


Predictions for the Future

PMI’s survey suggests AI will be a huge concern for project managers in the future.

  • 85% say AI will significantly change the way they do business in the next five years

  • Close to two-thirds of global CEOs see it as a bigger disruptor than the Internet


In Summary

Modern project management requires a high degree of understanding of technology to get the best results.

Pulse of the Profession 2019 shows that organisations are trying to transform themselves to keep up with technology, but they’re failing. They’re not investing in enough training for their staff, and they’re not managing their project management processes in a way that allows them to develop and mature efficiently.

Developing technologies like AI pose huge changes for the future and could bring enormous benefits to organisations. But only if they are prepared to invest the time and effort it takes to implement them properly.

View the full Pulse of the Professional 2019 report here


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