ESI International’s Latest Survey on the Global State of the Project Management Office Finds Agile Not as Popular as Many Think

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PMOs involvement in training lagging, too.

% of organizations that provide PMs with a structured career path

Learning sustainment and the effort to measure the impact of training on workplace performance are key indicators of PMO health.

ESI International, the world's leading project management training company, today released the findings of its latest annual benchmarking survey, "The Global State of the PMO: An Analysis for 2013.” The annual survey seeks to investigate the evolving role of the Project/Program Management Office (PMO) in training and development, its level of maturity and value for the overall business. This year’s survey also examined the role that Agile plays in the PMO.

“The results of this important work confirm what I have been thinking for a while that PMOs need to get aggressive in demonstrating value early and often,” Jim Johnson, Chairman, The Standish Group remarked at ESI’s Centre of Excellence Event recently held in London, UK.

The key findings include:

  •     The Agile Question: Only nine percent of those surveyed said they use Agile on more than half their projects.
  •     Significant drop in soft skills training: only 30 percent* said their PMO provided soft skills training in 2013 compared to 41 percent in 2012.
  •     More PMO effectiveness measurement: 68 percent* claimed the PMO reported on its own effectiveness in 2013, compared to only 54 percent in 2012.
  •     Fewer PMOs Challenged: only 37 percent* stated their PMO was challenged in 2013 compared to 56 percent in 2012.
  •     PMO as career-crucial body: 75 percent of so-called “active” PMOs that engaged in learning sustainment and training impact measurement also create a structured career pathway for project managers.
  •     More Strategic: 22 percent of all PMOs operate at the strategic level.
  •     Project Success: 56 percent of active PMOs claimed more than 75 percent of on-time, to-budget project delivery.

“Learning sustainment and the effort to measure the impact of training on workplace performance are key indicators of PMO health,” said ESI Executive Vice President J. LeRoy Ward, PMP, PgMP. “The more engaged the PMO is in paving a career path for project management professionals, the more value it is perceived to have.”

Download “The Global State of the PMO: An Analysis for 2013.

About ESI International
ESI, a subsidiary of Informa plc (LSE:INF), is a global project-focused training company, helping people around the world improve the way they manage projects, contracts, requirements and vendors through innovative training in project management, business analysis and contract management. In addition to ESI’s more than 100 courses delivered in more than a dozen languages at hundreds of locations worldwide, ESI offers several certificate programmes through our educational partner, The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1981, ESI’s worldwide headquarters are in Arlington, Va., USA. To date, ESI’s programmes have benefited more than 1.35 million professionals worldwide. For more information visit

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Christine Hohlbaum

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