Study: Almost 40 Percent of Project Managers Never Use Project Management Tools

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New AffinityLive survey finds that professional services firms are losing revenue due to poorly managed projects and lack of tracking employee time

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Almost 40 percent of project managers do not use project planning, tracking or collaboration software, making it impossible to track the profitability of their projects, according to new study from AffinityLive.

Those numbers are even more dismal for the majority of companies that work mostly on shorter projects, 60 percent of which are completed in under three months. Seventy-five percent of companies don't use software when managing projects less than one month, and more than two-thirds are "running blind" on projects lasting between 1 and 3 months.

“While it is self-evident that longer, larger projects need more planning and management, our finding that two-thirds of the most common projects (1-3 months) are managed manually was staggering,” said Geoff McQueen, founder of AffinityLive.

When it comes to managing budgets, the findings were even more alarming. More than 70 percent of project budgets are tracked manually or not at all.

"Tracking budget usage manually is not just an annoying administrative burden for project managers -- it is also dangerous given how quickly hard-working professionals can rack up hours on a project, sending it way over budget if not on top of hours," said McQueen. "Without a tool to track budgets, it’s almost impossible to determine project profitability until it is too late."

Additional findings detailed in the white paper include:

  • The vast majority (more than 80 percent) of projects run for less than six months, 60 percent of projects run less than three months, and the most common projects run for an average of two months.
  • For these most common projects, only between a quarter and a third of respondents used project planning, tracking or collaboration software, and in the second most common category of projects up to one month, 3 in 4 respondents used no project management technology at all.
  • Two-thirds of project managers are “running blind” when it comes to tracking budgets, and they’re even worse off when it comes to managing schedules with more than 3 in 4 professionals either using manual techniques or nothing at all.
  • Communication was cited as the most critical element to a successfully managed project, but 90 percent of respondents nominated email as the most important method of communication, with 'collaboration' technology ranked near the bottom of most important methods of communication.

This study highlights important findings into project management practices across the professional services sector and outlines the potential risks associated with poorly managed projects. With high variable labor costs of the sector and their low profit margins, it demonstrates the need for a full-service tool that would allow for planning and flexible tracking along the way.

The full report is available for download here.

About AffinityLive
Based in San Francisco, AffinityLive was initially developed as internal system for a fast-growing professional service business that was struggling to manage sales, projects, service and billing. The company now offers business-automation tools designed specifically for professional service businesses with a focus on helping companies improve sales, billing, project management and CRM inefficiencies, and ultimately keeping staff and clients happy.

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Jennifer Mulligan

Eliana Bergman
AffinityLive
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