The 2021 Project Management Report

To better understand the work of project delivery managers, we surveyed 220. We share some new statistics on project management from this original research. You’ll learn:
Which delivery method is most popular?
How many project managers have thought about quitting their job?
Why project managers do not have the career goal that experienced professionals desire.
How many projects does a project manager manage?
How many people make up an average project team?
What keeps project managers awake at night?
There are many more.

Are you ready to see what we found? Let’s go.
1. Hybrid is the most popular delivery method
Sixty percent use hybrid methods to deliver projects. Hybrid approaches combine predictive (e.g. Hybrid approaches combine predictive (e.g. waterfall) and iterative methods (e.g. Combining Agile and waterfall methods.
Predictive planning is used to mark key deadlines and create a structure for the entire project. There are sprints and iterations within this structure.
Teams select and choose the best approach for themselves.
Hybrid is the most popular delivery method among project managers of all levels of experience. This is not something only ‘experienced’ project managers can do. Leading hybrid projects is becoming a common practice.
This finding is however quite different from what VersionOne discovered in their 14th Annual State of Agile Report in 2020. Their research showed that only 9% of Agile practitioners used hybrid methods. This is likely due to the self-selecting nature both of the survey respondents.
Our research revealed that 10% of project managers use Agile methods, while 30% use predictive approaches.
2. Nearly one in five project managers has considered quitting the job.
37% of respondents said they had considered quitting project management within the last year.
41% of those who identify as having “some experience” have seriously or seriously considered leaving.
It is slightly lower for those who identify as ‘experienced’ as only 35% had seriously or seriously considered quitting their job.
Overall, 63% of respondents stated that they hadn’t considered quitting project management.
This is a poor picture for the profession. We should be asking ourselves how we can make project management so challenging when more than a third of those doing the job think about quitting.
Next: Why do people leave project management? Certification is the top career goal
A certification is the top career goal of project managers. Survey respondents indicated that this was their top career goal for the next 12 month. 52% of respondents are involved in managing between 2-5 projects.
Nearly 40% are looking for a new job as project managers. One fifth of project managers said they are looking for new roles outside their company. 19% stated that getting promoted within their current company was their top priority.
64% of the group seeking promotion are involved in managing between 2-5 projects.
The career goals of project managers were diverse and broad. These are the top five career goals for project managers:
Get certified: 21%
Find a job outside my current company: 20%
Promote yourself within my company: 19%
17% Off for larger projects
Deliver high-quality projects: 7%

64% of those who said they wanted to work on larger projects are managing between 2-5 projects. This could be a sign they prefer a smaller workload with more important projects.
Some other answers received more than one reply included:
Recognize me for my contribution and work
My company can improve the way it manages projects.

PMI’s Pulse 2020 statistics show that only 47% have a career path for project managers. Many people want to be their own development, get a certification, and find a new job.
PMO wins quickly