The Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI), the largest professional organisation for project managers in Ireland with over 1,300 members, has today released its inaugural Annual Index Survey.

The national survey completed by members across industries such as IT, construction, pharmaceuticals, and financial services outlined that almost 75% of Irish project management leaders had projects negatively impacted in the past year due to challenges in the Irish business sphere.

One third found a current shortage of skilled workers to be the biggest challenge. This is predicted to worsen, with two thirds believing there will not be an adequate supply of experienced project managers to meet demand over the next three years. Growth in the Irish economy was identified by 35% as the main driver for an increase in projects managed here, with over half seeing the most growth in the construction industry.

Speaking on the survey and ahead of Ireland’s biggest annual project management conference on 26 April, President of the Ireland Chapter of PMI, Pat Lucey stated: “The results from our inaugural Annual Index Survey are startling, with projects being negatively impacted as the supply of project managers is not meeting the demand. Even more worrying is 65% stated that this situation is not likely to improve.

“Undoubtedly, future projects will be in jeopardy because of this. If concerns are not addressed, it could mean that initiatives such as the €116 billion National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040, may not be fully realised.”

Further challenges outlined in the survey as negatively impacting projects included expectations management (30%), and governance such as GDPR (16%).

Mr Lucey added that as companies face into growth in the Irish economy, and issues such as GDPR and Brexit, there is a need to start planning for the future. “This will be achieved through active employment and upskilling, to ensure there will be enough project managers to meet the increasing demand and ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget.” he said.

“Our upcoming conference on 26 April at the Aviva Stadium, titled The Change Makers, will allow our expert speakers to share their project management experiences, equipping business leaders and their teams with the knowledge they need to manoeuvre the Irish and global business landscape in the coming months.”

A quarter of those surveyed indicated that unwillingness to hire project managers from outside the organisation was the reason behind the insufficient supply of project managers. Lack of awareness of project management as a career option (21%), high employee turnover rates (20%), and failure of project managers to upskill (19%) were also outlined.

According to the survey, over a quarter of organisations are preparing to tackle new project delivery challenges by upskilling staff, while 23% said they would be looking to streamline processes.

The Ireland Chapter of PMI’s annual conference, with headline sponsor EY Ireland, is open to project management professionals, as well as those interested in the industry. Speakers include Irish astronaut hopeful, Dr Norah Patten; former head of forecasting at Met Éireann, Gerald Fleming; and EY Ireland advisory partner, Marcus Gageby. Tickets are available at projectireland.ie.


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