PM-Partners group Formed to Bridge Project Skills Gap

~ 62% of Australian Organisations Have No Project Governance, According to Survey by Leading Australian Project Services Firm ~

Sydney, Australia June 16, 2008 -- Sixty-two percent of Australian organisations have no project governance, increasing the risk of project failure and time or budget overruns, according to a survey by leading Australian project services firm, PM-Partners group.

"Organisations invest millions in strategy development and rely on change initiatives to drive value and results. Major delays and even complete failures from poorly executed projects all too often prevent them from achieving their desired results," says Philip Belcher, Chief Executive Officer of PM-Partners group. "The number one reason is because they don't have mature project management processes."

The value of mature processes has become more obvious as organisations face a credit crunch, higher interest rates, labour shortages and the possibility of an economic slowdown. "Investors are keenly focussed on returns. They are looking for organisations that are durable and consistent performers. At the same time the risk of project failure has increased as already stretched resources are further constrained," said Mr Belcher.

Combination of People and Skills
"PM-Partners group's mission is to bridge the project skills gap to deliver successful results through precise, well managed project execution," said Mr Belcher. "That could be through developing an organisation's in-house project capabilities through training and consulting or by providing them with skilled external staff or, as is generally the case with large organisations, a combination of both."

PM-Partners group is the result of a recent merger between PMPartners, the Australian market leader in project management training & consulting and ITPM, a leading IT project delivery organisation.

The merger creates Australia's first "one stop project management shop" offering all the project-related services required to support an organisation's journey from ad hoc to organisational maturity. The group is ideally positioned to assist organisations achieve required results by developing their project capabilities or by providing delivery capability through contracted services.

Skills Shortages Just an Excuse
Belcher says organisations that complain about skills shortages inhibiting their change initiatives and associated projects are often just making excuses for a lack of organisational maturity. "People often say that it's hard to acquire skilled people to enable their projects because they are relatively rare or that if we look internally we have difficulty finding people with the right experience or qualifications.

"In many cases the experts organisations need already exist within the business but the organisations' management have not taken a longer term approach to developing their people," said Belcher. "Project management is a good example. If the existing subject matter experts are trained in project management and can acquire formal qualifications we can consult with them to provide a framework to build a Project Management Office and an implementation methodology. That way a relatively small number of people can achieve a lot using the resources organisations already have."

Belcher counsels against a reliance on simply hiring new personnel. "Every new hire is an unknown entity - getting them up to speed with your requirements is an expensive exercise and you run the risk of them not performing. In most cases, organisations already have people on board that understand what needs to be done. If you involve them in the project, and bring in the right expertise from an organisation that has adaptable, experienced and highly qualified consultants to work alongside your team, you can accelerate the move towards the strategic initiative as well as improve your staff capability for future projects."

Survey Findings
In surveys conducted between October 2007 and January 2008, PM-Partners group asked what level of project management governance was maintained in Australian organisations, finding that:

* 62% had no governance, each project manager can operate as they see fit;
* 15% had a Project Management Office conducting regular audits or Health Checks;
* 6% had regular external audits or Health Checks;
* 4% could voluntarily request an external audit or Health Check; and
* 13% had other governance.

Underlining the lack of mature project management processes, the surveys found that:

* 70% of Australian organisations have no Project Management Office (PMO)
* Where organisations do have a PMO, 60% do not feed into an organisational Portfolio Management Framework; and
* 80% of PMOs have little authority to make project related decisions.

About PM-Partners group
PM-Partners group combines the capabilities of over 60 professionals to offer project services including education, training & certification, organisational capability development, project consulting & governance services, project management, project solutions, project management recruitment & contracting, electronic project management solutions and online tools.

PM-Partners group has a combined customer list that contains Australia's most prestigious corporate and government organisations.

Media Contact
David Sanday
Bowes Communications
+61 (0)2 9387 2333
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