Project Success 'Orange Paper'

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This research paper looks at what the key contributing factors to a successful project are and whether there are lessons we can learn from this to make our projects more successful.
The research was in the form of a questionnaire sent out to over 43,000 people involved in delivering projects. There were 4,451 respondents and it is these responses that make up the material presented in this paper.
There are two appendices to this paper which explain in some more detail
The demographics of questionnaire respondents.
Statistical significance testing and how it was applied to the questionnaire results.
For those who are just interested in the survey results – one important piece of advice before we dive straight in. A survey is an inexact science to understand exactly what is contributing to project success. It can give trends rather than absolute definition and is comparative in its nature not absolute. This piece of research does not purport to have the answers to what creates a successful project. But it does highlight common factors amongst successful projects and trends that are exhibited more commonly across successful projects.
Without any further ado – let’s dive straight in.

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Project Success 'Orange Paper'

  1. 1. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 1 08/10/2012 12:37
  2. 2. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight This research paper looks at what the key contributing factors to a successful project are and whether there are lessons we can learn from this to make our projects more successful. successful projects and trends that are exhibited more commonly across successful projects. Without any further ado – let’s dive straight in. What is a successful project? Before we can understand what contributes to a successful project, it’s first interesting to see what definitions there are of successful projects. The survey presented a list of 10 criteria that are often seen as definitions of a successful project. These criteria were taken from other existing surveys on project success (The Standish Group, IT Toolkit, Project Smart, The Chaos Group and Modern Analyst). Respondents were asked to rank the 10 criteria 1 through to 10 where 1 is, in their view, the most important definition of a successful project, 2 the next, and so on. The research was in the form of a questionnaire sent out to over 43,000 people involved in delivering projects. There were 4,451 respondents and it is these responses that make up the material presented in this paper. There are two appendices to this paper which explain in some more detail: 1. The demographics of questionnaire respondents. 2. Statistical significance testing and how it was applied to the questionnaire results. For those who are just interested in the survey results – one important piece of advice before we dive straight in. A survey is an inexact science to understand exactly what is contributing to project success. It can give trends rather than absolute definition and is comparative in its nature not absolute. This piece of research does not purport to have the answers to what creates a successful project. But it does highlight common factors amongst The graph below shows the aggregated number one choices from all respondents. There are several interesting observations in this analysis. • Only 5% of respondents thought a successful project was one which delivers in the agreed timescales. • Only 5% of respondents thought a successful project was one which delivers within the agreed budget. Together these are interesting. The amount of effort we put in to measuring time and cost on projects is huge. But they are perceived to be poor measures of project success. What defines Project Success? ...Wouldn’t have had a better outcome if we did the project again ...Was enjoyed by everyone who was on the project ...Delivers more benefit than cost ...Delivers the expected benefits ...Delivers all of the objectives ...The project sponsor thought it was a success ...Delivers within agreed timescales ...Delivers within budget ...Delivers most of the objectives 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Percentage of respondents Acando - White Paper White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 2 08/10/2012 12:37
  3. 3. • The number one measure of project success is that the project delivers the expected benefits. • The number two measure of project success is that the project achieves all of the objectives. These are also interesting when one considers how little time is spent on projects measuring benefits and ensuring the project delivers objectives. Perhaps we should take a long hard look at whether the objectives are ones stated in order to ensure the funding for the project, or whether the objectives are actually delivered. Almost 60% of respondents had benefits or objectives in their number one definition of a successful project. • 18% of respondents thought the number one measure of a successful project was that the project sponsor thought the project was successful. I question whether this is people not wanting to confront the reality of whether their projects did deliver, or whether the benefits are not measured (or not capable of being measured) in which case a benefit-based analysis of success just isn’t possible. It is interesting that such a subjective measure is the third most popular number one definition of a successful project. What defines Project Success? ...Wouldn’t have had a better outcome if we did the project again ...Was enjoyed by everyone who was on the project ...Delivers more benefit than cost ...Delivers the expected benefits ...Delivers all of the objectives ...The project sponsor thought it was a success ...Delivers within agreed timescales ...Delivers within budget ...Delivers most of the objectives 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% Percentage of respondents When we expand the data (chart above) to look at each respondent’s top two factors that define project success, little changes. Benefits are still the run-away leaders, the subjective view of the project sponsor is still in third place and time and budget are still poor cousins to any of the top three. We should carefully consider how we measure our projects. The analysis is suggesting that benefits and project objectives should be carefully measured and reported on as these are the most significant definitions of a successful project. www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 3 08/10/2012 12:37
  4. 4. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight Delivers the Expected Benefits Support Deliver Manage Pay For 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Percentage of respondents The chart above shows the percentage of respondents that marked “delivers the expected benefits” as their number one definition of a successful project and compares that data to the different level the respondent has in the project hierarchy. It is statistically significant that the higher you are up the project hierarchy, the more convinced you are that the definition of whether a project was successful or not is whether or not it delivered the expected benefits. Interestingly, for those tasked with delivering our projects, less than 40% of them have the same number one definition of a successful project. There are two hypotheses here. 1. We are poor at communicating that the most important thing to focus on in delivering any project, is that it delivers the benefits that are expected. This poor communication creates a different focus as you move down the project hierarchy which is going to contribute to projects ‘missing the mark’ as the ‘mark’ that is being focused on is different from the ‘mark’ that those are paying for the project are focusing on. 2. As you move down the project hierarchy, you become more task focused and less benefits focused and this is expected and acceptable. As you move down the hierarchy, you are tasked with delivering a set of actions, not a set of benefits and therefore you are going to have more task and less benefit focus. This is natural and it’s the responsibility of the top of the project hierarchy to ensure the tasks deliver the benefits. Personally, I prefer the first hypothesis. The second one sounds too much like an excuse for me. And the second one breaks down still further when you consider that less than 50% of those managing our project delivery functions have benefits as their number one definition of success. In order to have more successful projects, everyone has to focus more on whether the project is delivering the benefits that it was expected to deliver. Acando - White Paper White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 4 08/10/2012 12:37
  5. 5. There are some other interesting demographic variations, of which the data below is one. The chart shows the number one definition of a successful project from those respondents who have delivered projects for 15 years or more. In this group of people – and only in this group of people, this phenomenon is not seen in any other group – the project sponsor’s view of the project is the most important definition of whether the project was successful or not. When tested, this result is statistically significant. We can draw some interesting inferences from this. • The more experienced project managers take care of the project sponsor’s view more so than others. • The only way to survive in project management for 15 years or more is to make project sponsors happy and therefore it’s not unexpected that those with significant experience have this bias to their definition of a successful project. Politics is at play. • Those who have been managing projects for a long time have come to the realisation that benefits are rarely measured and therefore have elected for a definition that they can measure in preference to what they know is the ‘better’ measure but too infrequently applied. We can’t be sure which of these inferences is true. The data doesn’t show us that. What is project success – 15+ years of experience Other (please add any other success criteria in to this box) ...Wouldn’t have had a better outcome if we did the project... ...Was enjoyed by everyone who was on the project ...Delivers more benefit than cost ...Delivers the expected benefits ...Delivers all of the objectives ...The project sponsor thought it was a success ...Delivers within agreed timescales ...Delivers within budget ...Delivers most of the objectives 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Percentage of respondents www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 5 08/10/2012 12:37
  6. 6. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight The final demographic difference is shown in the graph below. This data shows the top two responses from respondents managing large projects. In this group, and only in this group, there is more of a focus on delivering all the objectives rather than delivering expected benefits. Again, we can only guess as to the reasons why but candidates such as; it’s almost impossible to measure benefits on large projects; I’m too far removed from benefits realisation to be able to judge whether this project has been a success; the project is too complicated to evaluate benefits objectively so objectives is a better measure of success; are all likely explanations. universal. This focus dissipates the further we go down the project hierarchy. There are also some demographic groups who have a preferential focus on the project sponsor (those delivering projects for 15 years or more) or a significant objectives bias as opposed to benefits bias (those delivering our largest projects). We could all have a chance of delivering more successful projects if we kept a constant eye on making sure what we were doing was delivering the expected benefits and measured the benefits frequently and fairly throughout our project lifecycles. In summary, delivering benefits/objectives are the runaway winners in the definition of a successful project, but this is not What is project success - respondents from large projects Other (please add any other success criteria in to this box) ...Wouldn’t have had a better outcome if we did the project... ...Was enjoyed by everyone who was on the project ...Delivers more benefit than cost ...Delivers the expected benefits ...Delivers all of the objectives ...The project sponsor thought it was a success ...Delivers within agreed timescales ...Delivers within budget ...Delivers most of the objectives 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Percentage of respondents Acando - White Paper White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 6 08/10/2012 12:37
  7. 7. Top 10 Technical competences crucial to ensuring a successful project Definition Handover and closeout Issue management Change control Scope management Requirements management Business case Risk management Project planning Stakeholder management 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Percentage of respondents Technical Factors We now move on from a definition of project success to a view of the technical factors that have a positive impact on creating a successful project. For this part of the survey, respondents were presented with a list of technical factors and asked to rate how important they were in contributing to a successful project. They could rate them as ‘crucial’, ‘very important’, ‘important’, ‘has little influence’, ‘somewhat unimportant’ or ‘irrelevant’. The factors available were the technical factors listed in the APM competence framework. In the chart above we show the top ten factors (out of 24 examined) that were rated as ‘crucial’ to ensuring a successful project. Stakeholder management is the runaway winner and is according to our survey the most important factor to ensure the delivery of a successful project. Interestingly project planning is second in the list and this is despite the prevalence to action rather than thought that typifies many projects in these austere times. But this is a view of what people thought the success contributors were, not how prevalent these were used on their projects – that comes later! It’s as interesting as to what doesn’t appear in the top ten list as to what does appear. Budgeting and cost management isn’t in the top ten list – which goes hand in hand with its low showing in the definition of a successful project as well. But is counter to the import it plays in the actual delivery of many projects. It’s also interesting to see the omission of benefits management. This was universally recognised as the most important definition of a successful project, but does not appear in the top ten technical activities that should be carried out to ensure a successful project. This further supports the hypothesis we made earlier that although benefits management is recognised as a good definition of a successful project, the majority of us pay lip service to it when it comes to actually delivering our projects. www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 7 08/10/2012 12:37
  8. 8. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight Support Deliver Manage Pay for Project Planning Project Planning Change Control Project Planning Business Case Risk Management Project Planning Stakeholder Mngt Risk Management Scope Management Stakeholder Mngt Scope Management Stakeholder Mngt Stakeholder Mngt Requirements Mngt Definition Requirements Mngt Requirements Mngt Scope Management Benefits Management Again there are some interesting variations across some of the demographics that we measured. The table above has columns representing a respondent’s position in the project hierarchy (see Appendix B for further definition). The cells in the table show the top five technical tasks that each of these groups consider as the most important to delivering a successful project. Every one of the groups had project planning and stakeholder management in their top five (marked dark green). The only demographic group who did not have stakeholder management in their top five were those involved in managing the smallest projects. Three out of four of the groups had scope management and/or requirements management in their top five (marked light green). This reinforces the importance of these activities in ensuring the successful delivery of a project. But it is the differences again that give us cause for most commentary. • Those lower down the project hierarchy have risk management in their top five technical factors but they do not appear in the top five of those higher up the hierarchy. Are we delegating risk management too low down? Or is this a consequence of those lower in the hierarchy being task focused and therefore risk management is naturally appearing higher on their agendas? • Those responsible for managing project teams have change control in their top five which is not repeated anywhere else. It is however closely allied to definition which is in the top 5 of those paying for the projects. But it does seem like those paying for the projects think we should spend more effort accurately defining what we’re doing and those responsible for managing interpret that, or implement that, by having strict change control requirements. It seems those managing have a cure (change control) rather than a prevention (better project definition). • And then we come back to benefits. Not only was this recognised as the most prevalent definition of a successful project (and more prevalent the higher up the hierarchy one goes), but it’s reinforced by those who pay for projects marking it as one of the five most important technical tasks to ensure a successful project. But it doesn’t appear in any of the other groups’ top five at all. This is only adding weight to the premise that benefits management is important and we just don’t do it. The other important trend across the hierarchy demographic is the percentage of dispersion amongst the top five technical factors that contribute to project success. At the ‘project support’ level, 65% of respondents have the same top five criteria. At the ‘pay for’ level 93% of respondents have the same top five criteria. This statistically significant observation shows that as you move up the hierarchy, one is more certain of what contributes to project success but as you move down the hierarchy there is less agreement on what contributes to project success. It seems again that communication is not all it could be in our project environments. Acando - White Paper White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 8 08/10/2012 12:37
  9. 9. Behavioural Factors This raises an interesting question for those tasked with managing project functions in their companies – how many of your project managers have been on a formal conflict management training course versus those that have been on a formal technical training course (e.g. PRINCE2)? I’m guessing most people have a prevalence to training on the technical – despite our respondent group being massively in agreement that behavioural factors contribute to project success significantly more so than technical. When we amalgamate technical and behavioural factors, the top three factors are all from the behavioural stable – communication, teamwork and leadership. We repeated the technical factors exercise with behavioural factors. Respondents were given the same 6 options and had to rate how important these behavioural competences were in contributing to a successful project. The factors available were the behavioural factors listed in the APM competence framework. The chart below shows the top ten factors rated as ‘crucial’ by the survey respondents. The top ten behavioural factors are universally rated as higher than all of the top ten technical factors demonstrating an appreciation that the behavioural aspects of project management are more likely to contribute to a successful project than the technical. They were no statistically significant variations across any of the demographic groups on behavioural factors. Project Success Criteria - Behavioural Competences Organisational structure Organisational roles Professionalism and ethics Negotiation Conflict management Project governanace Project sponsorship Leadership Teamwork Communication 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of respondents What’s missing? It’s interesting what’s missing from any of these analyses. In none of the top ten have we seen project methodology or standardised tools and systems. A lot of organisations invest heavily in these two areas but they are not seen in our survey as important or contributing factors to a successful project. Why? One hypothesis is that there is observational bias creeping in to the results here. And we built additional questions in to the survey to highlight obvious areas where we thought the bias may be. www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 9 08/10/2012 12:37
  10. 10. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight Tools, Methodologies and Governance contribute to making projects more successful To finish off the analysis, here is a collection of other interesting observations that didn’t nicely fit into any of the categories at which we’ve looked so far. 70% Percentage of respondents Parting Thoughts 60% 50% 40% Yes 30% 20% Percentage of respondents rating benefits management as crucial to project success No 10% 60% There was a very specific question asked later about whether tools, methodologies and governance were contributing to making projects more successful, where two thirds of respondents agreed they did. Percentage of respondents 0% 50% 40% 30% Crucial and very important 20% 10% Crucial 0% My projects use strong project tools and methodologies 90% Percentage of respondents 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% No 30% 20% 10% We’ve focused a lot throughout on benefits management. It’s crucial to the number one and number two definitions as to what a successful project is. It’s more accepted as important the higher up the project hierarchy we go. And it’s in the top five technical competences for those paying for the projects. But as a whole it rated ‘crucial’ with only 20% of respondents and was 17th out of all 24 attributes examined. There seems to be a big mismatch between what we know defines a successful project and what we’re actually doing on our projects. Yes 0% There is too much emphasis placed on whether a project is successful Another hypothesis is that tools and methodologies are considered a prerequisite today and therefore the survey results focus on less obvious aspects. Unfortunately the data doesn’t validate this hypothesis (only 25% of respondents projects had good methodologies and tools) so it’s more likely to be the former hypothesis. The survey doesn’t give us a definitive answer one way or the other, but it does raise the interesting question. 70% Percentage of respondents But only one quarter of respondents actually recognised that their projects used strong tools and methodologies. One hypothesis for why tools and methodologies were not rated higher as a contributing factor to success when presented with a long list is that people recognise their own projects don’t have them so they tend to automatically rate them lower (we’re very bad at admitting what we know we’re bad at). 60% 50% 40% Yes 30% 20% No 10% 0% Over 60% of respondents thought there was too much emphasis placed on whether a project is successful or not. I found this result shocking and disturbing. It may be an acknowledgement that we don’t do benefits management well so we can’t easily answer the question whether a project was successful or not. Or it may simply be that those of us tasked with managing change in our organisations have lost our way and our raison d’être. This for me is an area that is worthy of further analysis but our study didn’t go further in to this topic. Acando - White Paper White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 10 08/10/2012 12:37
  11. 11. All my projects will be successful because I will make sure they are My projects will be successful because I will make sure they are 60% Percentage of respondents Percentage of respondents 60% 50% 40% 30% No Yes 20% 10% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 0% There is little confidence in the individual’s own ability to influence the project to a successful outcome. Most respondents thought they were not able to influence the project in this way. Thankfully, the more experienced you are in projects, the less you agree with this statement. New Experienced Professional Even so, there is a distinct lack of either personal responsibility or a distinct lack of confidence in ability to influence a project to a successful outcome. My successful projects had the following Effective communication Well defined requirements Realism around objectives and timescales A strong executive sponsor A project team with authority to make decisions 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of respondents Respondents were asked to rate what their successful projects had which they thought had contributed to them being successful. The top five reasons are shown in the chart above. Communication is number one and this is also the number one behavioural competence believed to contribute to project success. A good level of alignment there. But interestingly ‘a strong executive sponsor’, ‘realism around objectives and timescales’ and ‘a project team with authority to make decisions’ didn’t appear in any of the other top ten lists we’ve looked at but are numbers 3, 4 and 5 in projects that have been successful. This too is worthy of further analysis but beyond the scope of the current study. www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 11 08/10/2012 12:37
  12. 12. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight Projects are getting easier to deliver the more experience I get of managing projects Percentage of respondents 100% 80% 60% Yes 40% 20% No 0% And finally, in a nod to the wise (I couldn’t bring myself to write ‘older’), we recognise that as we gain more and more experience in delivering projects, they become easier to manage through to a successful conclusion. Projects are becoming easier as I gain more experience Percentage of respondents 95% To Summarise I’m not sure if the survey has produced more questions than answers, but there are some interesting observations: 90% 85% 80% 75% 70% New Experienced Professional And this is supported across the experience demographic with those who have more experience being even more in agreement with this statement. This is either self-gratification, or a reality that experience truly does lend itself to improved chances of project success. • The number one definition of a successful project is one which delivers the expected benefits / objectives. But too few of us measure benefits or objectives. There is a dissipation of this belief the further down the project hierarchy you transcend. • Of all the factors that contribute to a successful project, the behavioural factors are significantly more important than the technical factors. • Delivering a project on time and to budget were not seen as key to defining project success. • Project practitioners are not confident of their ability to influence a project to a successful outcome. • Experience counts for a lot. • There were no significant variations across industries in our respondent data. All industries showed the same trends as the aggregated trends presented in this paper (or where those trends were different, they were not significantly different). Acando - White Paper White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 12 08/10/2012 12:37
  13. 13. 1. The industry into which the project is delivered. The hypothesis being that different industries have different success rates and different criteria that contribute to success. 2. Respondent’s position in the project hierarchy. The hypothesis being that people at different levels in the hierarchy have different definitions of project success and different ‘thresholds’ for a successful project. 3. The number of years the respondent has been a project manager. The hypothesis being that experience is an important contributor to project success. 4. The ‘size’ of projects managed. The hypothesis being that larger projects are less successful than smaller projects – as a project grows in size (and assumed growth in complexity), it becomes less successful. For each of these demographics, the responses were ‘grouped’ to create 3 or 4 demographic groups that made analysis more manageable. The full demographic data and groupings are presented below. Industry Industry into which respondents deliver projects Percentage of respondents 14% Industries respondents deliver projects in to Percentage of respondents We looked for 4 different demographic groupings in the respondents and have analysed the data by these groupings searching for hypotheses that responses are somehow different across different groupings. The groupings we looked for were: There were respondents in every industry we measured. 40% of respondents were in the top four industries of Public Sector (1st), Software and Computer Services (2nd), Financial Services (3rd) and Telecommunications (4th). These industries where then grouped in to service industries, production industries, sales industries, third sector and ‘others’. 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% les Sa s ice rv Se n tio uc od Pr r he Ot fit ro rP fo ot N The distribution across these 5 groupings shows no one grouping being over-represented in our respondents. Hierarchy Respondents position in project hierarchy Percentage of respondents Appendix A – Respondent Demographics 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% ct oje Pr ct oje Pr ... t en em ag an M e m m ra og Pr t/ or pp Su ce Offi r ... ... er er er be s r/ ag ag ag ha em cto an an an M ho ire tM tM dM er ar ew eD jec jec m iv o m Bo ro m ut Pr ra rP am ec gr og Ex nio ro Pr ss Se /P ine ct s Bu oje Pr 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% r r r s s s s s s rs il e ts n g n ia ing ate ter co re er ls u h c ice ta Ga ce to to nc ar ge ca io tie on e pe in io d rv Re il & cien Sec Sec efe & P era emi ruct Utili cati duc Pa eer rtat Me Min l Est mpu oba Leis Ot Se a o T l& O e S blic ird & D ile Bev Ch nst & uni Pro ry & gin spo Re d C ial t n e Lif Pu Th ace mob Co ergy mm ood res al E Tran nc n av Tr n co F Fo stri ea ina sp uto E le F ar ro A u Te Ae ftw Ind So The majority of our respondents were Project Managers. There were very few respondents who were responsible for commissioning projects (budget holding business executives or Board Members) but there were some people in both of these categories. www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 13 08/10/2012 12:37
  14. 14. Acando White Paper “Project Success” Insight These were further grouped in to 4 distinct hierarchy levels shown below. Respondents position in project hierarchy 45% Those ‘new’ to managing projects have less than five years experience. The experienced grouping includes everyone between five and twenty years experience and the professional grouping includes those with more than twenty years experience. Again the peak in the experienced column is expected. Number of years experience managing projects 35% 30% Percentage of respondents Percentage of respondents 40% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Support Deliver Manage Pay for The only group under-represented in our responses were those who ‘pay for’ projects. It would be interesting to conduct further research in this demographic group to validate the responses we have received so far – but as always, getting data from this group is harder and more costly. Experience 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% New Size was defined as budget, team size and project duration in recognition that a low budget project can have 1000s of team members and therefore be ‘bigger’ than the budget itself shows. There is an expected ‘tailing off’ of responses as project sizes grow and an unexpected peak at the end. The data has a large number of very large projects. Typical size of project managed Percentage of respondents Percentage of respondents 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% ss Le 3 an th s ar ye n ee tw Be 5 nd 3a s ar ye n5 ee tw Be rs ea 0y d1 an 0 n1 ee tw Be rs ea 5y d1 an 5 n1 ee tw Be rs ea 0y d2 an 0 n2 ee tw Be rs ea 0y d3 an s ar ye 30 er Ov Professional Size Number of years experience managing projects 30% Experienced 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% . . . . . . . . ; .. ; .. ; .. ; .. ; .. ; .. ; .. ; .. 0m 5m 5m 0m 0m 0m 0m 1m 25 25 10 an an n1 n2 n5 er th th an an ha ha ha ov ss ss th th st st st s s le le et les les les les les et et dg et et et et et dg dg Bu dg dg dg dg dg Bu Bu Bu Bu Bu Bu Bu The data had good representation across the full length of experiences and approximately follows a normal distribution curve which is as expected. This data was further grouped as shown above. Acando - White Paper White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 14 08/10/2012 12:37
  15. 15. This data was further categorised as below. Number of years experience managing projects 50% Percentage of respondents 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% t-tests. In layman’s terms, it is testing whether the differences shown in the same data are statistically significant or not. Because of the distribution of responses data can appear to have valid differences, but when compared to the whole sample, those differences can prove to be not statistically significant. This is what we have tested for in the data presented here. We compared all significance testing at the 99%, 95% and 90% confidence levels and anything that proved to be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level has been marked as statistically significant in our research body. Test results not passing the 95% confidence test have not been marked as statistically significant. 5% 0% Small Medium Large Appendix B – Statistical Significance Testing Again for the layman, if we have marked a result as statistically significant in our research body, what we’re saying is that we have tested the differences in responses and the difference is not down to subtle differences in the entire population, the differences are statistically significant. The results from the data have been analysed to identify whether they are statistically significant. This appendix does not intend to give a thorough treatment of statistical testing and the interested reader is encouraged to research further. All conclusions that have been marked as ‘statistically significant’ in the body of the research report have been tested using About the Author Phil Jacklin is the Managing Director of Acando UK, a global consultancy providing project management services. He has managed consultancy firms for over 15 years, all providing project management services to blue chip clients across the globe. In this capacity Phil has provided governance across numerous projects, employed and recruited hundreds of project managers and advised many of his clients on how to improve their project management capabilities. For more insight, comments and opinion visit our website www.acando.co.uk www.acando.co.uk White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 15 08/10/2012 12:37
  16. 16. www.acando.co.uk United Kingdom Head Office Oak House Ground Floor, Sutton Quays Business Park Clifton Road Sutton Weaver WA7 3EH Tel: +44 (0) 1928 796800 Email: projectsuccess@acando.com Delivering perfect projects around the world... Manchester / London / Helsinki / Stockholm / Gothenburg / Malmö / Linköping / Ludvika / Falun / Västerås / Hamburg / Frankfurt / Düsseldorf / München / Stuttgart / Zurich / Trondheim / Oslo / Vantaa / Wilmington / Singapore The only project management company to be accredited by the APM. White Paper - Project Success v2.indd 16 08/10/2012 12:37

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