This 2021 Joint Research Survey Report into Project Management conducted by KPMG Australia and the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) takes a deep dive into the current trends in project management in Australia to help elevate the quality of project delivery while highlighting issues facing project management professionals. 

In this report we explore:

+ Business transformation and change management
+ Agile methodology adoption and the main barriers to agile adoption
+ Building project management capability of the future
+ Project maturity and success
+ Challenges and opportunities

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2021 Project Management Survey

Download the full report for findings on project delivery performance in Australia.

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Nurturing project management professionals remains important

The Australian market is struggling to keep up with the demand for experienced and qualified project managers due to the uncertainty of the past two years. The role of project managers has been shifting away from technical managers to encompassing strategic leadership roles for transforming change. 

Complex projects need a steady hand and a particular set of skills for successful delivery, highlighting the importance of continued development and training of project management professionals. Project professionals must seek to develop their skills beyond technical capabilities and strengthen interpersonal skills to be effective in an environment of increasing project complexity.

Recognition by organisations of the value of professional project experience and certifications will build support for the profession to develop.

Invest in project delivery and collaboration tools

Consistent with previous survey findings, investment in collaboration tools and project delivery tools has proven invaluable, especially in the COVID-19 world; when face-to-face engagement isn’t possible, collaboration tools contribute substantially to project success.

Project managers need options that will help them deliver. And that means being able to choose from predictive, iterative and hybrid ways of providing the work and blending what works to get the best results.  The survey respondents told us that an issue to watch is the potential for Artificial Intelligence tools to really contribute to the effectiveness of project management.

Ensure success by being agile

Project management methodology is never one size fits all, and this year’s data highlighted the importance of adopting the approach best suited for the organisational environment. Agility can contribute to organisational and project success but requires several pre-requisites. 

To ensure the success of 'Agile' project outcomes, organisations need to ensure they have project professionals with the right skills, qualifications and experience in agile who can drive adoption and understanding.

To be truly successful with Agile, organisations and project leaders will need to upskill and develop leaders and project staff. Regardless of the methodology chosen, aligning project outcomes to the organisation’s strategy and goals, ensuring active stakeholder engagement, adapting to changing project environments, and appointing skilled project leaders are fundamental factors of successful implementations.  

Mobilise transformational change

Half of the survey population has played a role in a transformation project or were looking forward to being involved. We believe the importance of transformational projects will continue as businesses focus on digitising. 

A carefully planned and executed transformation can change the organisation's future.  At times this may involve dramatic strategic changes, but in most cases, it's about building a better version of what the organisation is today. What makes the winners win?  At the heart, we believe it’s fundamentally the same principles that have driven successful projects all along: leadership, professional project delivery capability, and a strong integrated team.

Key findings in numbers


unsure of benefits that their organisation’s projects generally achieved


estimated that projects generally gained less than 50% of benefits


currently no initiatives to improve their organisation’s benefits realisation.


are meeting and collaborating virtually and there is a 74% increase in collaboration tools


said their organisational-level governance activities were effective or highly effective, whereas 58% rated their own projects at that level


identified that project governance was effective or highly effective in an organisation with an established PMO, compared with 39% where a PMO did not exist.

The most common functions delivered by the PMOs were:


Performance reporting


Centre of expertise


Quality assurance and reviews

Status of software deployment:


still in the early stages of deployment


achieved an effective operational state


had a mature and powerful capability


outline that complexity has increased

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