The Ireland Chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI) has 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 per cent 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 per cent as the main driver for an increase in projects managed here, with more than half seeing the most growth in the construction industry. Ireland Chapter of PMI’s Annual Index Survey findings include: • 75 per cent say projects have been negatively impacted in the past year due to challenges, including shortage of skilled workers, expectations management and governance • 31 per cent outline skilled workers shortage the greatest challenge of project delivery • 65 per cent predict shortage of project managers in the next three years • 35 per cent see growth in Irish economy the main driver of increasing projects • 29 per cent to upskill staff to tackle new project delivery challenges

Supply of project managers not meeting demand

“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," said president of the Ireland Chapter of PMI, Pat Lucey. "Even more worrying is 65 per cent 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 per cent), and governance such as GDPR (16 per cent). 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." 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 per cent), high employee turnover rates (20 per cent), and failure of project managers to upskill (19 per cent) 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 per cent said they would be looking to streamline processes.