The Standish Group has just released their 2009 Chaos Report, and things are not looking good, despite the growing trend of PMOs in companies. For the record, the Chaos Report collects and analyzes the success rate for projects in the IT industry. Below is the chart for 2009:
Some people argue that they are only measuring time, budget and scope (thus leaving out quality, risk and customer satisfaction, half of the "triple constraint"), but two things I have to say here: first of all, this is still the best benchmark for IT project management; and at least they measure the same since 1994, so we have something to compare:
Successful means on-time, on-budget, and with all features and functions as defined in the initial scope; challenged means late, over budget, and/or with less features and functions than defined in the initial scope; failed means cancelled prior to completion, or delivered but never used.
What it tells me is that we are not doing good. Seeing a marked decrease in project success rates when building a PMO is a leading trend in the industry for the past 12 months worries me somewhere. What is this the symptom of? Lack of organizational maturity? Lack of skilled and trained project management staff? Something else?