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Key Finding: Adaptive Skills Shortage!

Posted by Deborah Bigelow Crawford

Deborah Bigelow Crawford has more than 20 years of experience in business management and handles the operational and administrative functions of PM Solutions. Ms. Bigelow Crawford also serves as Co-CEO of the PM College®, PM Solutions' training division, where she is responsible for the fiscal management and quality assurance of all training and professional development programs. Prior to joining PM Solutions, she served as the Executive Director of the Project Management Institute (PMI), and was instrumental in providing the foundation and infrastructure for the exponential growth that the Institute has maintained over the last 10 years. In addition, she served as the Executive Director of the PMI Educational Foundation. Over the last decade, she has authored numerous articles in PM Network, Chief Project Officer, and Optimize magazines. Ms. Bigelow Crawford is also co-author of the book Project Management Essentials. She has presented a variety of papers as a speaker at international symposia and conferences, and is a member of the National Association of Female Executives and the Project Management Institute.

Recently, the PM Solutions Research Team conducted its latest research initiative: The Adaptive Organization: A Benchmark of Changing Approaches to Project Management. The study was designed to discover to what degree organizations employ adaptive approaches in their project management practice and their impact on project and organizational outcomes.

In total, 191 respondents participated in The Adaptive Organization survey. We are happy to report that the survey findings have been tabulated and the report is now complete; you may download the executive summary from our website here. Participants in the study received the full-data version: over 100 pages of detailed data cross-tabulated by industry, company size, capability levels and more. To participate in future studies, please add your name to our newletter database here. Some highlights:

  • 84% of organizations employ adaptive approaches on about half (55%) of their projects, showing cautious adoption of the newer methods.
  • 85% report themselves at Levels 2 or 3 in capability on adaptive approaches; the biggest barrier to improvement is reported as lack of appropriate skills.
  • 100% of high-performing organizations provide training in agile/adaptive methods
  • High performers also have managers and teams with higher capability in adaptive methods.

In the tradition of our research program, we will hold a complimentary webinar in January 2019; with specific details TBA. 

Questions about the study? Our research editor, Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin can be reached at

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