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Majority of Project Professionals Working in Financial Services Say Introducing a Chief Project Officer to the C-Suite Will Benefit Business – APM Survey Reveals

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Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
December 21, 2022 GMT

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 21, 2022--

A new survey carried out by Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered membership organisation for the project profession, highlights the growing importance of the role of Chief Project Officer (CPO) within the C-suite and the benefit it can bring to business.

Over 1,000 project professionals were surveyed by research company Censuswide for APM, including project professionals working in the finance sector, alongside other industries such as engineering, technology and construction.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) of project professionals working in financial services agree that a new executive role of Chief Project Officer is needed. Among those who said that a CPO will benefit project delivery, the most-expected benefits according to respondents are:

  • To ensure the right skills are in place to deliver the projects – 19%
  • To bring greater stability to projects – 19%
  • To ensure better information sharing through projects from the top down – 19%
  • To help to champion sustainability and diversity as projects progress – 17%


APM’s findings reveals a similar viewpoint from project professionals working in other sectors, with 73% of respondents who work in engineering, 65% of those working in manufacturing and 60% working in technology saying that the CPO role is needed at executive level.

In addition to this, APM has published a report The Chief Project Officer - An Essential Part of the Future C-Suite, the result of a roundtable discussion between senior project and business experts, exploring the reasons why businesses should appoint a CPO onto the executive board and the problems it will solve.

A big problem, it was agreed, is the lack of an individual at the C-suite level asking risk-related questions during a project’s life cycle. In many organisations, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Chief Operating Officer (COO) is tasked with handling this responsibility. But there often comes a point when their attention is focused elsewhere, or they lack the appropriate skill set.

The APM report also shows that the number of projects being undertaken by organisations in the UK is increasing 1. Thirty years ago, 80% of the resources in an organisation were dedicated to operations and 20% to projects. Today, that ratio has completely flipped. Despite this, APM research shows that only 22% of projects are wholly successful 2, failing to be delivered on time, on budget and on target. Recent geopolitical disruption, soaring inflation, supply-chain chaos, and escalating energy and raw material costs haven’t helped, but the research points to project-management pitfalls stemming from the executive level, particularly when it comes to governance and risk.


Professor Adam Boddsion, Chief Executive of APM, said: “Our latest research shows that the project profession is ready for a new executive role, that of the Chief Project Officer. It’s important that organisations become more adept at recognising threats to project delivery, which can be distinct from other risk factors. CPOs have the skills needed to recognise and address these through raising the status of projects in the eyes of senior stakeholders, installing agile working practices and changing course when required.


“Importantly, a CPO breaks down silos and helps facilitate cross-division collaboration while controlling the number of additions so that projects don’t become unwieldy, go over budget or take too long to complete. This frees up the CEO and other executives so they can focus on other elements of the business. In this way, organisations can save vast sums through top-down pragmatic decision-making.

“At Association for Project Management, our vision is a world in which all projects succeed. Having a project culture on the board, with someone taking overall responsibility for programmes, is crucial if you want long-term benefit realisation and value creation – and ultimately a better bottom line – to come through.”

Read APM’s report,The Chief Project Officer - An Essential Part of the Future C-Suite



1 APM research carried out by Censuswide (2022) shows that 78% of project managers say their organisation has increased the number of projects it is working on in the preceding 12 months.


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SOURCE: Association for Project Management (APM)

Copyright Business Wire 2022.

PUB: 12/21/2022 03:30 AM/DISC: 12/21/2022 03:31 AM