Project Management Benchmark Report Archive

Whilst operating Arras People the Project Management recruitment business the team at Arras Services became involved in creating benchmarking reports for the project management community. Why? well basically because we couldn’t find any consistent data that painted an unbiased picture of what was happening in the project management domain, both here in the UK and also further afield.

Using the community we had built we used annual and also snapshot surveys to explore the domain, tapping into both consistent themes as well as challenges such as IR35 as as they arose and created new challenges for the community.

We had great fun creating the surveys, collecting the results and then analysing the data in order to create the reports. Our technology changed over the years as did our levels of skill!

For reference, we offer up the reports as they still contain data that offers an insight into the Project Management domain and who knows, we may even create some new ones in the future.

2020 Project Management Benchmark Report

Back for the fifteenth year, the 2020 Arras People Project Management Benchmark Report (PMBR) from Arras People once again provide readers an independent snapshot of the lives and careers of Programme and Project Management practitioners in the UK and across the globe.

Taking a look back to what has happened in 2019 we will also look ahead to see what 2020 may bring for practitioners in the field of project management as the impacts of BREXIT kick in and the freelancing community prepare for the impact of the updated Off-Payroll Workers legislation. The report includes updates on salary information for employees and day rates for freelancers as well as a wealth of other data.

2019 Project Management Benchmark Report

The 2019 Arras People Project Management Benchmark Report (PMBR) where we take a look back to what happened in 2018 and polish our crystal ball to look ahead to see what this year may bring for practitioners in the field of project management.

With less than 50 days to go until Britain’s scheduled March 29 exit date, we have Theresa May back in Brussels trying to renegotiate her Brexit deal and a house full of MPs who don’t seem to be able to rise above party politics as the country teeters on the edge of something historic. Historically fantastic or historically stupid seems to be the end of the previous sentence that the population still cannot agree on and the comments left throughout this years survey truly reflect the deep divide that is evident.

Meanwhile, life continues as practitioners deal with the ongoing challenges of making a living and staying in some form of meaningful employment. 2018 saw the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which created much confusion and some opportunity. IR35 changes continued to challenge the freelancing community as it further impacted the Public sector workers and worried those in the Private sector over when it will be implemented. At the same time, many freelancers came under scrutiny as HMRC pushed on with its retrospective tax initiative to recover monies from those who took their income in the form of non-repayable loans.

On the upside we saw an increase in the real standard of living for many UK based practitioners as remuneration began to outstrip inflation. The remainers appeared to lose out, compared to those who moved jobs as they achieved significant inflation busting increases and generated the much-missed churn in the employment market. Some commentators suggested that the UK had moved to a candidates market, though the wider evidence would not necessarily support that across the whole PM domain.

Back for the fourteenth year, the 2019 Project Management Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People once again provides an independent survey into the lives and careers of Programme and Project Management practitioners in the UK and across the globe.

2018 Project Management Market Snapshot

As late summer turned into autumn, a period which is traditionally seen as a point where many project management practitioners consider their position as part of the post-holiday blues, we thought it would be a great time to take a snapshot of the state of the UK project management market.

With many reports available about the wider UK market, painting what at times seemed to us a contradictory picture; we wanted to test these against the situation on the ground as experienced by actual UK based Project Management practitioners.

Some of the indicators available for the general market included;

  • UK unemployment at lowest since 1975
  • Vacancies being classified as “Hard to fill”, with half of the CIPD employers reporting that they have increased starting salaries to attract talent; with a growing number increasing pay to retain staff.
  • Overall pressure on pay is modest, with forecast’s suggesting that they expect to see an average 2.2% increase over next 12 months
  • Workers who switch jobs are capitalising on a “disloyalty bonus” as their colleagues who stay put see little growth; with workers moving in to new roles in the past year have achieved an average increase of 11%, compared to the average of 2.5%.

The 2018 Project Management Snapshot Report from Arras People provides an independent insight into the UK’s Project Management Domain based on responses from Programme and Project Management practitioners in the UK.

2018 Project Management Benchmark Report

2017 was another challenging year for many project management practitioners and the organisations that use their services, though as always there were still winners and losers in the overall mix.

With International, European and Local challenges on the agenda, some commentators suggested that there were/are threats to the liberal international order fuelled by Trump; Terrorism; Brexit; Cyber attacks; Polarisation; Populism and Globalism. For others, the future of the planet was top of the agenda as we saw many extreme weather events. News and media was under the spotlight as some grew ever more concerned about Fake News; Weinstein; Snowflakes; Gender and the Abuse of Power. While closer to home many practitioners were concerned about the impact on their jobs; their ability to earn a living; exchange rates; inflation and pay.

Whilst remuneration for many was still behind the level of inflation in the UK during 2017, many who changed employer also achieved a significant increase. We saw the level of churn increase amongst PM practitioners and with a tightening of available skilled resource, it is hard to see that remuneration rates will not start to follow as competition for talent increases. We also saw the introduction of the Off-Payroll Worker Legislation in the public sector, which hit a many practitioners hard as they were pulled into a new tax regime. As a fall out this also increased the competition amongst manay freelancers who once again had a challenging year.

2018 looks set to deliver more instability as the Brexit process grinds on, though as ever, the PM practitioners enter with year with their spirits generally high.

Back for the thirteenth year, the 2018 Project Management Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People once again provides an independent survey into the lives and careers of Programme and Project Management practitioners in the UK and across the globe.

2017 Project Management – IR35 Impact Report

A study from Arras People – November 2017

In April 2017 the rules around Off-Payroll Workers (IR35) were updated for workers engaged in the Public Sector. The most significant change moved the point of determination (and liability) for IR35 status from the contractor delivering the services, to the engaging client. Any decision of In-Scope places an obligation on the party paying the worker (Engaging client, Agency, Umbrella), to ensure that PAYE, National Insurance and Employers National Insurance are collected at source and paid to HMRC through their payroll systems. These workers took on a new status “deemed employee” being taxed as if an employee, without gaining any employment rights.

The changes were opposed by many groups who have an interest in the supply chain which provides contingent labour and organisations which support the activities undertaken by professional contractors. Many suggested that the introduction would be catastrophic and lead to a seizure in activity across Public Sector bodies as contractors either left for the Private sector, retired or moved abroad.

Seven months on, the claims and counter claims continue about the success or otherwise following the implementation. With the HMRC and Treasury claiming a great success, worries are now increasing that the playing field is about to be levelled and the changes will be pushed into the Private sector.

With this in mind, we decided to ask our community of Project Management practitioners how they have been impacted by the changes and their concerns for the future. This report contains their responses.

The report considers the responses from 600+ Programme and Project Management practitioners in the UK about the impact of the Off-Payroll Workers Legislation in the Public sector and their views should it be rolled out into the Private sector.

2017 Project Management Benchmark Report

2016 was an interesting year with ‘Project Fear’ failing to dissuade the UK’s voters from returning a Brexit vote; a new Prime Minister installed and then the election of Donald Trump as the President-elect of the United States of America.

At the same time the forecasted end of the world did not materialise, the UK economy confounded the experts post Brexit after stagnating in the first six months due to the economic uncertainty. The pound fell, the stock market’s rose, employment rose, unemployment rose, inflation rose and interest rates dropped again.

2017 looks set to deliver more instability, with the triggering of Article 50 to commence the formal process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union being just one of the many actions that will initiate further change.

With this as the backdrop, the report is underlined by continuing austerity in the public sector and mixed fortunes in the private sector. 2016 delivered much of the same for many practitioners in terms of low, if any rises in living standards and many challenges for those working as contractors; a picture that does not look set improve in 2017.

However, the spirits remain high for the majority as we head forwards into more change, the very lifeblood of the project management domain.

I hope you enjoy the report and find it a useful benchmark for the year ahead.

Back for the twelfth year, the 2017 Project Management Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People once again provides an independent survey into the lives and careers of Programme and Project Management practitioners in the UK and across the globe.

2016 Project Management Benchmark Report

Back for the eleventh year, the 2016 Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People once again provides an independent survey into the lives and careers of Programme and Project Management practitioners in the UK and across the globe.

After 11 years of producing this research and seeing the changes that have happened in the domain, it is hard not to be drawn to the fact that project management is still an exciting and evolving practice. The fact that projects are still failing suggests that even with all the effort and time expended we are still searching for that magic bullet which will ensure we deliver. In some ways you would expect that project management as a profession would now be at the point where it was formalising the investments made in tools, methods and learning, but from this side of the table it feels that the opposite is happening, with fragmentation/disruption being the order of the day.

2015 Project Management – Salary Guide

The 2015 Project Management Salary Guide presents a deeper analysis of the UK PM practitioner data we collected for the 2015 Project Management Benchmark Report.

The report offers an in depth analysis of:

  • Project management salaries and benefits for those in permanent employment
  • Day rate data for project management practitioners who are engaged as contractors
  • Age, Gender and Location data for Project Management practitioners
  • Impact of Education, Training and Experience on PM practitioner remuneration

2015 Project Management Benchmark Report

For the tenth edition we took a look at different roles within project management, showed comparisons in the industry across the globe and brought unrivalled insights into areas that impact the project professional.

Is Agile Project Management gaining traction?

24% of UK based practitioners say they are using some Agile concepts in their day to day activities, yet only 8% have a recognised Agile Project Management accreditation.

Meanwhile 3.6% of UK based practitioners say all programmes and projects undertaken in their organisation use Agile, yet only 50% believe their organisations have made the required philosophical shift to support its use.

2014 Project Management – Confidence Index

PM Confidence Index – July 2014

As we approached the half-way point of 2014 it seemed an opportune time to check in with the UK’s Programme and Project Management (PPM) community to see how the economic recovery is impacting them and to check how this compares to the views expressed during the collection of data for the 2014 Arras People Project Management Benchmark Report (2014 PMBR).

The battle for PM Talent

55% of respondents involved in recruiting programme and project management practitioners in 2014 reported that filling roles has been very difficult/difficult.

2014 Project Management Benchmark Report

The ninth-  2014 Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People  In addition to remuneration and rewards across the sectors we also looked at the project management career in much more detail. We covered career aspirations, where project management practitioners work in organisations, new blood into the industry and the value of education.

Is ‘gut feel’ a good enough way to manage a professional career? 54% of PPM Practitioners surveyed rank their professional capability in comparison to their peers on mere ‘gut feel’. 2% admitted to ‘guessing’.

The report is packed with insights into the Project Management domain.

2013 Project Management Benchmark Report

The eighth Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People In addition to remuneration and rewards across the sectors we also looked at generations in project management; took another look at the subject of PMOs; uncovered recruitment challenges that organisations face and spotlighted the unemployed project practitioners.

Generation Project?

At this stage, we would say that the practitioner group does exhibit a core set of personal and work related values irrespective of their generational cohort, which is worthy of further investigation. These shared values exhibited by the group may help in recruitment; however the practitioners should still be cognisant of the generational impact on their stakeholders.


2012 Project Management Benchmark Report

The seventh Project Management Benchmark Report from In addition to remuneration and rewards across the sectors we also looked at the latest developments in project management that impact you, the project professional. We also trolled those on the periphery of PPM – trainers, educators, hiring managers and students with practitioner aspirations.

What makes the difference?

Recruiters and practitioners agree that programme and project management experience, specifically the ability to show a track record of delivery is #1 when it comes to candidate selection. Formal education comes in at #5!

2011 Project Management Benchmark Report

The sixth Project Management Benchmark Report from once again provided the most comprehensive report available for the project management marketplace in the UK. In addition to remuneration and rewards across the sectors we also looked at the latest developments in project management that impact you, the project professional.

PRINCE2, is it worth it?

Training budgets under further strain in 2011, but PRINCE2 still holds it dominating position as the de-facto standard in the UK.

2010 Project Management Benchmark Report

As the impact on individual practitioners seems to have been so variable the 5th Annual Arras People survey of the UK Project Management Community will give us all a snapshot of how you and your peers fared during 2009 and at the end of the noughties the general mood looking forward into 2010.

Project failure, who is to blame?

The short answer appeared to be “not me”! Programme and Project Management Practitioners highlighted a lack of executive support as the biggest single cause of project failure.

2009 Project Management Benchmark Report

In the 2009 Project Management Benchmark report from Arras People the data confirmed that the vast majority of us are in some way feeling the effects of the credit crunch and the impact of recession on the UK economy. The gloom built steadily during 2008 and its impact started to bite in many sectors of the economy, even though officially we were not in recessionary times until January 2009.

  • 38% of respondents expect hard times or contraction over the next year, and 27% expect the market to remain neutral. Only 6.5% expect the market to be buoyant.
  • 60% of respondents expect cuts and redundancies in their sectors.
  • 27% of employees have noted a decrease in employment opportunities.

2008 Project Management Benchmark Report

The 2008 Project Management Benchmark Report from Arras People Contains detailed information in areas such as experience levels, accreditation, age groups, gender impact, work/life balance, commutes, transport, home working and nights away from home

The winning formula?

An acceptable work/life balance for a PM is achieved with:

  •  Flexible working; The ability to manage and control one’s workload; Self employment – being one’s own boss; Only the occasional night away
  • Earnings between £500- £650 per day for contractors or
  • An annual salary under £30k, or way over £100k!

2007 Project Management Benchmark Report

We entered 2007 with a Project Management market which is still growing, as is the recognition that “projects exist in all walks of life, and need to be managed” grows.

Government speak about Projects, Local Government has many initiatives around achieving deliverables through effective projects, Lord Coe was recently on the radio talking about the Olympics in 2012 in the context of what it is “a big project”.

A further example of this could be “the apprentice” where all tasks were defined as “projects” and each task had a declared “project Manager” who had to take responsibility. Tim Campbell, who won the final round because he was the better organiser, strategic thinker and team leader, is now Project Director for Sir Alan Sugar at Amstrad Plc.

2006 Project Management Benchmark Report

The start of a journey – the first Arras People PMBR

Having failed in our quest to find reliable data about the UK Project Management sector we decided to go out and create a brand new report.

We wanted a snapshot of the project management profession and the issues facing it half way through the first decade of the 21st Century. We wanted to find out what had changed since the millennium. We covered market trends, remuneration, and the positioning of PM within a professional context.

Several issues stand out. Against the general increase in salaries and day rates, there is an undoubted desire for “more for less” from employers. There is real competition out there, with consequent downward pressures on rates, and there are winners and losers. And then there is the question of accreditation. A good or bad thing? Read on.