December 2, 2022
Did you know that 77% of High-performing Teams Use Project Management Software? I didn’t either. But if you Google it you will find that it is correct.
Or is it?
Go ahead and Google it and see what you learn. I can wait.
I was reading a November 2022 article from Business Management Daily titled Asana vs. Monday: Which project management software is better?
I am not that interested in the two tools but what caught my eye was this stunning declaration:
In fact, as of 2022, 77% of all high-performing teams use project management software.
Business Management Daily, Asana vs. Monday: Which project management software is better?
That statement piqued my interest. First of all, how did they define high-performing teams? And second, what do they mean by project management tools? Would this also include Agile Lifecycle Management tools like Azure DevOps and Jira?
That aside, the statement cannot be true. There is no possible way that the statistics hold up across all industries and teams in types of organizations. It just isn’t possible.
There are a lot of high-performing teams out there. The University of Michigan football team just beat The Ohio State team. Both are high performing and I think I can safely say that neither of them uses PM software.
Ditto for the Men’s World Cup Team and whatever team ends up winning the 2022 World Cup. No PM Tool.
Ditto the 125 agile teams that I have trained and coached. Many or most of them were high-performing teams. Do you know what % were using project management tools like MS Project, Artemis or Clarity CA? Zero.
So I started to unpeel the onion. I wanted to understand how they could back up the statement.
In the original Asana vs. Monday.com article, the link for the questionable 77% statement led me to this article from Kissflow: 15 Project Management Status You Must Know in 2022
But the trail died there. So, I decided to go back and searched the internet for “77% of High Performing Teams Use PM Software”.
I Googled it. You should do it also.
Here is what I found.
The top search result links to Hive, a project management tool provider. It is no coincidence that they included a statement linking PM tools to performance.
But there is a bit of subtlety here. I searched for “77% of High Performing Teams Use PM Software” and the result I got was “77% of high-performing projects use project management software”.
Hive is talking about projects and not teams. Even though that isn’t what was searched. But check out this statement from Hive.com and see if you can make any sense of it:
According to PWC, digital project management software increases performance and found that 77% of high performing projects use project management software, yet it was discovered that 44% of project managers do not believe the use of software to manage projects.
What does that run on sentence even mean? It looks like Hive is either using bots or Madlibs to write their blogs.
Let’s come back to the PWC reference in just a moment.
The #2 search result links to a 2007 publication from PWC. Here is the exact quote from the document.
77% of companies use project management software. Project management software use is linked to high-performing project performance.
Hmm, I see now what Hive was talking about. But they took a bit of a leap.
PWC says Project Management software is linked to high performance. Hive says PM software increases performance.
PWC says 77% of companies use project management software. Hive says 77% of high-performing projects use project management software. Nice try but fail.
Before we let PWC off the hook, it is worth mentioning that they seem to like to use that 77 number. From the same 2007 report:
My conclusion is that 77% of the statements in the PWC report are misleading.
And those organizations that are quoting the PWC report from 2007 and calling it a 2022 statistic that you must know are intentionally misleading. At least 77% of them are misleading.
Coming in third is Finances Online who apparently used the Hive information without bothering to fact-check:
77% of high-performing projects use project management software (Hive, 2020)
Again, even if 77% of companies use PM software, that doesn’t mean that the 77% of projects use PM software. And certainly not teams.
Kiss Flow liked the erroneous statement and it helps build a case for their tool. They had the #4 search result with this elegant but untrue quote:
77% of high-performing teams use project management software
Coming in 5th is Proof Hub, a name that sounds authoritative. And they titled their article 21 Authentic Project Management statistics where they stated that “High-performing teams use project management software” and cited a study by PWC:
What is the secret behind the success of high performing teams? A study conducted by PWC found that 77% of high-performing teams use a good project management software that offers a wide variety of inbuilt features. These features help users to manage various aspects of work from a single platform rather than switching between various applications.
Once again the link to PWC and the leap of faith and all those 77% statistics.
There was no study conducted by PWC. PWC did a survey of 213 people. That isn’t really a study.
And the study certainly did not find that 77% of high-performing teams use “good” project management software that offers a wide variety of inbuilt features.
Mark Twain popularized the phrase, Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.
The best you can do is check your facts. Check the sources. Don’t believe everything you read.