Project managers, are we getting better?

In PMI’s September 2010 Project Management Journal’s “Are We Getting Any Better? Comparing Project Management in the Years 2000 and 2008″, Erling Andersen says we are at least “moving ahead”.

The 2008 scenario looks better than its 2000 equivalent. We have seen project team members are more knowledgeable about project work, project objectives are more clearly expressed, project organization is more appropriate, most work processes are improved … and the results of the project are more balanced, taking into account personal, technical and organizational matters.

That’s all well and good, but he then says “we have not been able to show significant progress in achieving the project mission and goals or keeping to the project schedule and budget.”

Note that his data was collected only from Norwegian projects (demographics are often not the mainstream in the Project Management Journal), but recall last year’s Standish Group CHAOS report which only mentioned modest improvements from its famous damning reports in the late 90s. I certainly expected better, but I do not know we can blame the project management discipline.