Press Release: PM Summit survey reveals 40% of project managers suffer from prolonged stress due to work 

PM Summit Survey Results Press Release
  • People in IT roles suffer most from prolonged stress followed by people in architectural, engineering and construction roles

  • 83% of project managers have no formal training to manage stress

  • The execution stage identified as the most demanding project phase

Dublin, 5/9 July 2018 – PM Summit, Ireland’s most diverse conference for project, programme and portfolio management professionals, today announces the findings of a new study which reveals that 40% of Ireland’s 52,000 project managers have suffered from prolonged stress due to their work. The study involved 407 project management professionals in Ireland from a broad range of sectors and was carried out with the assistance of Pan Research. 

Results reveal that 83% of respondents have had no formal training in how to manage mental health issues, including stress, within their project teams. 

People in IT roles suffer most from stress, with 44% reporting that they have suffered from prolonged work stress, followed by people in the architectural, engineering and construction field where 39% report this. Conversely, the stress levels of project managers in operations and logistics were low, with only 5% revealing that they have suffered prolonged stress. 

The survey shows that project managers, aged 35-55, are the most stressed; with 43% saying they’ve suffered with prolonged stress, that is stress experienced for an extended period. This contrasts with project managers aged over 55, of whom less than a third (31%) reported prolonged work-related stress.

Raymond Poole, CEO, PM Summit, commented: “When it comes to managing mental health issues within their project team, training is critical and this is borne out in the survey, which found that the least stressed category of project managers – the over 55s – have received the most training, with 31% of these having received some formal training. This contrasts with the biggest sufferers of prolonged stress – the 35-55 year olds – of whom only 17% have received some formal training.”

Another element that affects project managers’ stress levels is project phases. The largest segment of respondents (29%) identified the execution stage as the most stressful. This is typically the longest stage and most demanding phase of a project. Project managers in IT roles in particular found this phase challenging, with 37% identifying it as the most stressful. 

The close-out phase, when all activities are finalised and the project is formally closed, was acknowledged as the most stressful by almost one in five (19%) project managers. Project managers in architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) roles found this to be the most stressful stage, with 30% identifying it as the most trying. 

Raymond Poole continued: “The stress levels that project managers’ experience is clearly having an effect on their mental well-being. Project managers typically have multiple project elements happening concurrently and keeping abreast of all these different activities can prove very stressful.

“While it is encouraging to see that some project management professionals have received formal training in how to manage mental health issues, there is a long way to go in making this training available more widely in the industry. Our mission at this year’s PM Summit in July is to help people to manage and reduce the impacts of stress for themselves and their teams.”

The PM Summit is taking place at Dublin Convention Centre on Tuesday, 17th July. Tickets are now available for the PM Summit at €395 for a single ticket or €275 per person for groups of two or more (prices exclude VAT). Tickets guarantee access to three keynote presentations as well as 15 breakout sessions. Refreshments and lunch will be also provided, and delegates will have the opportunity to interact and network with peers. For more information and to register for the event, visit

About the survey

For the research, which was carried out in May/June, 407 project management professionals responded to a request on LinkedIn to complete the survey. All responses were anonymous. Respondents, who were based in Ireland, were asked to report on their most recent 10 projects. The vast majority were male (78%) and the majority worked in medium (50-500 employees) or extra-large companies (5000+ employees). Roles represented included IT, AEC (architecture, engineering and construction), finance, operations & logistics, manufacturing and production, project and program management. Approximately 85% of respondents have formal education or training in project management.

About PM Summit
PM Summit is an annual event that takes place in Dublin, Ireland hosting a global community of project, program and portfolio managers from a diverse range of backgrounds and industries. The summit caters for project management professionals, regardless of whether they use Traditional, Lean or Agile approach to their projects. 

The conference offers project management professionals a unique forum that facilitates the transfer of knowledge, the opportunity to explore new ideas, and quality peer to peer networking. The PM Summit is about the creation of a community of practice for project, program and portfolio management professionals.