The metrics that work for the PMO don’t necessarily work for the project manager. Project managers need detailed, real-time information to effectively plan, design, execute, and monitor projects. In addition, team members require personalized metrics to stay on task and on schedule. Metrics should be based on time, cost, resources, scope, quality, and action items. With the proper metrics in place, project managers and other decision makers can prompt improvements and keep the enterprise on track toward its goals.

Why are Metrics Important?

Metrics answer questions. If they answer the right questions, your organization can make informed, intelligent decisions.

Metrics should:

  • Facilitate decision making – They should bring the right information to light so that stakeholders can take appropriate actions to mitigate risks or align projects with business objectives.
  • Anticipate the future – They should tell you where you are, where you are going, and how you’re going to get there by looking at timeline patterns to identify potential risks and bottlenecks.
  • Show trends – By comparing data over time, they should show you short- and long-term trends.
  • Be compatible – Each metric is a piece of a larger puzzle, so it needs to integrate cohesively with other metrics; it should be named and interpreted in a way that is consistent with other project metrics within the organization. When the pieces are rolled up, they can summarize performance across the entire portfolio – or enterprise.

When deciding upon metrics, be sure to keep your audience in mind. It’s also good to regularly re-evaluate them to ensure your metrics are aligned with business changes and providing effective performance indicators.

What Metrics Does a Project Manager Need?

While every project will have different criteria for success, here are some key metrics that you should consider:

  • Time: Start Date, Finish Date, Variance, Deliverable Baseline Date, Deliverable Actual Date, Average Project Duration, Percentage of Projects Started on Time
  • Cost: Budget Cost, Baseline Cost, Cost, Actual Cost, Cost Performance Index (CPI)
  • Resources: Staff/Labor Hours, Schedule Performance Index (SPI), Budget Work, Baseline Work, Work, Actual Work
  • Scope: Deliverable Functionality, Project Change Requests (Total versus Approved), Unresolved Project Change Requests, Percentage of Project Milestones Achieved
  • Quality: Number of Defects (Open and Closed) per Month, Test Execution Progress, Load Testing (Performance, Code Quality, and Schedule), Application Failures, Project Quality Index
  • Action Items: Project Issues, Resolution Plans, Critical Project Risks, Risk Descriptions, Risk Symptoms, Risk Owners, Risk Impact

Easy Best-Practice Metrics for Project Managers and Team Members

Projility developed Hammerhead to provide on-demand, flexible dashboards and reporting to Microsoft Project Server and cloud-based Project Online customers. Hammerhead offers pre-designed home screens for both team members and project managers, as well as for other levels within the PMO. These home page dashboards feature best-practice metrics for easy, out-of-the-box visuals and controlled dashboard-ing to drive business decision making.

A Team Member dashboard shows:

  • Team Members
  • Upcoming Milestones (Baseline Finish, Planned Finish, and Variance)
  • My Tasks (Task Name, Project Name, Start Date, Finish Date, and Progress Indicator Bar)
  • My Issues (Name, Priority, and Status)
  • My Risks (Name, Category, Description, Probability, Impact, Status, and Due Date)

Best practice metrics for project managers

Best Practice Metrics for Project managers

A Project Manager dashboard shows:

  • Team Members Working on Each Project
  • Project Status Overview (Name, Progress, and Issues)
  • Late Tasks (Task Name, Project Name, Start Date, Finish Date, and Progress Indicator Bar)
  • Upcoming Milestones
  • My Tasks
  • And in the detailed Project Information View:
  • Deliverables
  • Project Information
  • Health Indicators (on Health, Risk Level, Quality, Scope, Schedule, and Budget)
  • Issues (Open – Description, Priority, Owner, and Due Date)
  • Risks
  • Metrics
  • Tasks

With the right metrics, PMs have all the information they need to implement and manage their projects successfully. Hammerhead provides PMs with access to these metrics in the form of role-based, data-driven dashboards – without the risks or costs associated with customization. Hammerhead is an enterprise solution that delivers the right metrics, to the right people, for smarter decision making.
In addition to Project Metrics, Tracking Methods within Microsoft Project Online and Project Server are also useful in planning your tasks. For more information, visit our blog on ‘Tracking Methods within Microsoft PPM – Project Online and Project Server.’

Projility provides expert solutions for effective change. We offer enterprise portfolio and project management solutions based on Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, with tailored dashboard reporting, analytics, and decision-making tools via our Hammerhead technology. Projility also implements professional services automation systems established on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service, and presents cloud-based strategies, migrations, and hosting solutions through Microsoft Azure. Contact us for more information.