Monday, February 1, 2010

Project Metrics

Project Status

The status of a project can be reported by using certain metrics. Similar to a way checks the health of a person by checking their pulse, temperature etc, Project managers and stakeholders can monitor the progress of a project by using the following six criteria:

Time (Project schedule)

Cost (Expected and actual expenditure)

Resources (Estimated man-days and actual time spent)

Scope (Track scope changes and it's effect on schedule and costs)

Quality (Monitor bugs and specify their priority level)

For the Time metric, one can compare the baseline schedule set at the beginning of the project and compare it to the time-line as the project progresses. At any point if it is observed that the tasks are not going as planned, a red flag can go up.

For the Cost metric, one would need to compare the planned costs versus the actual costs as the project goes on. E.g. if the planned budget was for $100,000 for 10 months, then each months outlay would be $10,000. If at 6 months, the actual budget is more or less than say 5% (figure can vary as it would be a figure agreed with Project Sponsor beforehand) of $60,000, then the costing would need to be looked at again to see how to bring it back in budget.

For the Resources metric, one would need to consider the man-days that were proposed and the timsheets that are being filled up.

For the Scope metric, one would need to check for scope creep and monitor the effect that it has on the schedule and costs.

For the Quality metric, the QA team would need to report on the bugs, get them resolved. One would also need to prioritize the bugs and see which are critical and minor. By the time the project is delivered, these should hopefully be at zero. Although one could come to an agreement with the project manager as to what kind of bugs are acceptable as we all know that Microsoft when it releases its products has a known bug-list along with it.

By focusing on these areas, one can monitor the health of one's project.

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