Understanding Project Management Performance Metrics

Every project your team undertakes serves a purpose. Whether it’s being executed for the benefit of a paying client or an internal organizational goal, you can always measure the success of a given project against its defined outcomes. 

However, each project also presents a unique opportunity to refine your team’s processes and improve future project efficiencies and results. How? By measuring and analyzing project management performance metrics. 

In this post, we’re looking at some of the most common types of project performance evaluation and discussing project management performance goals that can help you squeeze the most value out of every project.

Why measure project performance? 

First and foremost, by following and analyzing the right indicators, you’ll gain key insights into your team’s performance from both a high-level and individual perspective. You’ll be able to pinpoint bottlenecks in workflows and other inefficiencies that you can then begin to correct, thereby improving future project performance and outcomes. 

Additionally, tracking and collecting this type of information can come in handy when it’s time for your project management performance review. Think about it: the more raw data you have, the better you can demonstrate your team’s successes and show areas of opportunity. Plus, taking ownership of your team’s work by analyzing every project outcome, identifying deficiencies, and preparing plans for improvement will send a clear signal to management that you’re a true leader who is dedicated to the success of the organization as a whole.

What metrics can you use to study performance?

Now, let’s look at some key ways of measuring project management performance. 

  • Schedule: Naturally, one of the first project management performance metrics you should review is the schedule or timeline. Were project tasks and milestones achieved on time, as determined in the planning phase? What about final project delivery — was it completed on schedule? With the right task management tools in place, you can easily track timelines throughout the project lifecycle and better analyze them after project completion to determine exactly where things went off course.
  • Budget: Blown budgets are often due to poor planning; maybe you forgot to account for a project element like design, materials, or testing. Either way, delivering a project within its initial budget is a critical metric of success.
  • Scope: A project’s scope includes its stated goals and deliverables as well as the individual tasks that are required to achieve those goals and deliverables. Often, scope creep occurs as the project progresses, which can easily lead to budget overages and late delivery. This is why it's critical to clearly define project scope at the outset and ensure every team member and stakeholder understands the project’s goals.  
  • Productivity: While this metric is useful at the organizational level, it can also be used from project to project to get a clear picture of team-specific efficiency. Productivity defines the relationship between a project's inputs and its outputs. The goal is to get as many units of output as you can using the least amount of inputs possible. 
  • Return on investment (ROI): ROI looks specifically at the value of a project’s outcomes vs. the dollar amount spent to complete the project. ROI can actually be expressed as a mathematical equation; however, in order to calculate it, you must first assign a monetary value to each benefit derived from the project. Common benefits include cost savings, improvements, increased output, or contribution to profit. Once you’ve determined these values, use the formula ROI = (net benefits/costs) x 100 to find the project’s return on investment

How to set and measure project management performance metrics with Wrike

Along with clearly defined objectives and deliverables, you should always have project management performance goals tied to every project under your watch. We’ve seen how specific metrics can help you understand and communicate project values and organizational efficiencies — and with Wrike, you’ll be able to easily track these metrics plus more with a suite of robust analytics tools. 

For instance, Wrike allows you to create customized, advanced dashboards for greater insight into bottlenecks. This means you’ll be able to respond more quickly to issues that could derail your project. Wrike also allows you to easily build reports that are tailored to your project for deeper, more insightful data. 

With Wrike’s project analytics tools, you’ll get the insight your team needs to perform at its best. Ready to see for yourself? Fill out the form below and try it free for two weeks!

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