IT Metrics for Project Managers
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During any technology undertaking, it can be challenging for project managers to keep their finger on the pulse of the overall effort.

Gantt charts or other project-tracking techniques sometimes don’t tell the entire story. Leveraging a useful set of metrics helps to ensure a successful project outcome; all while accomplishing more while using fewer resources.  This article takes a look at a variety of tangible metrics that offer a better window into a technology project – ones that go beyond completing the work on time and under budget. Hopefully, these insights help improve the success rate of the project work at your organization.

Project Metrics Need to Be More Than “On Time” and “Under Budget”

In its study, “Debunking IT Project Failure Myths,” Forrester Research discovered too many organizations rely on the following traditional project metrics. Was the project completed on time? Was it completed under budget? Were the requirements met?

While easy for business stakeholders to understand, these metrics do a poor job of describing a complex technical effort. Forrester feels they perpetuate the myth that a project is successful only if those three criteria are met. Author, Lewis Cardin commented on the study’s conclusion.

“Project requirements change for a variety of reasons, and schedules and budgets change during the lifetime of the project based on better information as to effort, complexity and interdependencies. This would not be an issue except that project sponsors judge project success in terms of schedule-budget-meet requirements,” said Cardin.

Useful Project Metrics for Modern IT Projects

A variety of more complex metrics offer project managers a clearer view of the status of any technical effort. For example, the Schedule and Effort/Cost Variance metric gives PMs a way to determine the estimated cost and duration of a project based on the progress to date. It also lets managers estimate future performance based on previous results.

Resource Utilization is an especially vital metric for organizations aiming for higher productivity as part of a Continuous Improvement program. It is a percentage calculated by dividing a resource’s total spent effort by their budgeted effort. Utilization percentages need to be closely watched by project managers throughout a project.

The Quality and Customer Satisfaction metric provides a more meaningful view of a project’s success beyond whether its requirements were met. The number of internally reported defects (along with severity) is tracked and analyzed, along with separate tracking for defects reported by the customer. The speed in which defects are resolved ultimately influences overall customer satisfaction.

For additional success, put these metrics to work in your project today!


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