Metrics and measurment.jpg
http://leadinganswers.typepad.com/leading_answers/2010/02/smart-metrics-slides.html#more, Leading Answers, February, 2010

Alternative name(s)
Performance Metrics (PMhut.com. Turbit, 2008)
Project Scope (Thesaurus.com)

Description

Project metrics and measurement is a measure of an organisation’s performance and activities on a project. A project's metrics must contain and maintain the requirements of the stakeholders involved though out the duration of the project. These needs vary from the time the project needs to be completed to the measure of the workers efficiency. Project metrics can provide detailed information to project managers and other stakeholders on whether a project is smoothly progressing or getting worse.

Scope, time, cost, resources, quality, actions and safety are general criteria used to assess a project’s health and viability. These criteria mostly revolves around schedule adherence as specified at the beginning of a project, measuring when a project is exceeding its budget and also analysing and mending quality problems encountered as a project progresses. (Turbit, 2008)

Organisations who apply project metrics use these criteria to measure their projects in terms of considering the option of adding new projects or discarding projects that are considered unviable. These measures can also be measure team performance and to consider whether a particular project has more employees than required. (Vinson, 2010)

Agile values


Feedback is another XP value that can be applied to this knowledge area. Feedback from important stakeholders can cause success factors of a project to change, therefore feedback is important in this knowledge area. Respect is the last XP value that can be related to project metrics and measurement. Respecting every stakeholders view will lead to a consensus on how the success factors should be measured and that the decision was made fairly.

Openness is a Scrum value that can be related to this knowledge area. The team needs to be open to ensure an accurate measure of progress can be taken. Openness ensures a high level of transparency so all parties involved understand how the project is progressing

"Interactions and individuals over processes and tools" is a principle that can be applied to project metrics and measurement. As this knowledge partly deals with which metrics to use to identify constraints, scope and duration of a project, it is important to interact with individuals with different level of experience and expertise to decide which metrics to use and how the project should be measured.

Agile principles


“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software” and “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development.” Every good project manager must allow room for changes. This agile principle is related to project metrics and measurement as constant changes needs to be made to a project to fit the seven criteria of project metrics (time, cost, quality, score, action, resources and safety) and these principles help project managers adapt project measurements when changes present themselves.

The project manager and project team must “maintain a constant pace” to adhere to time and also preserve the quality of the project. This principle encourages the project team to keep up to date with the project plan.

“Simplicity” An organisation must focus and provide resources on more important projects rather than accumulating new projects in effect causing confusions and delays.

Agile practices

The Planning Game is an Agile practice that can be applied to project metrics and measurement. Breaking the deliverable into user stories will contribute to helping the project team identify which measures to use for a project and also which units to use when trying to decide on the constraints, scope or duration of a project.

Product Backlog is a second Agile practice that is related to project metric and measurement. A product backlog can be described as a list of tasks or features that need to be included in the product before it can be considered complete and this backlog can be used as a measurement of the progress of a product and ultimately the project.

Burndown Charts is a practice by which the project team displays graphs on the walls of a project room so that all team members are aware of the work left to be completed. This is another way in which agile measures project progress.


Discussion

Traditional approach to project metrics focuses mainly on finance and performance of the organisation against an agile approach, which concentrates on all aspects of project metrics criteria including budget, scope and customer requirements. Traditionally, there are often no links between the performance of a project and stated project objectives. This approach (traditional) scarcely show whether a customer is satisfied with the project outcome nor measure an organisation’s success rate. The issues it generates can be fairly fixed by applying an agile method to project metrics and measures (Ram, 2010). This is done through methods such as constant reminders of a projects progress via burn-down charts and the breaking down of deliverables to name a few

In conclusion, organisations must carefully consider the effect of laying off people and adding more projects bearing in mind its workforce and resources. If the organisation's capability can not handled these changes, it may result in work pile-up and project priorities confused leading to delays on a project.
Effective measurement will ensure that there is no confusion and work will not pile up.

Links from this KA to other KAs

Project scope management can be linked to project metrics and measurement in the sense that in order to identify what measures are appropriate for the project one must first understand the scope of the project i.e. what is to be included as well as what is to be excluded from the project. Communication with project stakeholders is crucial in order to decide continuously meet the metrics of a project, therefore communication management is strongly linked to this knowledge area.

References


Ram P. (2010). Agile Metrics: A Seminal Approach for Calculating Metrics in Agile Projects. Available at: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/agile-metrics-a-seminal-approach-for-calculating-metrics-in-agile-projects.html [Accessed on: 28/02/13]

Turbit N. (2008). Measuring Project Health. Available at: http://www.pmhut.com/measuring-project-health [Accessed on: 27/02/13]

Vinson J. (2010). Project Metrics and Measures. Available at: http://ctr-organizational-change.msloc.northwestern.edu/2010/09/10/project-metrics-and-measures/ [Accessed on: 26/02/13]


External links

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Management/How-to-Use-Metrics-to-Improve-Project-Management/. News Article on Project Metrics
http://www.apm.org.uk/news/project-measures-and-metrics-presentation-mike-ward#.US9pOI6LF6o. APM Article on Project Metrics and Measurement