How to evaluate project performance

How to evaluate project performance

Project performance by using the traditional approach

In traditional project management, project managers can use Earned Value Management (EVM) to evaluate project performance. EVM is a structured project management process which finds variances in projects based on the comparison of worked performed and work planned.

This process is used to control project cost and schedule. In addition, it can be very useful in project forecasting. The project baseline is an essential component of EVM and serves as a reference point for all EVM related activities. Moreover, EVM provides quantitative data to allow stakeholders to make decisions about the project.

Project performance by using the agile approach

In agile project management, project managers should focus on the expected outcome rather than the method. In fact, they can use the burn-down charts as measurement and reporting tools.  Actually, project managers can use the burn-down charts as a key indicator of project progress, problems, and risks.

Burn-down charts help stakeholders to understand whether a sprint goal will be accomplished. Moreover, by using burn-down charts project managers can offer their customers a fast, visual representation of the functionalities that have been delivered and have to be delivered. They also provide clues regarding the productivity of the team.

Learning by experimenting

When using the agile approach, the team limits its estimation to the next few weeks. In addition, in agile the variability of the team’s work is low and the team’s capacity becomes stable. As a result, it is possible to have a more precise prediction for the next weeks.

In agile, the project team periodically delivers small increments of value. Then, it gets feedback on what has been delivered so far. This allows the team to learn while delivering value. Basically, the team uses empirical data to plan next increments.

Keep in mind

Once the team reaches a steady velocity (stories or story points per iteration), the project manager can inform the sponsor, and stakeholders, about the duration of the project.

Francesco Pecoraro

Francesco has extensive experience as a project, program and portfolio manager, project management officer (PMO), digital transformation and strategic consultant. He is also considered a communication, public speaking and leadership expert.

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