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Project Management Blog
Saturday, 10 July 2010 05:00

What Makes a Good Project KPI Framework?

kpi

Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs as generally referred to by all of us, are a powerful tool at the project manager’s disposition that can, if structured appropriately:

  1. Play an important role in driving the behaviours and actions undertaken on a project
  2. Have a significant effect on the reporting and monitoring of a project’s progress.

Our article does not seek to focus on enterprise-wide or portfolio-level KPI metrics, nor does it seek to be all-encompassing in the uses of specific types of KPIs that can be deployed or how KPIs and metrics can help to run a business. We simply put forward some “pointers” to think about for project-level KPI control and how KPIs can be a tool to help you as an effective project manager ‘manage’ your project.

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HR_selectionMany project managers have likely been subjected to “resource selection” well before they knew what selection criteria, roles and responsibilities, or project management for that matter was. Many may recall their elementary or primary school days, and perhaps the selection of sports team members in the school yard or playground. Typically, two captains were likely chosen by someone in authority (such as the sports teacher), and then each captain selected their teams based on a perceived ability to perform, the positions or roles they needed, and maybe how well the captain thought the people would fit into their team. That was then. Fast forward to today.  School yard “captains” are now the equivalent of project managers and/or resource line managers, and their “sports team” has become the project team. How different is your project resource selection from that of the school yard and do certain risks exist in your current approach?

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RecognitionReward and recognition for project resources who deliver successful projects is generally accepted as good practice in the workplace (indeed, rewarding staff for successful performance against agreed criteria is commonplace in today’s organizations). Regardless of an organization’s general structure (be it projectized, functional, matrix-based etc), successful project completions are rightly celebrated. At project closing, the project team should take the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments, with the project manager and/or upper level of stakeholders using this event as an opportunity to recognize particularly strong performances from individuals on the team. Celebrating project success, when it is merited, is a worthy process; however, the manner or magnitude in which you celebrate project success has the potential to cause problems elsewhere within your organization if it is not handled in a measured way. 
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The Triple Constraint of managing the interaction of time, cost and scope is a familiar model to most Program and Project Managers.

Delivering projects on time, within budget and per an agreed scope can be considered to be a “good result” by the project team. But effectively managing these constraints does not guarantee that the project is deemed a success by all of its stakeholders. Additional project constraints need to be taken into account to determine whether “complete” project success is achieved.

A general starting point for these additional constraints is this: think about the longevity of the project’s end output. Take a moment to think about projects you have been involved in, or known about, that finished 12 months ago or longer. Did they deliver their end output on or before schedule, on or below budget and did they fully meet the requisite expected level of scope and quality? If so, great. Now fast-forward to today. Do you know how well the end output of that project is being used? And does it contribute to the organisation in the way that may or may not have been originally anticipated?

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Monday, 19 April 2010 11:31

It's Not Personal

Sally looked at Mary Carol and said, "Wow how did you do that? How did you just brush it off, I mean Jim just got in your face and told you that he hates working with you. And you are just as calm and collected as ever." Mary Carol looked at Sally and said, "Well I am really not taking it personally." Sally was flabbergasted. "How can you NOT take that personally?" she asked.

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Monday, 05 January 2009 09:40

Your Intentions are Talking About You

For many weeks now you have listened to one of your colleagues say, “I really should dust off my resume, this position is not growing my career.” In spite of this it never occurs to you that your colleague is truly going to make a job change. You hear many people talk about what they should do or name actions they need to take. But actions speak louder than words and right now all you are observing is talk and no action.
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Monday, 22 December 2008 12:18

5 tips to manage your manager

As a project manager, you are responsible for managing the efforts of your team to insure that your project deliverables are met.  But how do you manage one of your most important project stakeholders - your own manager?
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This is part 4 of a series of blog posts in which I look at the components of a PMO and give you a pragmatic way to increase your PMO success and improve your PM maturity.

Every company has some form of special tools that project managers and project team members use in their day to day project activities. A few examples:

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This is part 3 of a series of blog posts in which I look at the components of a PMO and give you a pragmatic way to increase your PMO success and improve your PM maturity.

It is quite important that your Project Management Office has a policy about how your project teams collaborate with each other and where project documents go.

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This is part 2 of a series of blog posts in which I look at the components of a PMO and give you a pragmatic way to increase your PMO success and improve your PM maturity.

The Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Application is an important component of your Project Management Office (PMO).

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