Performance Measurement in Project Management

Introduction

Performance measurement in project management is an essential activity that tracks the achievement of the project objectives as outlined in the project statement. Such appraisal must accommodate the various elements to be measured and the modalities for reporting the outcomes of the process. It encompasses regular monitoring of the programs to ensure that the stated objectives are achieved within the desired time frame and budget (Schwalbe, 2010). This section will focus on performance management with reference to the following areas:

Measurable Objectives

Measurable objectives of SAP’s VPN project are stated in the project Gantt chart. The objectives are outlined as shown below.

  • Constructing a new building within a period of 6 months.
  • To procure networking materials within a period of 1 month.
  • To purchase computers within a time frame of 1 month.
  • Installation of the organization’s network within a period of 2 months.
  • Internet installation within one month.
  • The hiring of new employees within a period of 2 months.
  • To train the employees for a period of 2 months.

Performance measurement for the VPN project will be limited to the above-stated objectives. The project managers will use appropriate tools of measurement to ascertain the progress of the project. However, the measurement will accommodate the changes that may interfere with the project. The changes may expose the project to various risk factors. It is therefore important to adopt risk mitigation strategies (Schwalbe, 2010).

Risk Mitigation Approaches

Analysis of the unplanned changes is important to determine the impacts of the changes on the project. The changes may interfere with project elements such as project budget and schedule. The project team will report the unplanned changes to the participants and sponsors using performance reviews. The procedures for handling the change will involve identification of the change, definition of the change involved, identification of the affected area, assessment of the impacts, and change management strategies (Schwalbe, 2010).

Definition of the risk factors is an important step in risk management. The common risk factors include changes in prices of the materials, market uncertainties associated with demand and supply of the materials, changes in regulations that directly affect the project, and employee turnover. Mitigation strategies to be used in eliminating the identified risks will be implemented according to the nature of the risk. For instance, to accommodate the changes in prices of the materials the project team will have to prepare the budget based on the forecasted costs of the materials (Schwalbe, 2010). The construction of a new building will cost $ 200,000 as indicated in the baseline plan. However, the changes in prices may increase the construction cost, hence interfering with the budget. It will be important for the project team to use the forecasted cost.

To overcome the problem of uncertainties in the market, the project managers will procure the materials in advance. This initiative will enable the project managers to avoid the risk factors associated with the unavailability of the materials in the market. Employee turnover is another risk factor that may interfere with the achievement of the project objectives. The problem will be mitigated through proper labor planning to identify the needs of the employees and the requirements of the project. The project managers will liaise with the human resource department to ensure that the project has the right workforce in terms of number, qualification, and experience. Reporting unplanned changes from the project will entail the identification and assessment of the project activities against the project schedule (Schwalbe, 2010).

Project Reporting Description

Project evaluation will be based on the specific project objectives that were outlined in the Gantt chart. The evaluation will determine the progress of the objectives based on the schedule and project budget. The status of the project indicates that the project is progressing as stated in the plan. However, it is important to accommodate unplanned changes that may interfere with the achievement of the project objectives. One of the common changes is the price of the materials. The price factor will interfere with the baseline plan. For example, the project managers anticipate the cost of construction to increase to beyond $ 200,000. The changes in price will also affect the prices of computers and software.

Determination of Project Objectives

Various methods will be used to determine whether the project has attained the desired objectives. For instance, the earned value analysis will be used to determine whether the project has met the objectives within the stated schedule, scope, and cost. Performance reviews will also be used to determine the progress of the project. The method will involve regular meetings between the project team and the sponsors of the project. During such meetings, the team will report deviations, which may result from unexpected changes. The trend analysis will also be used in determining the achievement of the project objectives. The analysis will be based on the results of the performance reviews. The analysis will provide an advanced warning based on the identification of the risk factors involved. Termination of the project will involve a proper communication between the project team, the management, and the sponsors. The reasons for the termination will be communicated to the identified parties. The termination process will also involve an open discussion between the project participants on alternative solutions (Schwalbe, 2010).

Reference

Schwalbe, K. (2010). Information Technology Project Management (6th ed.) New York, NY: Cengage Learning.