I agree with the author that project data and key metrics are relatively an untapped area.s Partly because of poor data and metrics, especially around a concrete set of business outcomes or benefits, it is often difficult to say whether complex projects are successful or not. But the main culprit, I believe, is not the lack of awareness of project data’s importance. Rather defining the right data and metrics is difficult, time consuming, and often short-lived as the project changes. Thus, when it comes to numbers, my suggestions are fairly mundane. 1) Define project success and its metrics and underlying data upfront. Make sure the executives agree and sign-off. 2) Manage this as you would of scope, time, and cost – put it in configuration management. Changes to the success metrics are allowed and maybe even encouraged in some projects. But change must be deliberate and thoughtful. 3) Finally, make sure everyone in the project knows about the numbers!

Te Wu’s comments on the Dave Cotgreave article below:

David Cotgreave for Project Accelerator writes: I’m often parachuted into organisations to consult with or coach project managers and leaders who have become lost. It could be that a project has blown off course from its business aligned goals, it could be running late or over budget, perhaps key project talent keeps leaving or in some cases the whole project may be about to sink into a quagmire of utter failure …

… and they just don’t know why.

I’m also often struck by how the answer was sitting on their desk the whole time.

Sure, sometimes the answers are hard to find and together we have some really hard work to do, but more often the answers are not just readily available they’re actually staring the Project Manager in the face. Often the answers to a Project’s apparent failure are lying unread, being used as a coaster for a PM’s latte.

Of course, I’m talking about the data, the numbers, the black and white measurables that just haven’t been analysed. Those measurables vary from project to project but they ALL need to be studied through the lifecycle of a project.

“If you can measure it – you can manage it.” You will have come across a variation of the maxim. Thing is, across all areas of your business from your supply chain management to your data centre and IT estate management, this old business adage rings truer now than ever – and especially in Project Management – where projects are creating loads of really useful key data. SNIP, the article continues @ Project Accelerator, click here to continue reading…..