Update: Since the PMI has changed the definitions of terms used in this blog post, I have re-written this blog post based on the current version of the PMBOK Guide (fifth edition).
The difference among the work performance information (WPI), work performance measurements (WPM) and the performance report is a common cause of confusion among many PMP aspirants and professionals.
Therefore, I’m writing a series of two blog posts in which you will find detailed description for each of them.
In the first blog post I’ll discuss the difference between the work performance information and the work performance measurements, and the second blog post will be devoted to the performance reporting.
Okay, let’s get started.
Work Performance Information (WPI)
Work performance information is the raw data of the project’s status, or we can say that it is the ‘as of now’ status of the processes from each knowledge area. It refers to what work has been completed, or how much time has been elapsed, or the cost incurred, etc. It provides us information about the current status of the project deliverables. This information is utilized in the creation of the work performance measurements and the performance reporting.
Work performance information includes, but is not limited to:
- Scope: How much of the scope of the work has been physically completed?
- Time: Schedule progress; e.g. status of activities; i.e. how many activities have been completed, and how many have been started and their current status, etc.
- Cost: How much cost has been incurred to date?
- Quality: Here technical performance measurements are noted. For example, characteristics of product; i.e. physical properties, quality metrics, number of defects and rejection rate, etc.
- Risks: Risks status which includes how many identified and unidentified risks have occurred, how many new risks have been identified, effectiveness of response plan, how much contingency, or management reserve has been utilized.
- Procurement: Procurement related activities; e.g. seller performance including how much work has been completed from his side, and how much money is paid to the contractor, etc.
Work Performance Measurements (WPM)
Work performance measurements are used to compare the planned versus actual performance. To generate this analysis, it uses the data collected in the work performance information.
Work performance measurements includes, but is not limited to:
- Time: Here, the plan schedule vs actual schedule performance is measured. For example, you have an activity that is scheduled to be finished within five days, and in Work Performance Measurements you can see how long it actually took to finish that activity.
- Cost: Here, plan vs actual cost spent is measured; e.g. to complete a certain activity how much cost was planned and how much in actual you have spent to complete the task.
- Quality: Here, plan vs actual technical performance is measured. Here you will measure that how much defects, tolerance and threshold was allowed and how much it is in actual. Based on this you might take corrective or preventive action.
- Risk: Here, you will see, to date, how much you had planned to spend contingency reserve versus how much is really spent, also you will see how many risks have occurred versus your identified risks.
- Procurement: Here you will compare the seller performance against planned performance.
- WPI is the ‘as of now’ status of the deliverables and WPM is a comparison between the actual status vs planned status.
- WPI is only a raw data, which provides current status of the project, on the other hand WPM is a comparison between the planned and actual statuses, created by using WPI.
- Examples of WPI – time elapsed, money spent, and examples of WPM – cost variance (CV), schedule variance (SV), cost performance index (CPI), Schedule performance index (SPI), etc.
This is all about the difference between work performance information and work performance measurements. I hope that now you have a clear understanding about it.
Now you can safely move to the second part of this series of two blog posts at performance report in project management to read about the performance reports.