Update: The PMI has changed the definitions of terms used in this blog post, therefore this blog post is no longer valid. However, I have re-written this blog post based on the current version of the PMBOK Guide (fifth edition).
Please visit: Work Performance Data and Work Performance Information
I am leaving this post as is in case someone wants to review the old post.
If you are into project management, you are well aware that management is always interested in the status and the progress of the project.
They want to know to know:
- How much of the project is completed
- How much is yet to be completed
- How much money has been spent
- What you have earned
- Whether you are ahead of or behind schedule
They are only interested in medium to high level information of a project.
So how will you prepare this report?
You will prepare this performance report with the help of work performance information and work performance measurements.
In this blog post I will explain work performance information and work performance measurements in detail. Once you understand these concepts, you can move on to performance report.
Okay, let’s get started.
Work Performance Information
Work performance information is the raw data of the project’s status, or you 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, how much time has been elapsed, the cost incurred, etc.
It provides us with information about the current status of the project deliverables. This information is used in the creation of work performance measurements and performance reporting.
Some examples of work performance information are as follows:
- How much of the work has been completed?
- What is the schedule’s progress; e.g. how many activities have been completed, how many have been started and what is their current status, etc.?
- What cost has been incurred to date?
- What are the quality metrics of the product such as the number of defects and rejection rate, etc.
- What is the risk status, such as how many identified and unidentified risks have occurred, what is the effectiveness of the response plan, how much contingency or management reserve has been spent, etc.?
- What is the procurement performance, such as how much work has been completed by contractors, and how much have they been paid, etc.?
Work Performance Measurements
Once you get the work performance information, you compare it with your planned progress and come up with work performance measurements.
Put more simply, you can say that work performance measurements are the comparison between the planned and actual project parameters.
Some examples of work performance measurements are provided below.
Here you will compare the planned schedule with the actual schedule.
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.
Here you will compare your planned expenditure with the actual expense.
For example, what was the planned cost for an activity and how much did you actually spend to complete it?
Here you compare the planned performance with the actual performance.
For example, you will measure how many defects, tolerance and threshold were allowed and how many actually occurred. Based on this you might take corrective or preventive action.
Here you will see the effectiveness of your risk management plan.
For example, you will see how many risks have occurred versus your identified risks, and how effective your risk response plan was, etc.
Here you will compare the seller’s actual performance against the planned performance.
Difference between Work Performance Information and Work Performance Measurements
The following are a few differences between work performance information and work performance measurements:
- Work performance information is the ‘as of now’ status of the deliverables and work performance measurements are a comparison between the actual status and planned status.
- Work performance measurements are developed with the help of work performance information.
- Some examples of work performance information are the time elapsed and money spent, and some examples of work performance measurements are cost variance, schedule variance, cost performance index, schedule performance index, etc.
Work performance information and work performance measurements are very important communication tools which help you in earned value management and in forecasting. Once you get all this information, you prepare the performance report and send it to management. Based on this performance report further actions are decided. If the project is delayed, a schedule extension may be considered, or if you are over budget a revision of the cost baseline may be permitted.
This post has been all about work performance information and work performance measurements. I hope you now have a better understanding about these topics.
Now you can safely move on to the next blog post on performance report.