This blog post was based on the 4th edition of the PMBOK Guide, and from the 5th edition of the PMBOK Guide, the PMI has changed the definitions of terms used in this blog post; therefore, this post is now obsolete.
I have re-written this blog post based on the current version of the PMBOK Guide (6th edition). Please visit: Work Performance Data and Work Performance Information. I am leaving this post in case someone wants to review the old post under the PMBOK Guide (4th edition).
Management is always interested in the status and progress of the project. They want to know:
- What percentage of the project is completed?
- What percentage is yet to be completed?
- How much money has been spent?
- What have you earned?
- Are you ahead or behind schedule?
So, how will you provide them with this information?
To prepare this report, you will need work performance information and work performance measurements.
Work Performance Information
Work performance information is the raw data of the project’s status. It refers to what percentage of work has been completed, how much time has elapsed, the cost incurred, and more.
It provides us with the current status of the project. You use this information to create work performance measurement and then the work performance report.
A few examples of work performance information are as follows:
- How much of the work has been completed?
- What is the schedule’s progress?
- What cost has been incurred to date?
- What are the quality metrics of the product?
- What is the risk status?
- What is the procurement performance?
Work Performance Measurements
Once you get the status, you compare it with your planned progress and come up with work performance measurements. They are the comparison between the planned progress and current status of the project.
Some examples of work performance measurements include:
Here you will compare the planned schedule with the actual schedule.
For example, for an activity that was scheduled to be completed in five days, work performance measurements show how long it actually took to complete.
Here you will compare your planned expenditure with the actual expense.
For example, what was the planned cost for the 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 occurred.
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.
The Difference Between Work Performance Information and Work Performance Measurements
The difference between work performance information and work performance measurements is as follows:
- Work performance information is the ‘as of now’ status of the deliverables, while 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.
- Examples of work performance information include the time elapsed and money spent, while cost variance and schedule variance, cost performance index and schedule performance index, and more, are examples of work performance measurements.
Work performance information and work performance measurements help in earned value management and forecasting. They help you prepare the performance report that you can send to your stakeholders. Based on this performance report, management decides how to proceed further.
I hope you now have a better understanding of work performance information and work performance measurements.
Now you can move on to the next blog post, on the performance report.