Work Performance Data WPD and Work Performance Information WPI

At a glance, Work Performance Data and Work Performance Information seem similar; both terms are different, although they are closely related; they help you understand the project’s status.

Work Performance Data gives you rough data on the project’s status and helps you create the Work Performance Information. It is the basis of performance reports.

A performance report is a very important communication tool for a project manager and to create it you will need Work Performance Data and Work Performance Information.

If you understand these two concepts, creating performance reports won’t be difficult.

Work Performance Data

According to the PMBOK Guide, Work Performance Data is “the raw observations and measurements identified during activities performed to carry out the project work; e.g., actual cost, actual duration, and the percent of work physically completed.”

In other words, it is the current status of various project parameters such as how much work has been completed, how much time has elapsed, and the cost incurred so far.

Work Performance Data includes, but is not limited to:

Scope

You will see to the compliance of requirements, non-conformities, the number of change requests received versus those accepted or rejected, etc.

Time

You will see how many activities have been started, how many have been finished, the status of current ongoing activities, etc.

Cost

You will note the cost performance of the project: how much work has been completed, how much money has been spent to date, etc.

Quality

You will measure the technical performance, such as the characteristics of the product, quality metrics, number of defects, and the rejection rate.

Communications

You will see which reports have been distributed, the feedback on these communication reports, etc.

Risks

You will see how many identified and unidentified risks have occurred, how many new ones are identified, the effectiveness of the risk response plans, how much contingency or management reserve has been utilized, the impact on project constraints such as schedule, cost, and scope.

Procurement

Here, you will get data about the procurement-related activities: for example, quality standards met by the seller, the seller’s performance, etc.

Now let’s find work performance data in the PMBOK Guide:

  • The output of Direct and Manage Project Work
  • Input to Validate Scope
  • Input to Control Scope
  • Input to Control Schedule
  • Input to Control Cost
  • Input to Control Quality
  • Input to Control Communication
  • Input to Control Risks
  • Input to Control Procurements
  • Input to Control Stakeholder Engagement

Work Performance Data is an output of Direct and Manage Project Work. It is gathered throughout the execution phase, and then it is sent to various controlling processes to analyze it further: e.g., Validate Scope, Control Scope, Control Schedule, Control Cost, etc.

You can create the Work Performance Information with this information.

Work Performance Information

According to the PMBOK Guide, the Work Performance Information is “the performance data collected from various controlling processes, analyzed in context and integrated based on relationships across areas; e.g., the status of deliverables, forecasted estimates to complete, etc.”

Here, you analyze the Work Performance Data. You will compare the planned performance with actual performance.

Work Performance Information includes, but is not limited to:

Scope

You will review the project’s progress: e.g., the status of deliverables, whether the deliverable is accepted, how the project scope is performing against the scope baseline, etc.

Time

You will compare the planned schedule with the actual schedule. You can see the planned duration for an activity, and the time taken by the activity to be completed, etc.

Cost

You can see the planned cost for a task and compare it with the actual cost of this activity; i.e., planned cost versus actual cost spent. You will also review other parameters such as cost variance and cost performance.

Quality

You will analyze the planned technical performance versus actual technical performance: how many defects, how much tolerance and threshold was allowed, how much it is, and how much rework is required.

Risk

You will compare how many identified risks have occurred, the efficiency of the risk response plan, how much of the contingency money has been spent, and the balance of the contingency or management reserve, etc.

Procurement

Here, you will review the seller’s performance.

Let’s have a look on the PMBOK Guide, and you will that Work Performance Information is:

  • Input to Monitor and Control Project Work
  • The output of the Validate Scope
  • The output of the Control Scope
  • The output of the Control Schedule
  • The output of the Control Costs
  • The output of the Control Quality
  • The output of the Control Communications
  • The output of the Control Risks
  • The output of the Control Procurements
  • The output of the Control Stakeholder Engagement

You can see that the Work Performance Information is an output of various controlling processes and is an input to Monitor and Control Project Work, where it is used to generate the performance reports.

Before I complete this blog post, let’s review the key difference between Work Performance Data and Work Performance Information.

  • Work Performance Data shows the current state of the project. Work Performance Information is a comparison between the actual performance with planned performance.
  • Examples of Work Performance Data are the actual cost spent, the actual time elapsed, etc. Examples of Work Performance Information are Cost Variance, Schedule Variance, Cost Performance Index, and Schedule Performance Index, etc.

WPD and WPI show you where the project is going. You can forecast your progress and take corrective action if needed.

Summary

Work Performance Data is the raw data from observations of your project, and Work Performance Information is the comparison between the actual data and the planned data. These two are the backbone of your performance reports and are essential communication tools. These data help you monitor the project’s progress and compare it with the planned progress. WPD and WPI are used in developing performance reports.

How do you collect work performance data in your projects and prepare work performance information? Please share your experiences in the comments section.

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Speak Your Mind

  • Why Work Performance Report as an input leads to Work Performance
    Information as an output in Monitor Communication? Discuss

    • This information is clearly mentioned in the PMBOK Guide. Please refer to it.

      By the way, it is work performance data is being converted to work performance information in monitor communications process.

  • Hi Fahad,

    Maybe I posted my situation in a wrong blogpost. I think this should be the right one.

    I have one fundamental question about work performance information given as a input to “Monitor & Control” process.

    If my understanding is correct, all the control processes compares the current data with the corresponding baselines, and raises change requests for any deviations. These change requests are sent to “Integrated Change Control” for further processing. However, the same information is provided as “Work Performance Information” to “Monitor & Control Project work” process. In this process also, the work performance information is compared with performance baselines. This as well gives raise to change requests

    Isn’t this a duplicate effort? Can you be kind enough to differentiate between the objectives of control processes and “monitor & control project work” process?

    • Hello Vijay,

      Please refer to the page 87 of the PMBOK Guide fifth edition. You will see that output of all controlling processes is work performance information and it is an input to monitoring and controlling project work process.

      There is no repetition of effort.

    • Hi Vejay,
      my understanding to your question is WPIs sent as input to MCPW to issue a WPR only and that WPR will be input to PICC.BMBOK in not perfect and there are many circumstances either wrong or not well explained and thats why they updated it.

  • Hello Usman,

    Thanks for the explanation. A few things are still not clear, can you please explain

    Risks – Work Performance Data

    Here you will see how many identified and unidentified risks have occurred, how many new risks are identified, the effectiveness of risk response plan, how much contingency or management reserve has been utilized, the impact of risks on project constraints such as schedule, cost, and scope, etc.

  • Can you provide the Input / Output list of other terms like you mentioned in this page.

    e.g:
    Work performance data — Output to some and input to some processes
    Work performance information — output to some and input to some processes

    Please provide same pattern to other terms.

    Thanks

    • I provide it whenever I can but can I not provide it in full as it will be copyright violation. I suggest you read the PMBOK to understand the ITTO.

    • hi talha,
      WPD is output of DMPW
      WPD is inputs to the 10 monitoring and controlling processes except for the two processes in the integration management ( MCPW,PICC) .
      WPIs is outputs of the 10 monitoring and controlling processes except for the two processes in the integration management( MCPW,PICC) .
      WPIs is input to MCPW.

  • Appreciate your efforts and Thanks. Furthermore, just to underline what I understood, I would like to discuss the following case:-

    30% of the project is completed (WPD) and the actual cost incurred as of now is 150,000 US$ (WPD), which is let’ s say 15% more than the PV -Planned Value (WPD).

    Based on these “raw” data, the project manager has come up with forecasts like EAC (WPI), TCPI (WPI) etc.

    Finally the project manager compiles all the above information and documents it to develop a Project Status Report (WPR).

    Your comments are remarks are very much appreciated.
    Thanks again.

  • One can see the trend that other than human resource management, WPD is almost always the input of control processes and WPI is almost always the output of those processes.

    Human Resource management doesn’t have a process in Monitor & Control process group, so no question of inputs / outputs.

    Well presented. Thanks.

  • Great hard work Fahad!

    WPD and WPI was confusing to me. Now, it’s clear to me after reading your blog.

    One of my concern is to memorize the input, tool and technique and outputs. Your comprehensive analysis also lessen my poor “Ratta”(Ability to memorize) concern as well.

  • Good work so far….Really helpful this.Please make a blog about the work authorization system,conduct procurement.

    Thanks
    Malaka

  • Thank you for taking the time to break down the concept so I can see why and when WPD is performed. When you look at input and output of each process you don’t see what is really happening. So now I can visualize that when they say raw data that generated by the iron triangle and works through the other processes to be an input into M/C Project works WPI to develop reports. When you read the PMBOK it’s hard to visualize the process as you are reading step by step processes and the project is more of a ” progressive elaboration” 🙂
    Once again
    thank you

  • Dear Fahad

    Crystal clear explanation in all your blogs, can you also mention the last updation in the heading of the blog.

    thanks a lot for the clear cut explanations!

  • Your explanation helped me clear my concept until i read Page 251 of pmbok 5:

    8.3.1.4 Work Performance Data

    Described in Section 4.3.3.2. Work performance data can include:

    Planned vs. actual technical performance,
    Planned vs. actual schedule performance, and
    Planned vs. actual cost performance.

    And all my concepts are messed up again.
    Please help.
    Usman

      • Hello Usman,

        I think you have identified a discrepancy (or possibly I’m misunderstanding it) in the PMBOK Guide.

        However, if you go to point 4.3.3.2, it explains the correct concept.

        • Thanks for your response.
          For the sake of information sharing, section 10.3.1.4 on page 305 of PMBOK says:

          10.3.1.4 Work Performance Data
          Described in Section 4.3.3.2. Work performance data organizes and summarizes the information gathered, and presents the results of comparative analysis to the performance measurement baseline.

          • My PMBOK (5th Edition) says: 10.3.1.4 Described in Section 4.3.3.2 Work performance data can include details about which communications have actually been distributed, feedback on communications, survey results on communication effectiveness, or other raw observations identified during communication activities.

            I think this supports Fahad’s explaination and perhaps PMI simply did a poor job in updating the 5th edition. @Usman, Odd that your 5th edition and mine say totally different things.

  • Thanks… very useful ….I think you may need to modify the “Summary part” under Performance report as it still refers to old terms.

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