The Most Important Project Management Analytics You Should Constantly Track
Analytics have become a major part of modern project management. They are used in virtually every process, and your project management software should be capable of detailing information regarding the different types of analytics being used in your project. However, there can be many different types of analytics, and you need to know which are the most important.
Project Management Analytics Must Include Time Management Metrics
Time is everything in project management. You need to know how much time you have used, how much time is remaining and how much time is needed or used on different resources. In other words, how many hours are workers putting in this week, and what is the average length of hours worked daily?
Each of these questions can be used to define better ways of managing time in your project, which may include changes in workdays or allocation of resources. Ultimately, the most important analytics derive variables for better time management.
Percent Complete Versus Planned Complete Analytics
How closely your project currently aligns with the original time frame is essential to delivering your project on time. As a result, you should constantly track the metrics for percentage complete and the planned percentage complete. Furthermore, the quantifiable difference between these metrics helps you identify if your project will be delivered on time. Yet, this also can indicate the presence of unforeseen problems, such as unnecessary delays in tasks and activities.
Every task or activity in a project has an associated cost. It may be the actual cost of raw materials or even the labor cost. However, changes in project scope can dramatically impact the overall cost of a project. Consequently, you need to track the current and planned costs of your project. This will help you identify when your existing changes or other processes are starting to divert from the planned budget.
Changes in Project Scope
Similar to tracking cost metrics, you need to carefully monitor changes in project scope. While some accommodation of changes is usually necessary, excess changes in project scope can leave a project manager grasping for straws.
The project manager should define an acceptable amount of project scope, and the adherence to the original scope should be tracked throughout a project. As a result, project managers can make data-based decisions when requests to change the project’s scope are made.
Risk and Quality
Risk and quality are the final types of analytics needed to effectively manage a project. The project manager needs to know how likely risks are to impact a project, the severity of the impact and available solutions can be deployed to be the most effective. But, this part of project management also involves the quality of a project. In a sense, quality outcomes are the direct result of efficient, effective risk management.
Ultimately, small processes to ensure quality help to prevent the development of major problems later in a project.
As a project manager, you need to understand how analytics can reduce your workload and enhance the outcome of your project. Rather than randomly selecting analytics for your operation, you should constantly track these five types of analytics throughout your project.
- Use analytics to carefully monitor the time spent on your project.
- Track variables dealing with the percentage complete of your project, including original plan adherence.
- Track cost metrics, and use analytics to identify and manage the relationship between cost and changes in project scope.
- Use quality and risk analytics to effectively manage risk and ensure the success of your project.