Project Metrics

Project Metrics

Project Metrics Jonathan Poland

Project metrics are methods for measuring the progress and performance of a project. They are typically tracked continuously in order to provide management with information that can be used to steer and manage the project. Many project metrics reveal whether a project is on schedule and budget, while others measure secondary factors such as risk. By using project metrics, organizations can monitor the status and performance of their projects and make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and address any issues that may arise. The following are common project metrics.

Actual Cost
The total expenditures of a project or activity to date.

Defect Density
The number of defects expressed as a ratio to complexity. For example, defects per thousand lines of code is a common measure of defect density. Used as an indicator of deliverable quality.

Defect Resolution Rate
The percentage of defects that are currently resolved, often reported by defect severity. Used as an indicator of release quality.

Cost Performance Index
The ratio of earned value to actual cost. Measures the percentage of expenditures that have achieved a deliverable.

Cost Variance
The amount that a project is over or under budget at a point in time. Calculated as earned value – actual cost.

Design Stability
The number of change requests that have required design or architecture changes.

Earned Value
Earned value is the budget authorized for work completed. It is used to measure how much you have delivered to date as a financial figure.

Estimate To Complete
Estimate to complete is the cost required to complete the remaining work for a project or activity at a point in time.

Estimated Time To Complete
The estimated time required to complete the remaining work for a project or activity.

Milestone Achievement
The percentage of project milestones that are met successfully.

Payback Period
The amount of time for an investment in a project to break even, often expressed in months.

Percent Complete
An estimate of the currently completed portion of work for activities and the project as a whole.

Project Velocity
The amount of work that a team completes in a sprint often measured in story points. A common agile metric.

Requirements Volatility
The sum of all changes to requirements including new, changed and dropped requirements. Often expressed as a percentage of the original number of requirements. For example, if there are 20 changes and there were 100 original requirements, requirements volatility is (20/100)*100 = 20%.

Resource Utilization
The percentage of available hours for assigned resources that are currently being charged to project activities. A figure over 100% indicates overtime.

Return On Investment
The projected return for a project investment.

Risk Exposure
The total risk the project currently faces after risk treatment. Project risk is typically modeled with risk matrices. It is calculated as the sum of all probabilities × impacts for identified risks.

Risk Management Effectiveness
The percentage of project issues that were identified as risks and managed in advance of the event.

Schedule Performance Index
The ratio of earned value to planned value.

Schedule Variance
The difference between committed dates and actual dates in days.

Scope Changes
The number of change requests that have resulted in a change to scope. An indicator of project stability.

Story Points
The number of story points yet to be completed. Commonly used to measure epics and sprints for agile projects. Typically depicted on a burn down chart that plots outstanding story points versus time.

Variance At Completion
The budget surplus or deficit at completion of a project.

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