May 18, 2010

Searching for Best-Practice Examples of Measures ... and Measurement Programs

Posted by Deborah Bigelow Crawford in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

In the Measuring Performance workshop that I teach for PMI, I am often asked for specific measures can be used to prove the value of the PMO to executives.  Of course, our own Value Measurement system includes a number of measures of this type, from numbers of projects completed in a certain time frame, to reductions in cycle time, to customer satisfaction measures. But I’m curious if any of our readers have gathered specific project performance measures within their PMOs that have led to other value measures that I could use as examples in my workshops in order to provide more variety to the participants.


I'm also interested in how many companies are pursuing establishing a baseline for project management performance. A recent research study by PM College (results forthcoming soon in a new white paper) showed that, even among large, sophisticated companies, linking the value of improved project management to improvements in business metrics (ROI, profitability, time-to-market and the like) is still in its infancy. Have some of our readers advanced further - if not walking, perhaps crawling?


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    2 Comments on Searching for Best-Practice Examples of Measures ... and Measurement Programs

    Paul Lombard says:

      Thanks for a great question.  One challenge corporations have had is to define performance measures that are focused on the customers. A couple of years ago, I heard a story about a large delivery company that decided to start to measure the amount of time a delivery driver stopped at a given location. Their goal was to improve performance and reduce costs by shortening the delivery stop time and thus increase the number of stops a driver could make in a given week. They began the program and did get the drivers to be efficient and spend less time at each location, but unfortunately, they also received some unexpected results; drops in sales. The reason? Those drivers represented the outside world to the people who worked at each location. They loved to ask the drivers about weather, traffic, etc. The drivers under pressure to be fast became less friendly, more sanitary and as a result were perceived as less customer friendly. Several companies decided to switch to other, friendlier companies who weren’t so hurried.
      Any performance measure for projects, programs or Portfolios should be good for the customer (internal or external) as well as the organization. Obviously, these will vary based upon the organization.

    Posted on May 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Debbie BIgelow Crawford says:

    I agree, Paul.  In the Transforming Performance Measurement Book, they give a similar instance with a call center.  Where call center measures are most commonly used to drive quick response and low costs, rather than customer insight and cross-sales to grow the business.  Ironically, by the existing measurement system that was in place, the faster the reps hung up on customers, the better was their performance!  So, it is a good caution to make sure you truly think through your objective!  Why are you doing this?  I tell the students in my class to continue to ask that question throughout the execution…so they never forget…and the reason for the measurement always makes sense!

    Posted on June 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm

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