When trying to measure the efficiency and success of your project, each step of the Performance Measurement Process lifecycle presents challenges. Strategic metrics from the beginning of the lifecycle are often hard to measure, while more tactical metrics at the end of it are either not trusted or misapplied. It’s important to understand the reason why metrics fail so that you can take proactive steps to keep them on track. Without metrics, PMOs cannot prove their worth – and therefore, become irrelevant.

The Curve from Strategic to Tactical Missteps

As you move throughout the Performance Measurement Process lifecycle, metrics issues move from more strategic in nature to more tactical. Strategic mistakes occur while planning metrics and collecting data – while staff members are newly focused on project goals. Tactical mistakes happen as metrics are utilized and presented to management. They are either intentionally misused or miscalculated to help the project look more successful – or they are unintentionally underestimated or misinterpreted due to lack of knowledge.

Why Do Metrics Fail?

The lifecycle of the Performance Measurement Process is defined differently by almost every industry. Although the lifecycle can be altered to suit the needs of your unique enterprise, it has four main parts:

  1. Define and Identify
  2. Collect and Measure
  3. Execute and Report
  4. Implement and Use

Metrics break down and deteriorate in each phase because they:

Phase One

  • Are inaccurately-defined
  • Are too complex or confusing to measure
  • Are unactionable

Phase Two

  • Are inconsistently collected (due to lack of understanding or incentives)
  • Are made up of redundant or superfluous data
  • Are conflicting or incompatible due to human error (and lack of automation)
  • Are inadequately examined for accuracy and integrity

Phase Three

  • Aren’t used with the best/right data
  • Are reported in a confusing way
  • Aren’t tailored to the correct viewing audience

Phase Four

  • Are not trusted within the PMO
  • Are misapplied to scare staff instead of motivating them
  • Are unactionable

Preventing Metrics Failures

Once the common causes of metrics failures are understood, steps can be taken to avoid them.

Projility understands the importance of metrics within the PMO. To combat metrics failures, we created our Hammerhead technology to work alongside Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft’s cloud-based Project Online. Hammerhead brings best-practice metrics and business intelligence to PMO users within easy to use, on-demand dashboards. The reporting framework can be tailored to fit any audience, and pre-built status indicators help users stay on top of their most important metrics.

Hammerhead offers:

  • Ready-to-use dashboards to take the confusion out of metric selection
  • Compatibility with Project Server and Project Online to help in automating data collection
  • Pre-built reports that provide the information appropriate for each decision maker
  • Easy user adoption with agile, visually-compelling dashboards

Perfecting the Lifecycle

The Performance Measurement Process lifecycle is never-ending for the PMO. New products and technologies introduce new metrics with every project. Identifying the root causes of metrics breakdowns is imperative to the long-term success and efficiency of the PMO.

With Hammerhead, users will no longer question the relevance of metrics or their veracity. It streamlines metrics and simplifies them, making them more transparent and practical for users of all levels. Hammerhead keeps PMOs engaged, functional, and measurable.

Projility provides expert solutions for effective change. We offer enterprise portfolio and project management solutions based on Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, with tailored dashboard reporting, analytics, and decision-making tools via our Hammerhead technology. Projility also implements professional services automation systems established on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service, and presents cloud-based strategies, migrations, and hosting solutions through Microsoft Azure. Contact us for more information.