Project Progress and Performance Measurement

Progress and performance measurements are two of the primary components required for effective project cost controls.  Knowing “Where things are at” on a project at any time requires there to be an accurate and organized way to determine what has been completed to date.

If there were only one thing to do on a project, measuring progress would be easy. When there are many thousands of things to do, measuring progress becomes a logistics challenge that necessitates a software solution like 4castplus to manage. 4castplus brings this to life with multi-layered measurement tools that provide the context for validation and transparency.

Most project managers want to make their project – or piece of a project – look good.  As a result, there is a tendency to work the numbers a bit to align the results for a favorable outcome. The progress measurement tools in 4castplus are designed to provide a series of views on progress to help qualify those numbers entered by a project manager. They are: milestone-based, unit-based, hours-based, resource-based, activity-based and schedule-based. Read on to learn more…

Milestone-based: Rules of Credit

4castplus project cost control software has an easy and flexible way to define milestone rules for how project tasks are awarded percentages of progress. Known as rules of credit, these are a powerful method for pre-determining and sizing individual task milestones. It’s a widely accepted method used to remove much of the subjectivity in establishing progress.  Permissioned users can pre-configure the milestones and define explicit rules & documents required to complete each milestone. Click here for more on cost controls using rules of credit.

Unit-based: Units of Progress

All items on the 4castplus work breakdown structure (WBS) are equipped with sizing attributes in the form of a user-defined unit of measure. This is ideal for those workpackages that are defined to be unit-based such as “cubic-yards of dirt” or “linear meters of pipeline”. 4castplus job cost tracking software has a purpose-built system for tracking these unit-based items. As they progress, 4castplus calculates the percent of progress as an additional indicator of project progress.

Hours-based: Percent of Labor Hours Consumed

The built-in 4castplus timesheet system is the perfect place to track labor hours on a project. As a key progress metric, labor hours are highly indicative of progress to date. 4castplus calculates estimated vs. actual hours at all levels of a project.

VOWD – Value of Work Done

Also known as Percent of Resources Consumed. With its built-in procurement system, 4castplus has intimate knowledge of committed resources – such as Subcontractors, Equipment and Materials – as compared with received and invoiced resources.  4castplus calculates committed versus incurred (or invoiced) at all levels of a project to provide further illumination into progress details. 4castplus can also integrate with existing enterprise supply chain management systems to synchronize procurement consumption information.

Activity-Based: Completion of Tasks and Workpackages

As tasks and workpackages are completed on a project, they can be easily marked as complete in 4castplus. The system can be tailored to calculate progress on completed items using a 0/100, 50/50 or 20/80 rule.

Schedule-Based: Percent of Schedule Elapsed

As a further indicator of progress, percent of schedule elapsed is also available as a side-by-side comparison. Similar to activity-based progress, 4castplus can be tailored to treat schedule progress using a 0/100, 50/50 or 20/80 rule.

Measuring Performance

Knowing progress leads to a calculation of performance. Project Performance is a determination of how well a project is performing to plan.  In other words, how well have the resources and time been utilized to date as compared to what was planned. It’s through these comparisons that Earned Value Management metrics are calculated.

There are further means of measuring vendor performance available in 4castplus procurement and reporting.