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Project managing KPIs

Discover how measuring your projects performance can lead to a multitude of benefits and how to share them with your team.

Updated on: 14th November 2019

For those people who are at entry level stage in project management, the best way to achieve an efficient level of communication and clarity is through identifying and leveraging clear KPIs (key performance indicators).

Learning People | Project manager on phone

What are KPIs?

Key performance indicators are direct measurements of whether you have met a target set during a project. They can be numerical or qualitative. KPIs provide different insights into varying aspects of a project, which is useful for all team members.

They should be attributed to key parts of a project that can determine its success or failure, such as time, budget, and risk assessment. The metric measured must be controllable rather than fundamental so that it can be altered to improve performance – particularly with agile projects this metric is frequently quantified and adjusted. 

What are the benefits?

Overall, they enable you to keep track of your team’s performance and the progress of the project.

This will make it easy to feedback to any senior decision makers. By conveying where the team stands on KPIs at consistent intervals throughout a project lifecycle, anyone looking to summarise current project status will be able to quickly do so. 

It will also be possible to assess from the current KPI statuses, if there are any future problems that may be looming – for example a delay in schedule – which the team can take action to mitigate before it causes irrevocable project disruption.

Learning People | Team meeting in cafe with two professionals

How should they be decided?

When deciding on KPIs it’s important to avoid having too many, thereby creating unnecessary noise;  a situation where there are so many factors to consider that information becomes diluted. As a project manager, the SMART way of selecting your KPIs is to focus on whether they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time constrained.

If the KPI is not related to the work environment, is only being loosely monitored, has a long turnaround time, or, if it is too complicated, then it can become detrimental to the project. Ensure the KPIs you set are concise and can be discerned at a quick glance in distinctly categorised areas of your KPI reports. 

Tips for communicating KPIs to your team

Ways of displaying KPIs range from line charts, pie charts, histograms, tables, grids, speedometers, area graphs and radar plots. These categories can then be displayed in your project dashboard, which should be uncluttered and easy to navigate with KPIs split into functional areas for your team to use effectively.

Using a project management software like Monday can be a great way to display KPI’s to your team. This will also allow you to keep track of relevant subtasks, hours spent and more.

Learn to be agile

Our PMI ACP course will teach you the methodology that goes into the increasingly popular agile framework. Find out how KPIs can be used to boost project efficiency and how you should be implementing them as part of leading the task.