Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Metrics: Resource Management

I have several requests from people asking about some of the metrics that I track on my projects. I am working on a new book of metrics and new ways of thinking about metrics. Here is a sneak peek of some of the types of metrics that I track:

Resource Management Metrics
# of times invited to a meeting
# of times showed up to the meeting
Participation type (called in, showed up in person, etc.)
# of issues assigned
# of risks assigned
# of issues resolved
# of risks resolved
# of issues introduced
# of risks introduced
# of tasks assigned
# of tasks completed on time
# of tasks completed past due
# of e-mails sent (by pm)
# of e-mails responded to

This takes the metrics just a bit beyond what we normally track. It is not all % complete or estimates. It is also about quality. For example, I had a very large project that had impact on multiple departments. One of the departments was finance. Right at go live, the finance department went to the project sponsor and said that the project should be stopped. The project manager (which was me) did not consult them or did not get their input on the project. Therefore, since finance was not consulted, the project should be stopped.

When I was called in to the Sponsor’s office, I stated that I had not gotten their input. What finance had stated was completely correct. However, they were not an identified stakeholder on the project and based on their project focus rating, they did not appear to want to be involved. Finance asked, “What do you mean by a project focus rating?” I explained that I track how many times I had invited them to meetings, asked for input, number of issues assigned, number of e-mails that were sent and went unresolved, and overall participation on the project. Based on the information that I had, they were invited to 47 meetings and never showed, 31 e-mails went unanswered, 3 issues were assigned that never were completed, and 2 direct requests for assistance were not answered. Since all I can do is facilitate, I took the 83 separate times to have them provide input as a sign that they did not want to participate. In the end, finance didn’t have a leg to stand on. If they wanted to have direct input, they could have. What happened is that they felt the project would not impact them and they blew off the project. When they finally saw that there was impact, the project was too far down the road.

This is a common occurrence in projects. This is why we have to look at metrics that go beyond. The point is that we have to manage more of the quality or focus of individuals on a project. In environments when there are tons of competing projects and priorities, it is a necessity to measure the amount of focus a resource gives to the project.

Hope this helps!



Jose' da Cruz, PMP said...


To track metrics is always a good idea.
I frequently too have some related problems. One example is lack of comentary to pertinent informational mails, just to to deny the stated issue later. Another is, even understanding the ever fulfilled agendas of each other, the habit of postponing continuosly meetings, delaying the solving of issues.

I'm from Portugal and sadly I believe these are some of the most harmful culture characteristics we must try to erradicate - procastination related.

I've enjoyed your book "Stop Playing Games!" - very enlightning. For me it was particulary useful the audio version, it speeded my lecture, thus allowing me to keep the paper version in my desk for refresh. Particulary fan of the "Pricing Game".

Keep on the Good Work!

Kelly said...

Great points!

What tool are you using to track your metrics?