Most Important Project Management KPIs You Should Be Tracking

Project Management Kpis & How To Track ThemEvery business owner has some desires, and the most common ones are:

  • Improving sales growth exponentially 
  • Staying two steps ahead of competitors 
  • Joining Fortune 500 for global recognition 

These desires are mere wishes if you don’t strive to fulfill them, right?

So, keep your cards close and track what matters most, to emerge as a winner. I mean, you must zero in on important project management KPIs and track them like a pro.  

You really need to keep a close eye on project performance indicators to make your presence felt in the business domain. According to the reports swirling on the internet, 55% of organizations struggle during their project management journey because they do not have access to real-time project KPIs.

Surprising… isn’t it?

Let’s bring the spotlight on the most important KPIs for project management, and explain what they are & why they matter. So, let’s roll:

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What Is Project KPI?

KPIs, a.k.a. key performance indicators provide performance-related insights so that you accomplish your objectives at the end without breaking a sweat. As far as project management is concerned, keeping a tab on KPIs is extremely important to evaluate how well your teams are progressing to accomplish the intended milestones.

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement.

— H. James Harrington    

Got a feeling that there would be some sort of catch? Well, I am afraid to state that your conscience is right. I won’t beat around the bush; there are numerous KPIs for project management, and tracking all of them makes no sense unless you wish to waste precious time or be drowned in the pool of insignificant data.

How to Measure Project Management KPIs

One might be feeling that I should’ve skipped this part and talked about the KPIs directly. Well, in my defense, I give you two reality checks:

  • I don’t know about the objectives you’ve set for your business projects
  • I would sacrifice my fingers if I try to write on hundreds of project performance indicators 

So, keep these factors in mind, and you will definitely learn about project key performance indicators that matter for business growth.

  • Timeliness: Concentrate on those project key performance indicators that will help you meet deadlines.
  • Budget: Stick to the budget you’ve allocated for each project by focusing on the related KPIs
  • Quality: Maintain the quality of deliverables and stay on the track simultaneously by keeping an eye out on specific project management KPIs 
  • Effectiveness: Measure you’re utilizing your time and money effectively by following particular KPIs 

Keep in mind that measuring project key performance indicators isn’t an optional choice, as you will face problems throughout the development process if you neglect them. Here, I would like to give an example of Jeff Bezos.

Amazon.com, one of the biggest e-commerce giants in the 21st century, was merely a bookshop at first. Bezos didn’t get off to a dream start, but he focused on facts, instead of losing heart. In his perspective, books are the perfect online product to sell, because they can easily be shipped, hardly get returned, and never expire.

Plus, he knew that customer behavior is pretty much quantifiable, so he started tracking shopping-related KPIs and made decisions accordingly. In addition, he trusted excel sheets comprising relevant key performance indicators, despite customer anecdotes.

8 Project KPIs Businesses Must Keep a Tab on 

Here are some details on the top 8 KPIs for project management that businesses must monitor closely:

1. Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

The worth of your hard work depends on how much clients/customers are impressed with the delivered project deliverables. If they are happy, you’ll get to capitalize on more revenue-generating opportunities or vice versa. 

Basically, this project KPI is related to the fate of your business, which makes it worthy of being tracked. To calculate the CSAT score:

Customer Satisfaction Score = (Total Survey Point Score/Total Questions) x 100

To create attention-grabbing surveys, you can use an unrivaled tool like ProProfs Survey Maker.

2. Cost Performance Index (CPI)

Project success doesn’t mean only achieving desired deliverables, as you must keep a tab on the budget. Keep one thing in mind that project cost overrun will directly raise serious questions on your business’s integrity. So, track cost performance index, a KPI that shows how well you use project funds.

To calculate the cost performance index (CPI) = Earned Value/Actual Costs

If CPI is high, you are likely to finish the project under expected costs or vice versa.

Cost Performance Index (CPI)P.S.: Earned Value shows how much project work has been completed at the specified cost, while Actual Costs reflect the money you’ve already shelled out on a project.

3. Net Promoter Score (NPS)  

Another KPI for project performance measurement is NPS. By analyzing the net promoter score, you can evaluate how long your client relationships will last. Simply put, NPS sheds light on the brand loyalty factor. 

Plus, a one-question survey is all you need to measure NPS. Results are evaluated as per ratings on a scale of 10. For instance:

Better your NPS scoreIf NPS is 6 or below, your customers are detractors. A score of 7 or 8 shows that your customers are passives, while you can consider those survey responders as brand promoters that give you 9 or 10 ratings.

4. Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

This KPI for project management is worthy of being monitored, as it helps you stick to the project baseline. SPI lets you know how well you’re performing against the set project schedule.

By monitoring this project management KPI, you can understand when you need to speed up and when you can go into a relaxed mode. Basically, you enjoy a balanced project management journey. To calculate the schedule performance index:

SPI = Earned Value/Planned Value

ICYDK: Planned value is the planned percentage of work you wish to accomplish within a particular project budget.

5. Employee Churn Rate

Employees have always been the most crucial asset of enterprises, as they are the ones that help you take your business forward.

Of course, your project team deserves a big slice of the cake, but you cannot write off the contributions of other departments in successful project delivery. It means you cannot afford to ignore the aftereffects of high employee turnover.

So, track employee churn rate, a project KPI, to ensure better retention. To calculate employee turnover rate:

Employee churn rate = (The number of left employees/The average number of employees) x 100

6. Return on Investment (ROI)

retrun-on-investmentYou put all the hard work and invest your invaluable time in the project development process, so you can make a profit at the end, right?

By monitoring ROI, a project key performance indicator, you can quantify project value and evaluate how much profit you’re likely to secure.

Another benefit you gain is that you can put the brakes on unnecessary expenses for better returns. The formula to calculate a project’s return on investment:

ROI = {(Gain from investment minus the cost of investment)/the cost of investment}

For higher ROI, exploit unparalleled project management software like ProProfs Project. Features that will delight you are:

  • Gantt charts to monitor the progress of projects
  • Insightful reports to evaluate team performance
  • Timesheets to prevent time wastage
  • Task priorities to crucial project tasks done on time 

7. Resource Capacity

To accomplish project success, you must ensure that you use available resources in the best possible manner. It is imperative to understand that your project management journey will be full of struggle if you’re short of requisite resources, so never take things lightly.

Being a business owner, you must track resource capacity, a project management KPI that lets you keep a close eye on your assets.

Resource Capacity = (The number of project executives) x (The percentage of time that project executives are available for work)  

8. Budget Variance

Budget is one of the triple constraints of the project. Therefore, keeping it in check is fundamental. In case the project budget runs amok, your business’s credibility will be questioned for sure. So, do everything in your power to preempt the problem of budget overrun.

For the same, you can track project management KPI, budget variance. To calculate it, use this formula:

Budget variance = {(Planned budget - Actual spend)/ Planned budget}

Final Few Words:

There are so many factors included in the project, but you have to focus on what matters from the business’s perspective. I have already told you how to do so, haven’t I? Here’s a quick reminder; Choose and monitor those KPIs that justify at least any one of these factors ‘Timeliness,’ ‘Budget,’ ‘Quality,’ and ‘Effectiveness.’

Albeit, I have brought some KPIs to light, but you can discover more project performance indicators by simply keeping your business’s requirements in mind.

Thanks for being with me till the end!


FAQs

Q. How do you measure KPI in project management?

Out of thousands of project management KPIs, you need to concentrate on those that revolve around ‘Timeliness,’ ‘Budget,’ ‘Quality,’ and ‘Effectiveness.’

You can even understand the importance of some KPIs by simply getting an idea from their name. For example, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, etc.

Q. What are the different types of KPIs?

The different types of Project KPIs are:

  • Timeliness KPIs
  • Budget KPIs
  • Timeliness KPIs
  • Budget KPIs
  • Quality KPIs
  • Effectiveness KPIs

Q. What is Project KPI management?

Project KPI management is a process that you must follow to set, monitor, and analyze specific project performance indicators. It is a very important process as far as you want to stick to the project baseline.

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About the author

David is a Project Management expert. He has been published in Jeffbullas.com, Hr.com, and eLearningIndustry. As a project planning and execution expert at ProProfs, he has offered a unique outlook on improving workflows and team efficiency.

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