Performance measurement by simple definition is the process of gathering, analyzing, and or recording information relating to the performance of a project, an organization, a system, a group, a component, or an individual. It normally encompasses the study of strategies and process used in a project (National Cooperative Highway Research Program., National Research Council (U.S.), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials., United States. & Cambridge Systematics, 2008). Project managers develop performance management systems to be able to ascertain on whether or not their output matches what was intended. With this being the case, they are able to ascertain if their original objectives are being met or not. As result, performance management systems have enabled project managers to adopt ways which will make the project succeed.
Project management is often carried out under some constraints/parameters like scope, quality, budget and time. These often pose a challenge to the accomplishment of the project goals. Project management follows a similar process or pattern. It carried out in five main stages.
To manage any project it will be vital to have in mind the three constraints of time, performance and budget. Time will be managed by always keeping the project team on track for them to have schedules and meet deadlines. The budget will be managed by the monetary resource control with effect to the financial plan of the project. Performance measurement ought to be created for all projects basing them on their scopes and objectives/goals of all the stakeholders. Project scheduling involves providing information concerning the tasks to be carried out in the project, the resources (skills and equipment) required to undertake the project, the approximate duration the project is likely to take, as well as the deadlines to be observed in the project (Mishra & Soota, 2005). A good project schedule should be fully detailed to show how, when, where and who (including name) is supposed to perform a certain activity. The schedule should also indicate the starting date of the project and the end date for each task.
The paper will analyze three performance measures which have been applicable to many project settings. They are;
The three have some similarities and differences and each is very effective when used as a method to measure the success of the outcomes of projects (Harbor, 1997). The first one speed is used to represent the production process movement rate or in other words the projects final product rate. In this speed is very different from time as time measures the project schedule while speed is representing the pace it takes for the final product to function. For example in a construction project it can be said that wall blocks are constructed at the rate of 50 wall blocks per hour. The speed will be measuring the performance levels and if they are what the customer was promised.
Accuracy which is another useful performance measure can measure for instance the quality of the block walls made this will meet the expectations of the client and build the reputation of the project company. Detective blocks ought to be minimized at all events of the project. The walls’ accuracy could be measured using the block defect proportion to the total walls built. The accuracy level should be more than 90% for it to be able to meet the client’s and to have a quality project. This performance measure method is vital as it shows how well the project system functions on actual basis. The project can be on time and on a good budget but not accurate thus failing to meet the constraint of performance.
Volume which is the third performance measure is vital as it will measure the total number of quality products in a project distributed to the clients at any event. For example at an event of 6 hours the project company may expect to produce 300 block walls. This differs with the speed as a machine is likely to go down hence slowing the production rate. When this happens the production manager will have to go to overtime to ensure the promised outcome volume is delivered which means that the speed performance measure can be less than it was expected but the volume measurement shall have been met successfully.
All the three performance measures (speed, accuracy and volume) are significant indicators to the performance of a project. They are similar in that they are used toi revel the success of the project and not with respect to timeframe and the budget. They allow benchmark setting which shall represent the performance expected by the project leaders. The benchmarks ought to be ‘SMART’ which means specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and lastly time oriented. Speed, accuracy and volume can be said to me ‘SMART’ as they are precise indicators which can be gauged and people held accountable for their success or failure.
The three performance measures are also similar in that they can be used for a broad range of projects. This means they can be applied easily to any project’s constraint of performance.
Though they are quite similar, they have some differences and one difference is how they are measured. It can be said the volume and speed are quantifiable measures as speed shall be represented always by a rate like kg/hr., miles/hour, or beats/min. similarly volume will be measured by numbers which are quantifiable like cubic metres,numbers of blocks and so forth. On the contrast, accuracy can only have a qualifiable measure and it can be for example measured by how well an event unfolds according to what was planned. It cannot be expressed in numbers or ratios or percentage and it relates to the quality of the finished products.