Measuring projects!

In this episode of the adventures of Mr. T., he learns with his friends how useful it is to measure projects and understand its complexities!

I’m not going to enter in detail of what happened in the book (I read this chapter a few weeks ago, and I almost don’t remember the subjacent story), but I remember it is all about metrics!

“measuring tape” by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY

The metrics are the unit of measurement of something; in our case, we are talking about projects. The projects can have a vast quantity of metrics like:

  • The cost
  • Issues
  • Tasks
  • Time

These metrics are arbitrary to parameters we can use for almost everything, not only software development, and because of this, sometimes they are not that useful. And while starting the project is essential to create at least some subjective units that may be used to understand the complexity and the reach of the project.

The Project Management Institute says that the metrics should agree with specific characteristics:

  • Performance
  • Stability
  • Compliance
  • Capability
  • Improvement

Some times defining the metrics is a difficult task depending on the characteristics of the project, so it’s important to look back and see how other projects in the organization (or even outside of it) have to tackle them; this is recollecting archeological data.

The metrics we selected were ones we could use to see if there was a pattern across the various projects we managed within Technical Services. The purpose was not just to supply data for reports but instead to provide data with predictive, future-oriented value

again the PMI

The metrics are not just numbers to determine the value of our project but are a way to determine the future status of the project itself. By comparing our estimated values with the real values, we can define different approaches on the next steps of the project. It’s important to know that:

“At the same time, metrics are useful only if they are just that – useful. Tracking metrics just to have something to put on your status report is not effective use of your time, or your team’s time. “- Crystal Lee at Cprime

So yeah, that was basically what Mr. T. and his friends might have learned through this chapter!

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