Here's an excerpt from this whitepaper: "The hallmark of a high performing organization is the cultivation, use, and continuous improvement of their processes used to monitor and evaluate performance. As such, many organizations continue to struggle to reach a high level of performance in delivering projects, not because they don’t have project management processes, but because these processes fail to identify, track and act upon project data which indicate project health – both good and bad. Additionally, these organizations fail to use lessons learned from one project to improve their project management practices in subsequent projects.
During my naval career, I was involved in the construction and delivery of two new nuclear-powered fast attack submarines, the USS Missouri (SSN 780) and the USS Illinois (SSN 786). Both of these machines were constructed over a prolonged period and with extensive Work Breakdown Schedules (WBS). Both were delivered early and within budget because Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were effectively used to signal the Project Manager’s (PM) and stakeholders’ action. By appropriately responding to KPIs, the PMs were effective in managing resource allocation to meet most milestones on time or early, enabling project success. Contrast this with a project that has a poor WBS and/or doesn’t effectively use metrics and KPIs. This project will struggle because metrics or KPIs are not available to signal a need for a change. A poor WBS means resources are not closely coupled to tasks and costs, and stakeholders are unable to monitor project progress. This project will likely result in missed project milestones and significant stakeholder dissatisfaction. But this disappointment can be avoided!"
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