There has been increased interest in developing the ability to objectively assess a Program/Project executing team’s ability to successfully meet their Integrated Management Plan (IMP) goals. Using the Baseline Execution Index (BEI), DCMA uses a Project team’s Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) to status their execution by examining their actual completions relative to their Baseline Planned Completions, either for cumulative performance or current reporting period.
This still leaves a hole if you’re trying to assess the Project team’s level of success in achieving its IMP’s key events or milestone objectives. Ten Six, together with our partners at Steelray, saw an opportunity to create a capability to address this. We determined that the Project team had vertically integrated their IMS by the logical linking of their tasks or activities to their key events or milestones within their IMS. Additionally, by capitalizing upon the horizontal integration the Project team had also embedded in their IMS critical path schedule, we’d be able to evaluate the progress of the contiguous string of tasks or activities logically linked to each other and vertically integrated with the IMP’s key events or milestones.
Unlike the BEI which only looks at a Project team’s actual completions, we felt that additional fidelity was needed to better assess a team’s performance. That additional fidelity could only be achieved by looking at both actual starts and completions relative to their baseline planned starts & completions. This approach took into account the logic that if a task or activity hadn’t started per plan, it was unlikely that it would have a completion in a timely manner.
What would be the logical evaluation criteria that would yield the most information with the minimum of statistical analysis? What attributes would be able to best determine key aspects of a team’s performance? We reduced these questions into the following:
1) How well has the team been doing to date in successfully accomplishing the key event or milestone being examined?
2) What is the team’s performance on the entire contiguous string of tasks or activities driving the key event or milestone being examined?
The answer to both these questions seemed fairly obvious, since the Project team had already established all the horizontal and vertical logical linkages in their IMS that we’d need to make these assessments. To answer the first question, we simply calculated the total sum of all actual starts and completions accomplished as our numerator and the sum of the baseline planned starts and completions through the applicable reporting period as our denominator (see the first figure below). The result would yield a number ranging from < 1.00 to > 1.00 to provide us with their performance to date. A key factor here was that in the numerator, we were using all actual starts & completions accomplished against the milestone or event, even if they were for efforts planned later than the current reporting period. We refer to this ratio as the Event Performance Indicator or EPI.
To answer the second question, the overall event performance, we’d simply again use the total sum of the actual starts & completions as the numerator. But this time, we’d look at the entire string of tasks or activities Baseline start/completions leading to the key event or milestone as the denominator, regardless of whether they extend beyond the current reporting period (see the second figure below). This factor we refer to as the Overall Event Performance Indicator or OEPI.
The OEPI would have an absolute value of </= 1.00 as we approached completion of the key event or milestone being reviewed. Obviously 1.00 would equate to all its entrance criteria being successfully satisfied.
Shown in graphical form, here are the two ratios:
The users would get an analysis report that lists the key events or milestones with both the EPI and OEPI performance values. We also see the users of these evaluation metrics wanting greater detail on the results, so Steelray will offer a feature similar to their DCMA 14 point assessment tool. For each result, Steelray Project Analyzer will filter the relevant tasks directly in the IMS. In our case, the listing would consist of all of the applicable Baseline/Current/Actual information for their starts & completions that were considered in the calculations.
Steelray is working on implementing this report in an upcoming update to the Steelray Project Analyzer tool, thus adding IMP progress evaluations to its current suite of analysis tools for Program/Project Management teams.