On the Subject of Better Progress Measurement



5 June 2024

Ref: https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pmwj141-May2024-Ozoux-better-progress-measurement-is-the-secret-2.pdf

Dear Editor

I heartily agree with — Jean Luc Ozoux’s excellent article ‘Better Progress Measurement is the secret to Successful Projects . . . — ; with one notable exception: his recommendation for weighting milestones.

I have long advocated that completed Activity Start & Stop Milestones be the only method for measuring performance; and including guesstimates of the percentage of on-going activities be assiduously avoided in the computation.

[Note:  Completed implies ‘Successful’ in terms of quality standards and functionality for the intended purpose; not simply delivered!  That principle should be especially adhered to in the IT world.  A software full of bugs is not ‘successful’ when delivered.]

To that end I have observed the dearth of milestones in many of today’s project critical path networks and precedence diagrams which I have reviewed &/or been presented to me by participants of my project management workshops; so, a standing recommendation to my participants is to ‘pepper your project‘ with activity Start &/or Stop Milestones.

However, given the milestones that are included, trying to weight their unique characteristics on a comparative quantitative scale is not only a highly complicated subjective, contentious, and lengthy process, that subsequently leads to disputatious results, it is totally unnecessary!

Regardless of their nature, size, and the intrinsic level of effort and cost to reach them, All activity and other milestones should be given equal weight for performance measurement, as all milestones have to be completed.

This simplifies the measurement process immensely; and the only difference in progress assessment is the shape of the performance curve.

See the following two slides from my Project Fundamentals Workshop.


To read entire Letter to the Editor, click here

How to cite this work: Smith, K. F. (2024). On the Subject of Better Progress Measurement, Letter to the Editor, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/pmwj142-Jun2024-Smith-on-better-progress-measurement-Letter-to-Editor.pdf