5th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Chapter 7: Performance Reviews

1.  Introduction

In previous posts, we have talked about earned value management, forecasting, and the to-complete performance index or TCPI.   These can show the variances in the present, and the variances that will exist by the time the project is finished if the cost and/or schedule performance continue on in the same way that they are now.

The purpose of this post is to talk about performance reviews, which analyzes not only the present and or the future performance of the project, but the PAST performance as well and how it differs from the performance now on the project.

2.  Three types of performance reviews

When someone says “performance reviews”, one naturally thinks of human resource performance reviews, where the individual’s performance on the job is reviewed.   This kind of performance review is different in that it focuses on the performance of the project.

  • Variance analysis–cost variance (CV), schedule variance (SV), or variance at completion (VAC)
  • Trend analysis–compares past performance and present performance
  • Earned value performance–uses other measures from earned value management to analyze performance.

The most important thing to remember is that the analysis asks the following questions:

WHAT is the performance and how does it deviates from what it should be?

IS the trend getting better or worse?

WHAT is the cause of the variance?

It’s like diagnosing the disease of a patient if you’re a doctor.   Okay, you detect symptoms of some sort of illness.   What is the cause of the disease?   Knowing this will lead you to a cure.   Similarly, knowing the cause of the variance will lead you to propose a change, which then becomes the basis for a change request.

The next post will cover the final tool & technique used in process 7.4 Control Costs, Reserve Analysis.   How is monitoring and controlling costs related to looking at risks?   That’s the question the next post will answer.

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