Table of content

The 10 best metrics for project management

Why use metrics for project management?

Project management is a multifaceted discipline that involves planning, executing, and overseeing projects to achieve specific goals within defined parameters such as scope, time, and budget. Using metrics is essential to ensure that projects stay on track, resources are utilised efficiently, and stakeholders are satisfied. Metrics provide objective data that helps project managers make informed decisions, identify bottlenecks, and validate project success.

The top 10 metrics for project management

1. Project Schedule Variance (SV)

Project Schedule Variance measures the difference between the planned progress and the actual progress of a project. This metric helps project managers identify delays early and take corrective actions.

  • How SV is calculated: Subtract the planned progress from the actual progress (usually measured in work hours or days).

  • Tools: Microsoft Project, Smartsheet, Trello.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: ±10% variance

  • Good: ±5% variance

  • Best in class: ±2% variance

2. Cost Performance Index (CPI)

The Cost Performance Index is a measure of how efficiently project costs are being managed. A CPI greater than 1 indicates that the project is under budget, while a CPI less than 1 indicates that the project is over budget.

  • How CPI is calculated: Divide the earned value (EV) by the actual cost (AC).

  • Tools: Primavera P6, Oracle EPPM, MS Project.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: 0.95 to 1.05

  • Good: 1.05 to 1.10

  • Best in class: >1.10

3. Resource Utilisation

Resource Utilisation measures how effectively the project's resources (human, material, and financial) are used. High resource utilisation rates indicate efficient use of resources, while low rates could suggest underutilisation.

  • How resource utilisation is calculated: Divide the actual hours worked by the available hours and multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

  • Tools: Hub Planner, Resource Guru, Float.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: 70-80%

  • Good: 80-90%

  • Best in class: 90-100%

4. Scope Creep

Scope Creep measures the extent to which the project scope expands over time without corresponding adjustments to time, cost, or resources. It is an important metric for maintaining project discipline.

  • How scope creep is calculated: Compare the initial scope to the current scope and measure the differences in deliverables or requirements.

  • Tools: Wrike, Asana,

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: 10-15%

  • Good: 5-10%

  • Best in class: <5%

5. On-time Completion Rate

The On-time Completion Rate measures the percentage of project tasks completed by their due dates. This metric is crucial for assessing the project schedule adherence.

  • How on-time completion rate is calculated: Divide the number of tasks completed on time by the total number of tasks and multiply by 100 to get a percentage.

  • Tools: Jira, MS Project, Trello.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: 70-80%

  • Good: 80-90%

  • Best in class: 90-100%

6. Budget Variance

Budget Variance measures the difference between the budgeted cost of a project and the actual cost. Keeping this variance low is critical to staying within financial constraints.

  • How budget variance is calculated: Subtract the budgeted cost from the actual cost.

  • Tools: QuickBooks, Zoho Projects, FreshBooks.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: ±10%

  • Good: ±5%

  • Best in class: <±2%

7. Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction measures how happy the project's stakeholders are with the outcome. This metric is key for assessing the project's success from the client's perspective.

  • How customer satisfaction is calculated: Typically gathered through surveys or feedback forms and analysed using a satisfaction scale (e.g., 1 to 10).

  • Tools: SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics, Typeform.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: Satisfaction score of 7-8

  • Good: Satisfaction score of 8-9

  • Best in class: Satisfaction score of 9-10

8. Risk Management

Risk Management measures the effectiveness of a project's risk management strategies. It helps in assessing how well potential issues are identified, mitigated, and managed.

  • How risk management is calculated: Evaluate the number of identified risks, mitigated risks, and the impact of realised risks against the project goals.

  • Tools: RiskWatch, LogicManager, ARM.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: 70-80% of risks effectively managed

  • Good: 80-90%

  • Best in class: 90-100%

9. Earned Value Management (EVM)

Earned Value Management is a comprehensive metric that integrates scope, schedule, and cost to assess project performance and progress. EVM helps predict future performance trends.

  • How EVM is calculated: Combine the earned value, planned value, and actual cost to monitor cost and schedule variances.

  • Tools: MS Project, Oracle Primavera, Deltek Cobra.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: CPI and SPI between 0.9 and 1.1

  • Good: CPI and SPI between 1.0 and 1.1

  • Best in class: CPI and SPI > 1.1

10. Team Productivity

Team Productivity measures the output of the project team and is a good indicator of team efficiency and morale. High productivity often correlates with successful project outcomes.

  • How team productivity is calculated: Measure the output in terms of tasks completed or milestones achieved per unit of time (e.g., per week or month).

  • Tools: Jira, Slack, Microsoft Teams.

  • Benchmarks:

  • Average: Meeting 80-90% of weekly goals

  • Good: Meeting 90-100% of weekly goals

  • Best in class: Exceeding 100% of weekly goals

How to track metrics for project management

Tracking metrics can be cumbersome if done manually, but there are many tools available to simplify the process. Using a goal-tracking tool like Tability can save time and help teams stay focused on the right metrics to improve. These tools usually offer features like progress tracking, reporting, and collaborative dashboards.

By automating data collection and reporting, project managers can focus more on analysis and strategy rather than administrative tasks. These tools also facilitate real-time monitoring, making it easier to identify issues early and make timely adjustments.


1. What are project management metrics?

Project management metrics are quantitative measures used to assess various aspects of project performance, such as schedule adherence, cost efficiency, resource utilisation, and stakeholder satisfaction.

2. Why are project management metrics important?

Metrics provide objective data that allows for informed decision-making, performance tracking, and process improvement. They help ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

3. How often should I track project management metrics?

The frequency of tracking depends on the project's scope and complexity. For most projects, weekly or bi-weekly tracking is sufficient. High-risk or fast-paced projects may require daily monitoring.

4. Can I track project management metrics manually?

While it is possible to track metrics manually, using specialised tools like Tability, MS Project, or Trello can greatly simplify the process and increase accuracy.

5. What if my project's metrics are not meeting benchmarks?

If metrics are not meeting benchmarks, it's essential to identify the root causes. This can involve re-evaluating resource allocation, revising timelines, or adjusting project scope. Continuous monitoring and adjustments are key to success.

By leveraging the right metrics, tools, and tracking practices, project managers can significantly enhance their project's chances of success.

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