Get everyone on the same page for a true bimodal project management approach

An excerpt from the Changepoint white paper, PPM + Agile: Bimodal Project Management Delivers the Best of Both Worlds.

When it comes to bimodal project and portfolio management, one of the biggest concerns is how to provide executive visibility and communicate status and metrics when each methodology uses its own set of measurements. However, that doesn’t mean that visibility and insight into the status of an initiative is unavailable, or that it’s a series of guesswork.

Instead, developing a PPM framework with standard metrics that apply to both agile and traditional projects will help your project management office (PMO) better communicate metrics and provide visibility—regardless of the execution model.

The five common metrics that enable executives to get visibility into project status, regardless of the delivery method, are outlined below:services that meet your current needs and that is flexible enough to evolve as you progress along the maturity curve.

Planned finish date

“Planned finish date” is the estimate made at the inception of a project for the planned delivery date, whereas “scheduled finish date” uses current data to estimate the finish date at any given point in time. For a traditional project, this is based on the task plan and critical path for the project. For an agile project, it is based on the release plan. Because a cone of uncertainty (see Figure 1 on page 8) exists regardless of project methodology, the accuracy of scheduled finish dates should be comparable for both traditional and agile projects. Comparing scheduled finish date to planned finish date will give an indication of the team’s ability to estimate delivery dates accurately.

Percentage complete

“Percentage complete” provides an indication of project progress. For traditional projects, it is calculated by summing the hours for completed tasks and dividing the total task hours for a project. For an agile project, progress is measured by story points delivered. Percentage complete is calculated by story points accepted divided by total story points for a project.

Scope changes

Percentage complete gives an indication of progress, but does not show if the scope is changing on a project. For traditional projects, this is typically represented by the number of change requests. For an agile project, it is typically measured by the change in total story points over time.

Actual cost vs. budget

Both traditional and agile projects have capital and operational expenses that are tracked. Actual cost vs.
budgeted cost should be reported, regardless of the project methodology.

Project health

Project health is a summary metric that indicates if a project is on track, needs attention, or is in trouble. This metric varies by organization and is calculated using conditional logic based on the four metrics above, as well as other data, such as outstanding issues. One of the simplest ways to calculate project health is to compare actual percentage complete with the expected percentage complete based on the start date and scheduled finish date (assuming the velocity of work delivery across the project timeframe is uniform). A project health status of “needs attention” or “in trouble” is often triggered when projects are not delivering business value, there are significant scope changes, costs exceed budget, or there are major unresolved issues on the project.

Providing these metrics in a dashboard format using a PPM system enables executives to quickly identify projects that require focus or intervention, regardless of the project management methodology employed for its execution.

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Get the full story in our PPM + Agile: Bimodal Project Management Delivers the Best of Both Worlds, and discover what to keep in mind when implementing a bimodal strategy.

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