The Challenge of Predictive Metrics


By Mark Phillips

Michigan, USA

Predictive project performance metrics seek to uncover issues that may later manifest themselves as unproductive conflict. This conflict can take place in the realm of stakeholder expectations, such as being late, over-budget or not what the stakeholder wanted. It can also take place within the project delivery team, such as a misunderstanding on what the next steps are, interpersonal conflict or a disconnect in framing assumptions.

In the right environment, conflict can be very productive. It can help uncover unspoken issues or surface new ideas and opportunities. In the wrong environment, conflict is counter-productive. It is a significant contributor to cost over-runs and schedule delays, as well as impacting human performance on projects.

Where an environment is not conducive to conflict, predictive metrics are often preferred. The belief being it is preferable to have metrics rather than unproductive conflict. The thought is that metrics can enable managers to reduce conflict, minimize the potential impact of potential conflict or, in some way, do something ahead of time that improves the performance of the project.


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About the Author 

140616-pmwj24-phillips-IMAGEMark Phillips flag-usa

Michigan, USA

Mark Phillips is the author of Reinventing Communication, a book about project management, system design and complexity from Gower Publishing. Mark is an accomplished CEO and thought leader with a passion for Project Communication.

For over 17 years he has built a project management software company and consultancy, serving clients including multinational automotives, web start-ups, global telecoms and financial service providers. He led product development on a cutting-edge U.S. Army Research Lab program.

His work has appeared in publications including C|Net, eWeek, the Small Wars Journal, Project Manager Today, the Measurable News and the APM blog. He delivers keynotes, seminars and workshops worldwide. He is a board member of the College of Performance Management. Mark holds a Masters in Applied Economics from University of Michigan and B.Sc. [Econ] from the London School of Economics. He is a certified Project Management Professional. Mark can be contacted through the ReinventingCommunication website.

Information about his book Reinventing Communication can be found on the Gower Publishing website or on Amazon.