30 Project Management KPIs You Should Track in 2024

Master these 30 essential project management KPIs to enhance efficiency and achieve your project goals effectively. Contact us for more information!
30 Project Management KPIs You Should Track in 2024
Master these 30 essential project management KPIs to enhance efficiency and achieve your project goals effectively. Contact us for more information!

At ClearPoint Strategy, we understand that tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial for the success of any project. But how do you know what to measure for each project? Overwhelming your team with data won't make the project succeed, but providing the right data, at the right time, ensures the project stays on course.

Our comprehensive Project Management software helps project managers gain valuable insights, streamline processes, and drive their projects toward success. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential KPIs you should track to ensure your projects are on the right path.

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For a more comprehensive overview of what a KPI is, read our blog “What Are KPIs? 30 Examples for Finance, HR, Process, etc.”

Project management can be a juggling act, but with the right tools, you can stay on top of your game. In this guide, we'll uncover 30 essential project management KPIs that can help you achieve your goals in 2024.

What Are Project Management KPIs?

Traditionally, project success was measured by staying on schedule and under budget. While those factors remain crucial, today's project managers recognize the need for a more comprehensive approach. 

Modern project management demands a deeper understanding of whether initiatives are truly delivering value, whether resources are being optimized, and whether stakeholders are satisfied.

This is where KPIs step in. Project Management KPIs are quantifiable metrics that illuminate the effectiveness of your project in achieving its core objectives. By diligently tracking the appropriate KPIs, you can:

  • Proactively Mitigate Risks: KPIs act as early warning signals, alerting you to potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
  • Facilitate Data-Driven Decision-Making: Rather than relying on intuition, KPIs provide objective data to inform your choices and steer your project towards success.
  • Foster Alignment and Collaboration: KPIs establish a shared understanding of project progress, ensuring all team members and stakeholders are working cohesively towards the same goals.
  • Demonstrate Tangible Value: Positive KPI results showcase the measurable impact of your project, justifying its value to the organization.

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Types of KPIs in Project Management

Today’s project managers use a variety of KPIs, which generally fall into these four categories:

  • Timeliness: This is making sure your project is done on time—and if it’s not, tracking where it’s off-target is important so you can always have an estimated completion date.
  • Budget: Are you going to stay under the budget you’ve allocated, or is the project exceeding costs?
  • Quality: How well has the project progressed? Are those working on it or benefitting from it satisfied?
  • Effectiveness: Are you spending your time and money appropriately, or could you be managing the project more effectively?

Leading KPIs vs. Lagging KPIs

Understanding the difference between leading and lagging KPIs is crucial for proactive project management:

  • Leading Indicators: These metrics predict future performance and provide early signals of potential issues. Examples include "Customer Feedback Scores," which can indicate future customer satisfaction trends.
  • Lagging Indicators: These metrics reflect past performance and show whether project goals have been met. Examples include "Number of Customer Complaints," which indicates past issues that need addressing.

Leading indicators are proactive, allowing you to take corrective actions early, while lagging indicators help assess the success of completed activities.

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The Four Pillars of Project Management KPI Success

Before delving into specific metrics, let's establish a solid foundation for utilizing KPIs effectively:

  1. Embrace the SMART Framework: Craft KPIs that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Avoid vague goals like "enhance performance." Instead, define a concrete, quantifiable target such as "increase user engagement by 20% within the next six months."
  2. Prioritize Essential Metrics: Resist the temptation to track every conceivable metric. Focus on a select few KPIs that are most aligned with your project's overarching objectives.
  3. Set Realistic Expectations: Utilize historical data, industry benchmarks, or expert insights to establish achievable targets for your KPIs.
  4. Periodically Reassess and Refine: If a KPI no longer yields meaningful insights, don't hesitate to discard it. Continuously evaluate the relevance of your chosen metrics and adjust as needed.

An appropriate KPI for your local government might be to increase the number of affordable housing units, with a target of rehabilitating 1,000 existing structures per year to meet public needs. This KPI is SMART because it’s specific (pertaining to rehabilitating structures to create affordable housing units), measurable (it has a target number), attainable (it’s doable with the right strategies), relevant (it directly impacts goal achievement), and time-bound (it’s measured yearly).

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30 Critical Project Management KPIs Examples

Below are four categories containing 28 sample KPIs for project management. You will not need all these measures, but hopefully they will help you think about better ways to manage your projects.

These KPIs can be applied to any project management methodology you use.

Timeliness KPIs

  1. Cycle Time: The time needed to complete a certain task or activity. This is helpful for repeated tasks in a project.
  2. On-Time Completion Percentage: Whether or not an assignment or task is completed by a given deadline.
  3. Time Spent: The amount of time that is spent on the project by all team members—or, if you like, by each team member individually.
  4. Number Of Adjustments To The Schedule: How many times your team has made adjustments to the completion date of the project as a whole.
  5. FTE Days Vs. Calendar Days: How much time your team is spending on a project by calendar days, hours, and/or full-time equivalent work days.
  6. Planned Hours Vs. Time Spent: How much time you estimated a project would take versus actual hours. If the time spent differs from the amount of time anticipated, it’s a flag that you underestimated the resource allocation or budget, and your timeline may be affected.
  7. Resource Capacity: The number of individuals working on a project multiplied by the percent of time they have available to work on it. This project KPI helps to properly allocate resources (and determine any hiring needs) and set an accurate project completion timeline.
  8. Resource Conflict YOY: Comparing the number of projects with resource conflicts year over year (YOY). Not having the resources to complete projects or having employees assigned to several projects at a time can lower efficacy. KPIs that compare these conflicts will show whether the situation is a persistent problem or one-off situation that needs to be addressed.

Budget KPIs

  1. Budget Variance: How much the actual budget varies from the projected budget. To track this KPI, measure how close the baseline amount of expenses or revenue is to the expected value.
  2. Budget Creation (Or Revision) Cycle Time: The time needed to formulate an organization’s budget. This includes the total duration of research, planning, and coming to a final agreement.
  3. Line Items In Budget: Line items helps owners and managers keep track of individual expenditures—and provide a more detailed way to see how the budget was spent.
  4. Number Of Budget Iterations: The number of budget versions produced before its final approval. A higher number of budget iterations means more time is being spent planning and finalizing a budget.
  5. Planned Value: The value of what’s left to complete in a project—in other words, the planned cost of what still needs to be done. For example, if you have a $20K budget and 30 percent of the project remaining, the planned value of the remaining work is $6K. Use this project KPI to compare against the actual cost and adjust the budget if needed.
  6. Cost Performance Index: Compares the budgeted cost of the work you’ve accomplished so far to the actual amount spent. This is a ratio to measure the expense efficiency of a project—earned value divided by actual costs.

Understand changes in your key performance indicators using this FREE KPI Dashboard

Quality KPIs

  1. Customer Satisfaction/Loyalty: Whether someone is satisfied and would come back again. This can be measured effectively by a survey. This comes more into play when the project deals directly with a client or customer.
  2. Stakeholder Satisfaction: Expand your focus beyond customers and assess the satisfaction of all stakeholders involved in the project, including team members, sponsors, and suppliers. Regularly gather feedback to ensure their needs and expectations are met throughout the project lifecycle.
  3. Net Promoter Score: Similar to customer satisfaction and loyalty, NPS (or Net Promoter Score) is a user satisfaction KPI measured by a one-question survey whose purpose is to gauge brand loyalty.
  4. Number Of Errors: How often things need to be redone during the project. This is the number of times you have to redo and rework something, which affects budget revisions and calendar revisions as well.
  5. Customer Complaints: Keep in mind that the “customer” of a project could be someone internal—does someone from your organization complain because someone else isn’t getting things done?
  6. Employee Churn Rate: The number or percentage of team members who have left the company. If your project teams have high turnover, it might indicate the need to improve management and the work environment. Churn ultimately slows down projects and creates higher costs for the company in the long run.

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Effectiveness KPIs

  1. Average Cost Per Hour: This measures the effort needed to complete a project, including employee salaries, benefits, office space, equipment, and more. Tracking this average and comparing it to project outcomes helps you determine if your employees’ time was used effectively.
  2. Resource Profitability: Calculating resource profitability helps you understand if your team members’ time is being used effectively. You’ll need Average Cost Per Hour and billing rates to do this calculation.
  3. Number Of Project Milestones Completed On Time With Sign Off: There are different parts within a project—are they being completed in a timely manner? Additionally, were the milestones completed and approved by the owner or buyer?
  4. Number Of Returns: If you have a capital project that requires many parts, you may track the return rate of those parts. This helps you see if you did a good job planning or adjusting to the project during implementation.
  5. Training/Research Needed For Project: You may track this in hours, number of courses, or something similar. If you need to do a lot of this, your project might get started later than you hope. Another way of looking at this is asking, “What percent of resources did you have at the beginning of the project that were qualified to immediately begin working on the project?”
  6. Number Of Canceled Projects: Tracking how many projects have been paused or eliminated. A high number of canceled projects could indicate a lack of planning, lack of goal alignment, or an inability to take on new projects.
  7. Number Of Change Requests: The number and frequency of changes requested by a client to an established scope of work. Too many changes can negatively affect budgets, resources, timelines, and overall quality.
  8. Billable Utilization: The percentage of project hours you can bill to a client. Billable hours relate to revenue-generating, project-related tasks, whereas unbillable hours are typically more administrative, including things like drafting and negotiating proposals.
  9. Risk Management Effectiveness: This measures how effectively the project team is able to identify, assess, and manage risks that arise during the course of the project. It can be assessed by looking at the number of risks that were identified versus the number that were successfully mitigated or resolved, the impact of any risks that were not mitigated, and the timeliness of the risk management actions. A high level of risk management effectiveness indicates that the project team is able to proactively address risks and minimize their impact on the project, while a low level of effectiveness may indicate that risks are not being properly addressed, which could lead to project delays, budget overruns, or other issues.

You want to understand your project's effectiveness and timeliness in one snapshot. Use this free Project Status Dashboard

Bonus Project Management KPI

  1. Return On Investment (ROI): Encompassing all the previous four KPI categories, ROI calculations measure a project's financial value relative to its cost. Will the project cause a positive payback for the company or client? What is its financial potential or value? Are there other projects or investments that would yield a higher ROI? This KPI is often used when determining whether to initiate a project, or to compare the value of two different projects. It can also be used as a program management KPI, to evaluate the impact of a portfolio of projects.

And remember: Your KPIs should be agreed upon by all involved parties before initiating a project, and then measured and monitored as a tool for decision-making during the project.

Why Use KPIs in Project Management

By tracking and analyzing KPIs, you gain a crystal-clear view of your project's health. KPIs allow you to:

  • Anticipate and Mitigate Risks: Think of KPIs as your project's early warning system. They detect deviations from the plan early on, giving you time to course-correct before minor issues escalate into major setbacks.
  • Make Informed, Data-Driven Decisions: Gut feelings are great, but they shouldn't be the basis of your project decisions. KPIs provide concrete evidence, allowing you to make strategic choices rooted in data.
  • Facilitate Transparency and Accountability: KPIs create a shared language among stakeholders, fostering a collaborative environment where everyone understands their role in project success.
  • Showcase Measurable Value: Positive KPI results aren't just a pat on the back for the project team; they're tangible proof of the value your project brings to the organization, justifying the investment and effort.

KPIs empower you to manage projects with confidence, clarity, and precision.

How to Select Project Management KPIs Effectively

Choosing the right KPIs is like assembling a well-balanced team—each member brings a unique skill set to the table. Here's how to select KPIs that will truly empower your project:

  1. Align with Project Goals: Ensure your KPIs directly measure the key objectives outlined in your project plan.
  2. Keep It Simple: Don't overcomplicate things. Choose KPIs that are easy to understand and track, even for non-technical stakeholders.
  3. Focus on Actionable Insights: Your KPIs should provide clear signals that prompt you to take specific actions to improve project performance.
  4. Consider Stakeholder Needs: Involve stakeholders in the KPI selection process to ensure their priorities and concerns are addressed.

Remember, the goal is not to track every possible metric but to focus on the handful that truly matter for your project's success.

Project Management KPIs Dashboard Software for Tracking

KPIs are only as valuable as the insights you derive from them. Turning raw data into actionable intelligence requires effective reporting and visualization tools. 

Effective reporting and visualization are essential for communicating KPI data clearly and concisely. Here are some best practices:

  • Dashboards: Use visual dashboards to provide real-time insights into KPI performance, making it easy to track progress and identify issues.
  • Regular Reports: Generate periodic reports to keep stakeholders informed about the project's status and any necessary adjustments.
  • Tailored Presentations: Customize presentations for different audiences, ensuring that executives, team members, and clients receive relevant information in an understandable format.

Project Management software like ClearPoint Strategy comes handy for automated reporting.

ClearPoint Strategy simplifies the complex world of KPI reporting and visualization, empowering project managers to:

  • Create Dynamic Dashboards: Visually track your KPIs in real-time with customizable dashboards that provide a comprehensive overview of your project's performance.
  • Generate Automated Reports: Say goodbye to manual report generation. ClearPoint Strategy automates the process, saving you valuable time and effort.
  • Communicate Effectively with Stakeholders: Share visually compelling reports that highlight key insights and trends, ensuring everyone stays informed and aligned.
  • Make Data-Driven Decisions: Leverage ClearPoint Strategy's powerful analytics to identify areas for improvement, optimize resource allocation, and drive project success.

ClearPoint’s intuitive interface and robust features make it the ideal solution for project managers who want to transform data into action. With ClearPoint, you can:

  • Track Progress: Monitor your KPIs against targets, identify deviations from the plan, and take corrective action promptly.
  • Spot Trends: Analyze historical data to identify patterns and trends, allowing you to anticipate future challenges and opportunities.
  • Collaborate with Ease: Share dashboards and reports with stakeholders, fostering transparency and collaboration.

Elevate your project management game with ClearPoint. Don't just track your KPIs—understand them and use them to achieve extraordinary results.

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KPIs in Project Management: Key Points to Remember

A project has many moving parts regardless of what project management methodology (like waterfall or agile) you use. It is critical that you measure the timeliness, budget, quality, and effectiveness of the project along the way. 

You need to be sure you are able to execute on these projects effectively with a limited budget—because resources aren’t unlimited. (If you had unlimited resources, you’d probably do things a lot differently!)

If you need some assistance managing your project portfolio, we have just the thing for you. Our Project Management Field Guide walks you through how to differentiate between all things project-related, how to determine if you’re working on the right project, and a step-by-step process to help you prioritize projects. And once you have your project portfolio, you can easily track the KPIs for each project and automate your reporting with a tool like ClearPoint.‍

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Future Trends in KPI Management

The KPIs world is constantly evolving. Here's what we think the future holds:

  • Predictive Analytics: Harness the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to forecast project outcomes based on historical and real-time KPI data.
  • Real-time Monitoring: Leverage technology to track KPIs continuously, enabling you to respond to issues as they arise rather than after the fact.
  • Integration with Other Systems: Seamlessly integrate KPI data with other project management tools, such as resource planning or risk management systems, for a holistic view of your project.

Start Tracking Your Project Management KPIs with ClearPoint Strategy Software

Ready to take project management to new heights? Discover how ClearPoint Strategy can transform your approach to tracking and achieving your project KPIs. With our intuitive platform, you'll gain valuable insights, streamline your processes, and drive your projects toward success with precision and ease.

Book your FREE demo today and take the first step towards mastering your project management challenges.

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FAQ:

How do you measure success in project management?

Project management success isn't just about crossing the finish line. It's measured by evaluating a blend of factors, including whether the project was completed on time, stayed within budget, met the quality standards, and achieved its intended goals. Success also hinges on stakeholder satisfaction—did the project fulfill the needs and expectations of everyone involved? By tracking a set of well-defined KPIs, you can paint a comprehensive picture of your project's success. Try ClearPoint Strategy for free, a strategy planning and execution tool for project management. Claim your FREE 1-on-1 DEMO now!

How do you measure project management productivity?

Measuring productivity in project management is about understanding the efficiency and effectiveness of your team's efforts. It's not just about the hours logged but the value created during those hours. You can gauge productivity by examining KPIs such as the average cost per hour, the number of project milestones completed on time, and the billable utilization rate. These metrics help you assess whether your team is using their time wisely and contributing to the project's objectives in a meaningful way.

How do you measure project progress and performance?

Measuring project performance and progress involves a meticulous look at where you are versus where you should be. You must track KPIs across different dimensions: timeliness, budget, quality, and effectiveness. Are you on schedule? Is the budget on track? Is the quality up to standard? Are the resources being used efficiently? By regularly monitoring these KPIs (key performance indicators), you can assess the project's trajectory, identify deviations from the plan, and implement corrective actions to ensure the project remains aligned with its objectives. Track your KPIs in ClearPoint Strategy, a strategy planning and execution tool for project management.

What are KPIs in project management?

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in project management include:

- Project Schedule Variance: Measures the difference between the planned timeline and the actual timeline.

- Cost Performance Index (CPI): Assesses the cost efficiency of the project by comparing the budgeted cost of work performed to the actual cost.

- Resource Utilization: Tracks how effectively project resources (e.g., personnel, equipment) are being used.

- Scope Changes: Monitors the number and impact of changes to the project scope.

- Quality Metrics: Evaluates the quality of project deliverables against defined standards.

- Customer Satisfaction: Measures stakeholder satisfaction with the project outcomes.

‍How do you track KPIs in project management?

To track KPIs in project management:

- Define Clear KPIs: Establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) KPIs aligned with project goals.

- Use Project Management Software: Utilize tools like ClearPoint Strategy to track progress and visualize data.

- Collect and Analyze Data: Regularly gather data related to the KPIs and analyze it to monitor performance.

- Create Dashboards: Develop visual dashboards to provide real-time insights into KPI performance.

- Regular Reporting: Generate periodic reports to communicate KPI status to stakeholders.

- Adjust Strategies: Use insights from KPIs to make informed decisions and adjust project strategies as needed.

‍ What is KPI in construction project management?

‍ In construction project management, KPIs are metrics used to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of construction projects. Examples include:

- Project Schedule Variance: Tracks deviations from the project timeline.

- Budget Variance: Monitors differences between the estimated and actual project costs.

- Safety Incidents: Measures the number and severity of safety incidents on the construction site.

- Work Quality: Assesses the quality of construction work against standards and specifications.

- Labor Productivity: Evaluates the efficiency of the workforce in completing project tasks.

What KPI metrics are used for project management?

KPI metrics in project management are used to:

- Monitor Progress: Track a project's progress against its planned schedule and budget.

- Identify Issues: Detect potential problems and bottlenecks early in the project lifecycle.

- Improve Decision-Making: Provide data-driven insights to help project managers make informed decisions.

-Enhance Performance: Identify areas for improvement and optimize project performance.

- Communicate Success: Demonstrate project success and progress to stakeholders through measurable indicators.

- Ensure Accountability: Hold team members and stakeholders accountable for their contributions to the project. 

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30 Project Management KPIs You Should Track in 2024

Tricia Jessee

Manager of Implementation & Services & Pizza Aficionado

Tricia manages our implementation and onboarding team to ensure the success of ClearPoint customers.

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