Chapter 9. Program Management Metrics

Humans know that measures such as the level of their blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and white blood cells reflect the state of their health. Similarly, program managers know that measures such as time to money, development cost, gross profit margin, and profitability index reflect their programs' health. This chapter deals with performance measures that senior managers, program managers, and project managers need to understand to assess the health of their programs.

It is commonly understood today that one of the key rationales for using metrics is that "what gets measured gets improved." In particular, using performance metrics will help program managers and their sponsors understand how well a program is performing, where and why a program has problems, and tailor actions to eliminate the problems. This will, in turn, improve the program and bring it closer to its goals. Therefore, devising and employing appropriate metrics should aim to improve business results of the organization.

Program metrics not only measure the health of individual programs but also show the effectiveness of program management-related processes, such as strategic management and portfolio management. In this manner, program management metrics are an effective means to integrate and synchronize strategic, portfolio, planning, and execution activities.

We first explain detailed reasons why a program manager needs to utilize metrics with a description of the design ...

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