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Last edited 24 Mar 2021
Project performance management
Project performance management is an aspect of the management process that concentrates specifically on performance (or outcome). This focus on performance comes in the form of the creation, implementation and management of actions that can potentially benefit the organisation in a broad, strategic manner (rather than at a smaller, task-based level). Project performance management is a continuous exercise that encompasses the entire project scope and management process.
Under certain circumstances, a successful project outcome may mean more to an organisation than simply satisfying time and budget requirements. In these instances, project performance management can be used as a tool to measure the final outcome of a project based on how well it provides strategic support that contributes to the success of an organisation.
Before there was project performance management, there was performance management - a business management concept introduced in the 1800s. During the early days, performance management was a simple human resources function that documented how well an individual executed a set of tasks. A supervisor would make an observation and record the evaluation of the worker’s performance.
Over the years, this process has progressed beyond operational worker performance to include the individual’s contribution to the strategic performance of the organisation. Most recently, it has expanded into other aspects and departments of an organisation, incorporating culture, mission, policies and other considerations. Ideally, organisations can use these techniques to create a culture that is aligned to its strategy and focused on the organisation rather than on individual projects.
Project performance management concentrates on three areas:
- Direct links. Identifying the overall beneficial aspects of the project can reveal whether a project is truly relevant or potentially unnecessary.
- Performance tracking. Keeping accurate records of tasks as they are executed can help determine whether or not the project is delivering the desired results.
- Final review. Assessing the completed project should not only determine if goals were achieved but also reveal what aspects could be improved.
 Staying on track
Methods of project performance management within an organisation tend to change over time. This is considered beneficial as long as the projects remain profitable and drive organisational improvements in a positive strategic direction.
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