A framework to improve performance measurement in engineering projects

Keywords project performance systems engineering measurement leading indicators lagging indicators
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A wide range of methods and good practices have been developed for the measurement of projects performance. They help project managers to effectively monitor the project progress and evaluate results. However, from a literature review, we noticed several remaining critical issues in measuring projects performance, such as an unbalanced development of Key Performance Indicators types between lagging and leading indicators. On the other hand, systems engineering measurement is a more recent discipline with practices and theories that appeared with the emergence of the systems engineering discipline; however, this discipline offers very deep developments, published in several standards and guides. In particular, systems engineering measurement does not only manipulate lagging indicators, useful to track how things are going, but defines methods to promote leading indicators, used as precursors to the direction the engineering is going. Indeed, 18 leading indicators were recently proposed, validated, and finally engineered in a practical guidance. The objective of this paper being to improve project performance and success rate, one mean is to improve the measurement of projects performance by enriching its leading indicators, on which decisions rely on project management. To reach this goal, we propose to refine and extend the performance measurement activities in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK version 5) by considering systems engineering measurement. This paper thus considers transferring and adapting the good practices in systems engineering measurement such as described in systems engineering guides as well as the set of systems engineering leading indicators to the well-defined project management processes in PMBoK. To this effect, we propose a methodology resulting in a framework to explore this integration. This way, systems engineering leading indicators can be applied to project performance measurement, thus providing project managers with a wider set of leading indicators and straightforward measurement techniques.

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technical white paper
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International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), Wiley, 2017
Li Zheng, Claude Baron, Philippe Esteban, Rui Xue, Qiang Zhang
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