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How to Evaluate the Performance of Project Managers: 6 Ways

It is hard to evaluate the performance of project managers as they add qualitative value to the team. With the advent of Agile, product managers and scrum masters have taken up some of the traditional managerial roles. In this article at Toptal, Laurie Harvey discusses KPIs to gauge the performance of project managers.

Measuring Performance of Project Managers

If project managers are accountable for the process, product managers are for content. Following are 6 KPIs to evaluate the performance of project managers:

On-Time Project Delivery: Project managers are responsible for the project plan, coordination, and budget compliance. For a fixed project, you can measure by categorizing performance in 4 levels:

  • Exceeded expectations – Finished before deadline
  • Good – Finished on the date
  • Acceptable – A bit late
  • Poor – Noticeably late

Agile projects are burdened with delays by third parties—stakeholders, developers, marketing, feature teams, etc. Measure project managers by their ability to manage third parties, again in four categories.

Project Within Budget: Calculate 3 key areas for this—resources, DevOps, and NetOps. Categorize performance based on their budget savings.

  • Exceeded expectations – Saved 10% or more of the budget and met budget goals
  • Good – Completed projects with up to 10% of the budget and met budget goals
  • Acceptable – Budget surpassed by less than 10% and budget goals have not been achieved
  • Poor – Budget surpassed more than 10% and goals have not been met

Process Improvements: While people usually accept processes as they are, project managers must constantly strive to improve them.

  • Exceeded expectations – Worked on valuable process improvements regularly
  • Good – Often worked on process improvements and provided good insights
  • Acceptable – Worked on process improvements but progress is less
  • Poor – Rarely taken steps to improve processes

Relationships and Communications: Project managers are the go-to professionals that have great bond within and outside the team.

  • Exceed expectations – Proactively involved with other teams as well as invited them to participate in team discussions
  • Good – Involved proactively with other departments
  • Acceptable – Coordinated reactively with other departments
  • Poor – Hardly engaged with other departments

Risk Management: It is easier to measure performance based on how project managers control risks. The smart way, however, is to find out their risk mitigation plan and decision-making abilities.

  • Exceeded expectations – Updated the risk mitigation plan and maintained transparent communication
  • Good – Updated the risk mitigation plan but lacked transparency in communication
  • Acceptable – Had not created a risk mitigation plan but were able to put together some ideas
  • Poor – Had no plan and addressed risks reactively

Customer Satisfaction: Great project managers emphasize on customer requirements and align them with strategic goals.

  • Exceed expectations – Included customer requirements in all plans and aligned them with company goals
  • Good – Included customer requirements in many plans and aligned them with company goals
  • Acceptable – Discussed customer requirements but did not align them with company goals
  • Poor – Hardly took care of customer requirements and wanted to achieve business goals only

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