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Improving performance measurement of engineering projects: methods to develop indicators

Li Zheng 1
1 LAAS-ISI - Équipe Ingénierie Système et Intégration
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes
Abstract : Performance measurement is essential to ensure the success of a project. To this goal, companies need to determine a system of performance measures, classically including cost and schedule measures, which provide the project manager with the project health status and help her or him to evaluate the project successes and failures. However, with the increasing complexity of projects and the absolute necessity to reach the project objectives, project managers cannot only rely on such information about cost and schedule to evaluate the project performance; they need to consider, for instance, other indicators such as the satisfaction of customer requirements, the technology maturity, etc. Moreover, they need to have a precise evaluation of these indicators values while the project is in progress, in order to monitor it at best so that it reaches its goals, and not only after the project ends, to only conclude on the project success or failure without any mean to react. Considering these two issues, the objectives of the thesis thus are to extend the number, scope and type of current project performance indicators with a proposal of complementary indicators, and to propose a method for designing project-specific indicators, in order to improve project performance measurement. To define supplementary indicators and elaborate such a method, we proceed by integrating good measurement practices from different engineering disciplines and illustrate our proposal on use cases. The thesis first introduces the notion of performance and characterizes performance measurement systems (PMSs); such systems offer a wide panel of models for organizational performance measurement. Focusing on PMSs, we provide some insights for project performance measurement. More precisely, we identify several issues highlighted in literature, relative to the limitations of current project performance measurement such as the need to balance lagging indicators (to control) with leading indicators (to monitor), and the need to construct performance indicators that are relevant to project-specific information needs. We then focus on project performance measurement and reviews literature in this domain. It highlights the issue of the unbalanced use of leading and lagging indicators. To bring a solution to the issue, we review literature of performance measurement in engineering disciplines, with a focus on systems engineering practices, especially a panel of 18 generic leading indicators that are currently engineered in guidance. A method has been proposed to adapt the set of systems engineering leading indicators to project management, thus resulting in developing the set of indicators to measure project performance. Moreover, focusing on standards and guides on measurement in systems and software engineering led us to identify other issues in project performance measurement, such as the difficulties to define indicators dynamically for a project, and how to collect and combine data in order to construct these indicators. We finally consider the methodological difficulties about designing relevant performance indicators. More precisely, we identify 3 issues: different opinions among researchers about the sources from where the indicators will be derived; the problem in relation to the transformation from data to indicators; and the association of data collection, analysis and report with project management processes. To solve these issues, we analyze good practices from the Practical Software and Systems Measurement, the ISO/IEC 15939 norm and the Project Management Body of Knowledge that proved to be able to address the identified issues respectively. This work results in a method integrating these practices to address the 3 identified issues in project performance measurement. The method is illustrated on a real project context. Evaluation of the method has been conducted in workshop of project managers, which confirmed the interest for the proposal.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - 1:46:03 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02917920, version 2


Li Zheng. Improving performance measurement of engineering projects: methods to develop indicators. Computer Science [cs]. Institut national des sciences appliquées de Toulouse, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018ISAT0006⟩. ⟨tel-02917920v2⟩



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