The key to the health of a project is the implementation of good practices. A ‘healthily’ developed product is a product where good practices are implemented at all stages during development. A product that is developed through a project that is healthy at all stages always assures positive outcomes. The recipient of the product is also assured that the provider (the developer of the product) can repeat this success in future product development. Internally sensing the true status of a project, at any point in time, will help project managers apply corrective actions where needed and steer the project on a path of continuous improvement.
This paper looks at the development of a framework grouping these practices into ‘vital signs’ and how to use them for assessing the health of a project. Like the vital signs of your body, the heart rate, the blood pressure etc., at any stage of your life, can indicate how healthy you are, to know if a project, at any point in its lifecycle, is healthy, you have to look at its vital signs. If these vital signs are okay, it means the project is healthy. It means that you are assured, at that point, of positive project outcomes.
Traditionally, the status of a project is measured using quantitative metrics. But this is not enough. Quantitative metrics should be viewed jointly with stakeholder perspectives from their respective vantage points. The metrics will need to be supplemented with qualitative perspectives of all the stakeholders of the project.
This paper also looks at a tool that allows you, using the vital signs, to get a qualitative, 360-degree view of project health.
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