What is missing from a Cost Performance Report

No Comments

I recall a very positive meeting where we exposed several non project management team members to a Cost Performance Report (CPR) for the first time. A CPR addresses project performance through a defined period of time in relation to contractual requirements.  The CPR details budgeted work scheduled and performed, actual cost work performed, and the variance in both schedule and cost.  All of this is itemized per Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) element for both the current period and the cumulative to date.  The last values you see are the budgeted, estimated, and variance at completion of the contract.

There were a lot of questions as to why one WBS element has a positive or negative cost variance and why it may have a positive or negative schedule variance.  Trying to explain this to those without a project management background can be a challenge.

I was having a sidebar conversation with one team member who could not understand how the element that pertained to him could be both ahead of schedule and below budgeted cost. The answer came from across the room in the form of a question.

“Is there any way this report captures quality?” The answer was no.

That my friends is called Triple Constraint.  We know the Scope, Time, and Cost within this report.  What we don’t know is Quality, Risk, or Customer Satisfaction.  That’s ok.  This is the CPR, not a Total Project Status (TPS) Report.

By not committing the scheduled time and budgeted dollars to complete the task to a level of quality that meets the customer’s expectations, the contractor looks good only on paper.

Free Lessons Learned Template


It is not important that you call it a Lessons Learned or a Postmortem. What is important is you learn from your mistakes. At the end of every iteration or project, you should identify everything that went wrong or could have gone better. Articulate them in a document. At the beginning of each new iteration or project, review the document and see not only what was learned but what has been implemented. Feel free to download my free Lessons Learned [Template]

Disappointing PMI Customer Service


Last month, I needed to get some information from PMI about OPM3 (Organizational Project Management Maturity Model). I wasn’t satisfied with what was published on their website so I composed an email and sent it off. I received a confirmation email stating “Thank you for contacting the Project Management Institute. Thank you for contacting the PMI Global Operations Center in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA. A Customer Care Associate will review your request and contact you within three (3) business days.” I was even provided a ticket number.

So, I waited 3 days. …and waited. …and waited.

Disgruntled and disappointed, I called them.  I was routed to “general” customer service.  After looking up my PMI membership number, the service representative couldn’t answers my questions so she routed me to the desk of the person in charge of OPM3.  I left a voicemail about having questions about OPM3 and left my contact information multiple times.

And now I wait some more.

I’m coming up on 2 weeks and nobody has contacted me.  I feel like PMI is more interested in collecting membership dues and selling products then serving those who have obtained and maintain their PMP certifications.

Categories: PMP, Project Management Tags: Tags: ,