Small issues can blow up into project wildfires if you don't douse them early. A delay here, a cost overrun there, and suddenly the finish date, cost, and project objectives are at risk. Regular project performance reviews are a must if you want your daily jolt limited to your double espresso. Comparing progress to baseline schedule and cost can give you early warning of trouble brewing.
Schedule, budget, and other project objectives are interdependent, so where you start your evaluation depends on what's most important. If project budget is crucial, you can start by evaluating costs. But in most cases, starting with the schedule makes sense, because delays can affect the finish date and the price tag.
This chapter starts by showing you how to evaluate schedule performance, whether you want a quick peek at overall progress or a heads-up about tasks in trouble. You learn how to use Project views, reports, and filters to see high-level and task-by-task progress, as well as potential problems. You'll learn ways to find overallocated resources and tasks that are exceeding their work budgets. Likewise, you'll learn about reports and filters for comparing project costs to the baseline cost or a budget. And no chapter on project performance would be complete without a section on earned value analysis. You'll learn how earned value and its related measures help you evaluate performance. Then, you'll learn how to use them in Project.
Once you know ...