Visualizing Indicators of Project Health

RT-345 Topic Summary
RT 345

Overview

Collaboration, communication, and interactions among project stakeholders have a high impact on the overall success of complex capital projects. Due to the cyclical nature of communications and deliverables among these stakeholders, any interface health problems in this environment (e.g., misalignment, mistrust, delays, or miscommunications) can have a critical effect on the health of the overall project. Given the complex nature of these projects, project teams need new methods to act as leading indicators, detecting overloaded interfaces and identifying any unhealthy relationships between stakeholders. These methods should also be designed to visualize overall project health.

RT-345 developed the Integrated Project Monitoring Method (IPMM) to establish a workable approach to measuring and visualizing interface health and workload among project stakeholders. The IPMM provides a novel qualitative point system to evaluate interface health and workload between project stakeholders, and a novel visualization approach to present the results of this analysis of the stakeholder interface networks. The IPMM also supplies tools that offer a holistic approach to measuring and visualizing project health and workload during all phases of a project, but with emphasis on the early phases. The effective application of these tools can give a project’s owner, managers, and control teams early indications about where additional efforts might best be applied to support project success.

RT-345 used six project case studies to validate the tools it developed during this research. The participants found that the tools supported deeper insights into project health, led to possible diagnoses of emerging issues, and supported actions to improve project health.

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Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Developing an Application Framework for the Integrated Project Monitoring Method


RT-345 defined a simple method that included six main steps to measure and visualize health and workload at project interfaces:
  1. Project Selection and Identification
  2. Stakeholder Identification
  3. Stakeholder Connection Identification
  4. Stakeholder Connection Evaluation
  5. Visualization
  6. Interpretation and Corrective Action
These main steps served as the framework for the Integrated Project Monitoring Method (FR-345, page 28).
Reference: (FR-345)

2 : Defining Quantitative Indicators to Measure Interface Health

As RT-345 developed the Integrated Project Monitoring Method, it defined two frameworks to measure interface health between interfacing stakeholders (FR-345, page 32):
  1. The first framework contained 14 indicators and used project data automatically retrieved from electronic project information management systems. However, these elements were hard to implement in practice.
  2. The second framework offered greater clarity by focusing on eight indicators and using a simple, novel point system to evaluate both interface health and workload among interfacing stakeholders.
Reference: (FR-345)

3 : Developing a Qualitative Point System for Measuring Interface Health and Workload

RT-345 created a simple, novel point system to evaluate stakeholders’ connections. In this system, a low health value indicates a healthy relationship between interfacing stakeholders, and a high workload value indicates a higher workload between interfacing stakeholders. The team developed a proof-of-concept spreadsheet tool to easily collect, collate, and analyze the data (FR-345, pages 35-36).
Reference: (FR-345)

4 : Visualizing the Status of Stakeholder Interface Networks

The Integrated Project Monitoring Method (IPMM) visualizes the results of the point system as stakeholder interface networks, where nodes represent project stakeholders and links represent the interfaces among them. These networks use color-coding to represent interface health, link thickness to reflect the magnitude of the workload, and node sizes to represent the workloads of the various stakeholders. By using an open-source network visualization program called Gephi, the IPMM can easily illustrate these networks (FR-345, page 40). 
Reference: (FR-345)

5 : Overall Validation

RT-345 validated the applicability of its research by studying six projects in the transportation (mass rapid transit) and nuclear power industries. Final Report 345 offers an application guide and sample projects to help project teams tailor the Integrated Project Monitoring Method to suit their projects’ specific needs (FR-345, page 87).
Reference: (FR-345)

Key Performance Indicators


Presentations from CII Events

Session - RT-345 – Visualizing Indicators of Project Health

Publication Date: 05/2020 Presenter: Number of Slides: 24 Event Code: FSC2020


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