Table of Contents

In the context of Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, a critical aspect of managing any project effectively involves tracking its benefits. And for this purpose, an operative measurement system in place is mandatory.

1. Understanding Measurement System for Tracking Benefits

A measurement system can be broadly summarized as a metric or an array of metrics that help in quantifying the performance of a project in terms of its benefits. These benefits can be tangible (such as financial benefits) or intangible (like improved reputation or better customer satisfaction).

In the realm of project management, the primary benefits that a measurement system aids in tracking includes:

  • Progression of the project status
  • Budget control and cost management
  • Quality measurement
  • Risk identification
  • Stakeholder visibility and communication

2. Importance of Verifying the Measurement System

Before discussing the way to verify a measurement system, it’s crucial to emphasize why verifying is essential.

  • Accuracy and Reliability: Verification ascertains that the system offers accurate and reliable results. In project management, a minute error can result in significant losses.
  • Improved Decision Making: Verification ensures that the data offered by the measurement system can be confidently used for decision making.
  • Identify Gaps and Room for Improvement: Through verification, it’s possible to identify the gaps in the existing measurement system and look for ways to improve it.

3. Verifying Measurement System for Tracking Benefits

The verification process of a measurement system involves multiple stages:

  • Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): At the outset, the project management team should identify KPIs that align with the project objectives. These may include financial indicators, timeline adherence, resource optimization, etc.
  • Develop a Measurement Plan: Post the identification of KPIs, a detailed measurement plan needs to be developed to indicate how measurements will be conducted and metrics will be calculated.
  • Test the Measurement System: The next step is to test the measurement system against the KPIs. This may involve a trial run and comparing the measurement system’s output with the expected outcomes.
  • Analyse Variance: Analyse and document the variance between the recorded data and the expected data. If the variance falls within acceptable limits, the measurement system can be considered verified.


Consider the example of a construction project where one of the KPIs is to control the cost within the budget limits. The measurement system’s role will be to track all the expenses and compare them with the budget.

In the verification process, this system will be put to test. When the actual costs of materials, labor, equipment, etc., are acquired and compared against the budget, the variance revealed will prove whether the measurement system accurately tracks the costs or not.

Budgeted Cost Actual Cost
$100,000 $95,000

In this case, the measurement system is verified as the variance ($5,000) is not just within the acceptable limits but even led to cost savings.

In conclusion, for effective project management, not just having a measurement system isn’t sufficient; ensuring it’s accuracy and reliability through verification is equally imperative. It forms the basis for a project’s success by providing reliable insights into key project areas, enabling educated decision-making, and offering room for continuous improvement. This is a cornerstone concept that every Project Management Professional (PMP) candidate should ace.

Practice Test

Measurement systems used to track project benefits should be objective, impartial, and not open to interpretation. True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Measurement systems should ideally provide objective, impartial data so that the success or failure of a project can be accurately measured and not influenced by personal bias or subjectivity.

Are KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) a tool used to measure project benefits?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: KPIs can be designed specifically to track a variety of project benefits including cost savings, increased productivity, or enhanced customer satisfaction.

Is it necessary to modify the measurement system once the project is halfway done? True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Measurement systems should ideally be established at the start of the project. However, they might need some adjustment as per the requirements but never completely modify.

Which of the following should be part of a measurement system to track project benefits?

  • A. Project Scope
  • B. Cost Estimation
  • C. Risk Management
  • D. All of the above

Answer: D. All of the above

Explanation: All these aspects are important for assessing project benefits, as they affect directly or indirectly project’s return on investment and overall success.

The benefits of a project can only be measured after the project is completed. True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Many benefits can be tracked during the project implementation phase. It’s not necessary to wait till the completion of the project to measure certain benefits.

Is the lessons learned register helpful in verifying the effectiveness of your measurement system?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Lessons learned can provide insight into what worked and what did not in your measurement system, leading to improvements for future projects.

What must be the first goal before setting up a measurement system?

  • A. Define Project Goals.
  • B. Create a Risk Management Plan.
  • C. Begin Stakeholder Analysis.

Answer: A. Define Project Goals.

Explanation: The project goals define what benefits to track, hence, they must be clearly defined before setting up a measurement system.

Should the measurement system be linked directly to the project goal? True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: The measurement system should be directly linked to the project goal, it will help to evaluate if those goals are achieved or not.

Earned value management (EVM) is commonly used to measure project performance and progress. True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: EVM is a technique for measuring project performance against scope, schedule, and cost baselines, often represented graphically.

Which of the following is not a measurement system used to track project benefits?

  • A. Schedule Variance
  • B. Cost Performance Index
  • C. Project Approval Process

Answer: C. Project Approval Process

Explanation: The project approval process is not a measurement tool. It is the process that outlines how projects get approved within the organization.

Are Change Requests related to the measurement system that tracks project benefits? True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Change requests may affect the project scope, timeline, or resources, which can indirectly influence the project benefits.

Are the measurement systems dynamic and must change as the project progresses? True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: As projects progress, there can be changes in numerous aspects of the project which might require adjustments in the measurement system as well.

Cost Benefit Analysis is one of the crucial parts of the measurement system. True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Cost-Benefit Analysis can help in understanding the relation between the cost spent on the project and the benefits derived from project completion.

Only project managers are responsible for tracking and verifying project benefits. True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Tracking and verifying project benefits is a collective responsibility that involves project managers, sponsors, stakeholders and sometimes, team members.

Can lessons learned from a previously completed project be used to refine the measurement system for an ongoing project? True/False?

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: Previous projects can often provide valuable insights that can be used to make the measurement system better and more effective to increase the success rate of the current or future projects.

Interview Questions

What is the primary purpose of having a measurement system in place to track benefits in project management?

The primary purpose is to validate that the benefits of a project are being realized, confirm if the project is on track to deliver the promised benefits, and if it’s bringing the expected value to the organization.

What is the role of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in a project measurement system?

KPIs are used to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of a project. They help in identifying the areas of improvement, tracking progress, and ensuring that the project is aligned with the overall business objectives.

What is a Benefit Realization Management plan?

A Benefit Realization Management plan is a document that outlines how and when a project’s benefits will be tracked and measured. It helps to ensure that the project delivers value and meet the overall business objectives.

How critical is a baseline in the measurement system to track benefits?

A baseline is very critical as it serves as a reference point in the measurement system. It provides a starting point that allows us to measure progress and assess the performance of the project against planned benefits.

How does a project charter relate to the measurement system in place to track benefits?

A project charter outlines the objectives and expected outcomes/benefits of the project. It sets the direction for the project and therefore forms the foundation upon which the measurement system to track benefits is based.

Can you explain Earned Value Management (EVM) and its role in tracking benefits?

Earned Value Management is a methodology that combines scope, schedule, and resource measurements to assess project performance and progress. It is a critical tool in measuring the projected benefits and their realization over the project lifecycle.

What is Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) in project management?

The Benefit-Cost Ratio is a financial metric that is used to assess the cost-effectiveness of a project. It is the ratio of the benefits of a project relative to its costs. The higher the BCR, the better the investment.

What is the role of a Project Management Office (PMO) in verifying a measurement system to track benefits?

A PMO assists in setting up and maintaining the measurement system, ensuring the consistent application across projects, analyzing the tracked data, and providing the necessary insights.

What kind of metrics can be used in a measurement system to track benefits?

Metrics can include financial metrics such as ROI or net present value (NPV), operational metrics like process improvement, or customer-related metrics such as customer satisfaction scores.

What is the importance of stakeholder feedback in the measurement system to track benefits?

Stakeholder feedback is essential as it gives insights into how the project’s outcomes are perceived and its impact on people and processes. It can help to validate whether the benefits have been successfully achieved.

What role does a lessons-learned document play in the process of verifying the measurement system to track benefits?

A lessons-learned document helps project teams identify what worked and what didn’t in the process. It could bring out insights on the effectiveness of the measurement system, helping to improve it for future projects.

How is risk management related to the measurement system in place to track benefits?

Risk Management helps in identifying, assessing, and controlling uncertainties that could potentially impact the benefits realization. Therefore, it should be considered while devising the measurement system to effectively track benefits.

Can you elaborate on the term “benefit sustainment plan”?

A benefit sustainment plan refers to the plan to ensure the realized benefits continue to flow and are ingrained within the organization’s regular operations after the project is closed.

Does Agile methodology have a bearing on the measurement system to track benefits?

Yes, Agile methodology emphasizes on delivering valuable product increments, which requires a more frequent and iterative approach of tracking benefits. Agile-oriented metrics like velocity, burn-down charts etc. can be used to measure and verify benefits.

What is the significance of communication in verifying a measurement system to track benefits?

Communication plays a vital role in ensuring that everyone involved understands the goals, benefits, progress and issues relating to a project. Good communication aids in transparent and accurate tracking and reporting of benefits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *