I know its very subjective question, however in general I wanted to understand which are the top three metrics as PM, I should look at while working in a Software project

  • 2
    The choice of metrics is not subjective. However, your question is the tail wagging the dog. Your metrics should be derived by the goals and objectives of your IT project. It makes no sense to create a process to capture metrics that are not aligned with an objective you care about. Maybe what is important are what goals and objectives are important and common in the IT space. Jul 26, 2019 at 14:45
  • This is an X/Y problem. What do you want to measure, and what do you expect to do with those measurements?
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Jul 28, 2019 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


Metrics are usually accounted through what is called Earned Value Management (EVM).

EVM allows Project Managers (PMs) to measure i) the technical performance, ii) cost and iii) schedule of a project against planned objectives.

PMs compute metrics so that they can act proactively rather than reactively to address an issue on scope, cost or schedule.

For classical projects, metrics are:

  • Cost Variance (CV), Cost Performance Index (CPI)

  • Schedule Variance (SV), Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

  • Budget/Estimate/Variance At Completion (BAC/EAC/VAC)

  • To Complete Performance Index (TCPI).

However, EVM depends on what lifecycle you adopt for your project.

There are three different lifecycles that you can use to manage your project.

  • Predictive (classical),
  • Iterative (incremental),
  • Adaptive (flexible).

Typically, for IT and Software projects, PMs choose iterative or Adaptive lifecycles. For example: Agile or Scrum.

It is however possible to implement EVM in Agile projects using 3 parameters:

  • Backlog,
  • Velocity,
  • and Cost.

Using these, PMs can assess scope, throughput and cost.

For details, Pls refer to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK®) Guide of Project Management Institute (PMI®) at https://www.pmi.org

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