Original Date: 11/12/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Project Performance Measurement
Frontier Electronic Systems developed Project Performance Measurement as a way of providing real-time accurate measurement data to its senior executives and front-line managers. The company realized a return-on-investment of 1400% for implementing this simplified-shared Access database.
In the past, Frontier Electronic Systems (FES) used a cost reporting/tracking system that consisted of multiple databases and spreadsheets based on multiple software applications. The system was slow, labor intensive, and prone to errors. Monthly reporting required a complex series of actions (e.g., conversions, uploads, and multiple hand entries of the same data) by several accounting employees. Program Managers were limited to two iterations of Estimates To Complete (ETC) updates due to the length of time needed to generate reports and corrections. The system did not lend itself to timely special request reports, and the generated reports were based on month-old cost records. A cross-functional Lean Implementation Team was assembled to conduct an Accelerated Improvement Workshop (AIW) on the reporting/tracking system using Value Stream Mapping. The results showed that ten out of 17 steps could be eliminated, and led to a new process, Project Performance Measurement.
Project Performance Measurement uses a Microsoft Access database to provide weekly, monthly, and annual performance planning and measurement. This real-time integrated system is accessible to program management, accounting, manufacturing, and upper-level management. In addition, an interactive planning and reporting process was created so Program Managers and upper-level management can access time-critical process reports.
By implementing Project Performance Measurement, FES eliminated 78% of the labor cost required to process ETC data; reduced the cycle time for preparing monthly ETCs by 40%; and increased the accuracy of ETC numbers by 24%. The cycle time for completing the company’s annual operating plan decreased by 45 days. Manual data input and uploading activities dropped by over 50%. FES realized a return-on-investment of 1400% by implementing the Project Performance Measurement.
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