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KPIs for project management: how to measure success

Blog: Monday Project Management Blog

How do you know when a project is successful or whether a project you’re managing is headed in the right direction? A quick look at your project management KPI should give you a good big-picture idea of where you stand.

In this article, we’ll cover the importance of KPIs for project management, and we’ll dig into how you can select good KPIs that help you accurately measure and push a team to success. You’ll also find out how you can track and manage KPIs on for greater efficiency whether you’re managing one project or overseeing half a dozen.

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Why must you have key performance indicators for project management?

Let’s answer this question with a brief history lesson: Before GPS and other modern navigation methods, sailors and explorers found their way among the seas and landscapes by following the stars. In the Northern Hemisphere especially, they looked for Polaris, or the North Star, as it always helped them know where true north was. They could then take measurements between Polaris and related constellations and the horizon to navigate with impressive accuracy.

What does this have to do with successful project management? When working on a project of any type, you and your team are like those explorers of old. You’re charting metaphorical new territory, and you need a North Star to help you navigate your way.

Of course, the sailors in previous centuries didn’t rely solely on a single star. They used several constellations to guide them. As a project leader, you must know how to select several good KPIs to help you and your team members navigate successfully to project completion.

How do you select good KPIs?

Good KPIs are relevant to your project and the outcome. If you can work toward improving a key performance indicator without moving the bar toward project completion or improving customer satisfaction, for example, that KPI may not be relevant enough.

Good KPIs tend to be those that measure or track your progress toward the project goal, use of budget and resources, and the quality of outcomes from work tasks.

Some common KPIs for project management to consider

No one metric is perfect for all projects, and the KPIs that work with one effort may not offer enough relevance for others. Check out the list of common KPIs for project management below to find some that may be a good fit for your current project.

That’s a lot of numbers and metrics to consider, and our list is far from comprehensive. Tracking and managing your projects — and the KPIs that go with them — via a collaborative solution, such as, can make it easy to keep your project ship afloat in the right direction.

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Tracking and managing KPIs on

One of our favorite tools for tracking KPIs is our dashboard widget. No matter what number you’re tracking, you can create charts, graphs, and other visuals that help the entire team know where you stand with your North Star metrics. Here are just a few of the neat visuals you can create with a few clicks:

On, no metrics exist in a vacuum. Teams can add updates to boards to provide reasons behind metrics, cheer on the work, or collaborate on ways to solve an issue that’s showing up in the KPIs. And since you can integrate your other favorite tools, you can easily import data to our Work OS to power your KPI dashboards.

Understanding how KPIs work with project management is the first step to putting our many features to work, so take a few minutes to check the FAQs before you get started building a dashboard.

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FAQs about KPIs for project management

How do you create a project KPI?

Choose a KPI by setting a goal for your project. Follow the SMART method of goal setting to make it specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. How you measure that goal becomes your key performance indicator.

How do you create a KPI in Excel?

You can create KPI reporting dashboards in Excel using pivot tables. You may also be able to find templates for Excel that let you easily track KPIs, and teams who rely on Excel can also create their own graphs for KPI reporting. The downside is that all these reporting, charting, and graphing functions are quite manual and not always easily seen by all team members. Working with a solution like to track and report performance can help support enhanced communication and success.

Define and manage project KPIs seamlessly with

Invite your entire team to a board and begin the discussion about the best KPIs for your project. Then work together to create boards and dashboards that keep all eyes on those important directional metrics as you complete project tasks and move toward success.

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