The 25 Most Important Project Management KPI’s in 2021

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6 min read

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April 5, 2022

Project Management is an interesting process. You need to ensure many components are looked after and then only you can build a powerful project development process to drive project goals and results.

One of the main components that ensure that your project development process is going to improve is Key Performance Indicators or also known as KPIs. These indicators are critical during the project’s developmental phase and their job is to provide the data to the team, that guarantees success.

So, what are the different types of project KPIs, and how they can be differentiated from each other? Let’s find out.

Types of Project KPIs

There are four different types of project management KPIs.

  • Timeliness: This type of KPI makes sure that all of your project’s activities are done on time, and if they are lacking behind schedule, you can always calculate an estimated completion date
  • Quality: This KPI helps in checking the quality of the work that has been done so far and how the project team is benefitting from the project development process.
  • Budget: These KPIs ask the heavy questions and find out how much budget is being spent on the project development process, and if it is exceeding that budget or not.
  • Effectiveness: These KPIs are the resource monitoring ones, and they find out how you are spending the allocated resources for the project and how you use them more effectively.

So, without further ado, let’s talk about the most important KPIs of project management in 2021.

25 Important Project Management KPIs

Timeliness KPIs


1. Cycle Time

This is the time that is necessary to complete a specific task or process in the project development process. It is helpful where there are a lot of different tasks that are being repeated in your development process.

2. Time Spent

This is the collective duration that is spent on the project development process by the team members and the project managers. If you want this time to be displayed for each member, then you can do that too.

3. FTE Days vs. Calendar Days

This comparison is the time that is spent on the project development process by calendar days or hours. You can even calculate the time based on full-time equivalent workdays.

4. Resource Capacity

This KPI shows the total number of people that are working on the project multiplied by the total percentage of the time that they have in their schedule to work on it. This one is tricky but bear with us.

This amazing project KPI is a very crucial one because it helps the managers to properly allocate all of the available resources in the resource pool so that they can easily set an accurate project completion date for everyone involved.

5. On-Time Completion Percentage

This KPI shows whether a specific task, assignment, or process was finished in the time which was allocated to it.

6. Number of Adjustments to the Schedule

This KPI shows the total number of times the development team has made some adjustments or changes to the initial project structure.

7. Planned Hours vs. Time Spent

This KPI shows the time that was estimated for a specific project development process to take, and how much time it took to be completed.

If the two-time durations differ, then it’s a flag or a warning that you underestimated the resource dispersion and your project management timeline might be affected by that.

8. Resource Conflict YOY

In this KPI, you compare the number of different projects that you perform with the total resource conflicts that you face year over year or YOY.

When you don’t have the resources to complete your projects or the team members that are assigned to too many different projects simultaneously, can lower the overall efficacy.

Quality KPIs

9. Customer Satisfaction

This KPI measures the loyalty of the client with your specific project or product, or with the overall company. This loyalty test is performed by a survey, and it mostly comes into play when the product or project that you are trying to develop, deals directly with the client or customer in the market.

10. Number of Errors

This KPI measures the total number of errors, or the total number of instances when things related to the project have to be redone. This is the number of times you have to redo or re-write something, including calendar errors or budget revision for the project.

11. Employee Churn Rate

This KPI shows the total number or the total percentage of all of the employees that have left the organization. If the turnover rate of your development team is quite higher, it indicates that there should be changes done to improve the work environment and the overall management.

This churn usually slows down the projects that your team is working on, and even increases the costs for the company, for the foreseeable future.

12. Net Promoter Score

Similar to the Customer satisfaction key performance indicator, NPS is a user satisfaction KPI that is calculated or measured by question surveys, whose core purpose is to gauge brand loyalty.

13. Customer Complaints

This “customer” should be inside the development team. This KPI helps weed out the weak links in the time when it finds out who is unhappy with some of the work activities that others are failing to perform around them.

Budget KPIs


14. Budget Variance

This KPI shows how much the initial value of the budget that was allocated to the project development process, has been changed. The measure this KPI, you have to closely measure the baseline expenses and the expected values.

15. Line Items in Budget

This KPI helps the managers to keep track of all of the individual expenditures. They also provide a more detailed view of how the budget was spent on the project.

16. Planned Value

This is the value of the project development process’s tasks that are left to be completed. If you know the total budget and the total percentage of projects pending to be completed, you can adjust the budget properly and get the project completed effectively.

17. Budget Creation Cycle Time

This is the time necessary to create an effective budget for the organization. This KPI includes the total duration of the research, the final agreement, and the overall planning related to the project budget creation.

18. Number of Budget Iterations

This KPI shows the total number of times that the budget was iterated before it was perfected. If these iterations are high in number, it means that there was more time spent on the planning of the budget, before the final approval.

19. Cost Performance Index

This KPI compares the budget cost of the work that the whole team has done so far to the actual amount of money that has been spent on the project. This basically calculates the expense efficiency of the project.

Effectiveness KPIs

20. Number of Project Milestones Achieved On Time

This KPI tracks down all of the different parts or milestones related to the project development process. Checking to see if they are being completed in a timely manner.

21. Training and Research Needed for Project

The managers can track this KPI through the courses or surveys that their project team takes to learn the workmanship needed to finish a project properly.

22. Number of Change Requests

This KPI measures the frequency and the number of changes that are requested by a customer to be made in the original scope of work of the project. If the number of changes is too many, it can negatively affect the overall quality.

23. Number of Returns

If the project that you are working on, is a capital project, it might require many different parts. The managers can track the return rate of all of those parts to ensure that the job planning was good and the overall project is going smoothly.

24. Number of Cancelled Projects

This KPI tracks the total number of projects that have been eliminated from the development queue or are pending to be worked on.

25. Billable Utilization

This KPI shows the total percentage of the project hours that you as a manager can bill to the customer.


These were our top picks for the most important KPIs in the project management paradigm. If you think that we mentioned something fishy or incorrect, write to us, and we will get back to you ASAP.