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By: Jeff Collins

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December 5th, 2014

The Number One Metric to Analyze for Better Project Delivery

Oracle Primavera | project delivery | metrics

better project deliveryProject managers are charged with ensuring that projects are completed in a timely manner and within the constraints of a budget. Perhaps the most important metric for better project delivery is estimate to complete, commonly referred to as ETC. ETC assists managers with project delivery by gauging the progress of projects and taking stock of different components that can alter the course of projects.

Utilizing The ETC Metric For Better Project Delivery

The Value Of Task Level ETC

While there are numerous metrics to monitor the progress of a project, industry leaders consider ETC to be one of the most important. The value of ETC lies in its ability to help managers keep projects on pace in order to have them delivered when promised. This metric measures how much more time and effort must be invested in each of a projects' tasks before they can be fully completed. On the task level, ETC is created through the consideration of numerous factors like the availability and capabilities of resources, lead times for task reviews, and dependencies. All of these variables impact the amount of time and effort that will be required to complete a project. So task level ETC forces team members to consider a breadth of components that combine to influence project schedules.

An Accurate Gauge Of Project Progress

When the ETC metric is run on a weekly basis, it gives managers an accurate idea of how much progress has been made. Task level ETC should reduce in accordance with the magnitude of resources applied to each project's components. When they aren't keeping the same pace, red flags are raised to catch the project manager's attention. He or she will then be able to devote time and energy to analyze how they can make more efficient use of their resources for better project delivery.

A Means Of Identifying Problems For Better Project Delivery

When used properly, ETC can uncover major project road blocks. If an ETC figure can't be reached, or even if it is reached and far beyond expectations, it will shed light on the fact that certain inputs needed to performs tasks are not being used. This will prompt managers to find solutions that can solve these issues to get the things back on track.

Helps Project Managers Predict The Future

While tabulating task level ETCs helps gauge a project's progress, they can be combined into an aggregate figure to determine the ETC of an entire project. When task level ETCs aren't reduced at the pace that a manager desires, he can compare their current levels to those of the past to determine if there is an overarching issue that is impacting the entire project. When a manager has obtained the full project's ETC, they'll be empowered to analyze their team's working pace and whether the project will be finished according to the timeline established at the outset. It is also quite helpful to cross reference the project ETC with the expected availability of resources throughout the duration of the project. With this information in hand, managers will be able to determine if they have the necessary resources to stay on schedule and meet deadlines.


Project managers should calculate the ETC metric on a regular basis to gauge the seemingly ever changing status and progress rates of projects. This metric empowers managers to make key adjustments that will help projects adhere to timelines and meet critical deadlines.

Key Takeaways

  • ETC is one of the most important metrics for project managers. as it reveals a plethora of information.

  • ETC on both the task level and macro level will provide project managers with insights that can be critical to a project's completion.

  • Managers who make use of ETC will be able to identify major problems and rectify them to keep projects moving forward in a timely manner.

To have successful project delivery, you must also place high importance on effective project portfolio management. Oracle Primavera's PPM solutions are a great tool to use to ensure the delivery of your projects and manage project portfolios. If you are interested in learning more about tools you can use to ensure better project delivery, view our assortment of project management software here, or feel free to contact us.

Oracle Primavera P6

Resource:, PM Study Circle

About Jeff Collins

Hi there, thanks for reading! As the President of IMS, I’ve just about seen it all in the project management industry. I’m happy to share my experiences to help managers and organizations improve their project performance. Please reach out to our team if you’re struggling to achieve your goals. We’d love to work with you to discover the PM solutions you need for success.

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