Work Performance Information vs Performance Reports - Conclusion (Part 4 of 4)

2 minute read    Updated:    Harwinder Singh

In the first three articles of this series, we reviewed Work Performance Information (WPI), Work Performance Measurements (WPMs) and Performance Reports. In this article, we’ll recap the concepts and tie them together.

UPDATE (Oct 2018): This post is based on PMBOK Guide, 4th Edition, and is now outdated. A newer version, which aligns with PMBOK Guide, 6th Edition, is available here: Work Performance Data, Work Performance Information and Work Performance Reports

Work Performance Information, Work Performance Measurements and Performance Reports

WPI includes status of deliverables, schedule progress, costs incurred, achieved value of technical performance measures, implementation status of change requests, status of risks etc. WPI is gathered as the project is being executed. WPI is an input to most M&C group processes. WPI is used to generate Work Performance Measurements (WPM) such as SV, CV, SPI, CPI and budget forecasts such as ETC, EAC. Together, WPI, WPMs and Budget Forecasts are used to generate Performance Reports.

WPI + WPMs + Budget Forecasts => Performance Reports

As you can see, WPI includes the nitty-gritty details of the project. Do all the stakeholders like customer, sponsor, top management need to know every little detail of the project? It’s way too much of information for them to consume. Some stakeholders may just be interested in the “big picture”, while others may need to have a more detailed view. Performance Reports give stakeholders the information on how your project is progressing in the form of well-organized and summarized reports, at a level of detail that they require. The focus of Performance Reports is communication.

I hope this four part series helps you see the lines between Work Performance Information, Work Performance Measurements and Performance Reports clearly.

4-part series on WPI, WPM and Performance Reports

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Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hi Anonymous from Brussels :)

WOW ! you read all my posts .. that's a great compliment ! Even I haven't read all of them yet :-)

No need to get scared. Even I'm learning new things each day. And to tell you a secret, I'm also not sure about my answers. I want folks to post their answers so that we can tally our notes. So go ahead and post your response to that quiz.

All the best for your exam.

Harwinder Singh Avatar

@ Anonymous:

That's an excellent question and deserves a separate post of its own. I'll surely cover it as a separate article in near future.

I think there's no hard and fast definition for these reports. Generally speaking, Status Reports communicate the past (till date) status and considered to be more static compared to the Progress Reports, which are more dynamic. Progress reports talk more about present and future (forecasts).

Both Status Reports and Progress Reports can include Performance information. Similarly, Performance Reports include variance information. Variance Reports give actual vs baseline info.

I hope this gives you a high level overview. If you have further question, feel free to post them.


Harwinder Singh Avatar

Thanks all, for your comments. I spent a lot of time in researching these topics and it's encouraging to know that many (or at least some) people found these articles useful.

I'll try to post similar articles on other topics related to PMP certification. Let me know if there are specific topics that you are interested in.


Missing Avatar

Someone post a topic regarding the difference between these three. Although I answered as usual but made me curious and start surfing and I landed on this fabulous and fantastic article.

Can I post a link of it on that forum.

If we sum up:
WPI: is the nitty gritty of the activities for the PM and the team.
WPM: is a short big picture of the activities progress to planned to the PM and the team.
RP: is combination of WPI and WPM making a big picture of project performance for the management and stakeholder's in the form of status reports etc.


Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Amir,

Thanks for your feedback. Feel free to post links to any of the articles on this site. Generally, you don't need permission to post links to any websites which are available in the public domain. What we can't do without permission is to copy the content itself.

Best Regards.

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hi Shekhar,

That's a good question. The answer lies in Figure 10.10 of the PMBOK Guide, Fourth Edition.

Report Performance is about creating the reports and not really disseminating them, even though the PMBOK Guide says this in Section 10.5:

"Report Performance is the process of collecting and distributing performance information"

The distribution happens in the Distribute Information process.

Hope that answers your question.


Missing Avatar

Hi Harwinder,

Can you please help me clarify the difference between Work Performance Measurements (WPM) and Quality Control Measurements (QCM) ? I know WPMs are SP, CP, SPI and CPI etc plus budget forecasts like EAC and ETC and are calculated using Work Performance Information (WPI). But I dont understand what is QCM. Is is the Quality metrics (planned from at Quality Planning Level) updated with WPI date to get filled / populated Quality Metrics ?

Thanks in advance...

Best Regards

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Syed,

That's an excellent question and I think it would take a separate blog post to explain it properly.

In short, WPM are about "scope, schedule and cost", whereas Quality Control Measurements (QCM) are about "quality" (of the project and the product of the project).

QCM are the results of all the Quality Control activities. For example, you may conduct inspections of the product to find defects, root cause analysis to uncover problems, capture metrics and check whether standards are being met. The outcome (data) of all these activities would be your QCM. QCM are documented in the format specified in your project plan during Quality Planning.

Examples of Quality Metrics are on-time performance, budget control, defect frequency, failure rate, availability,
reliability, and test coverage (source: PMBOK Guide, 4th ed.). But the actual data, for example, +15% over budget, 5 defects for every ten thousand parts, 99.8% availability of online system, 5% rework index, etc. are examples of QCMs.

Hope it helps.

Missing Avatar

Hi Harwinder,

I just had another query. Can you please tell me the difference between Distribute Information and Report Performance Process ? Is it like the Report Performance Process calculates reports like Status, Progress, EVM, Forecasting and Trends reports and distributes them to stakeholders whereas Distribute Information Process helps distributes all kinds of information and documents (like reports, project files) not only to the stakeholders but also adding them to organization process assets. Appreciate your help in advance...

Best Regards

Missing Avatar

You are a true guru.

I have visited many blogs and websites since last one month. I never satisfied. At last by chance I visited . Wow...
Mind blowing all the post are very professional in nature. I am attending exam on 15th Oct.

I have requested can you post some info on EEFs and Organizational Process Assets.

I have some clarity but following point confused me.

"Hiring and firing guidelines, employee performance reviews and training records" I thought it should be part of Organizational Process assets but in PMBOK 4th edition it is stated as EEFs.


Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Ram,

Thanks for those big compliments and sorry for the late response.

It's an excellent question and certainly deserves a separate blog post.

I'm not a great fan of the PMBOK Guide. So, I'm not going to defend it here. The purview of EEFs and OPAs have been a gray area even for me.

I can just offer you a tip. Anything that has to do with company's facilities, systems, culture, personnel management are EEFs. Anything related to "processes and procedures" that "affect a project", and the knowledge bases (project files, lessons learned etc.) are OPAs.

These are just some of the thoughts from the top of my head. I would have to do a detailed post if you need a better explanation.


Missing Avatar

Hi Hardwiner,

I have another question. Why do you think variance analysis is a tool for Control Processes (Scope Control, Schedule Control, Cost Control and ALSO for Performance Reporting?
WPMs should be calculated either in the Control Processes (Scope, Schedule, Cost) or the Report Performance Process, but not in both places. Seems to me like a redundance.

Thanks in advance

Missing Avatar

Excellent article. Its like you read the mind of many PMP aspirants like me , who is having a tough time to get some of the concepts (like difference between WPM and Report perfo).

Thanks for explaining this confusing area.

Keep up the good work.