Document Detail

Title: IR220-2 - Project Health Indicator (PHI) Tool: Assessing Project Health during Project Execution
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Product Type: Implementation Resource
Status: Tool
Pages: 107
Addresses the fundamental need of addressing in real-time various leading indicators that could be early warning signs of trouble on a project. With the PHI software tool, 43 leading indicators can be evaluated and can complement current traditional measures. The tool begins where the CII Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) ends: after front-end planning. The tool identifies and quantifies the extent of each of the leading indicators so that a project's health can be assessed throughout project execution.

NOTE: This publication's accompanying beta software is a proof of concept and is available for informational purposes only.

By downloading or purchasing this publication, you understand and accept that its accompanying software may stop opening or running properly on future platforms and is not supported or maintained by CII.

Both the publication and its software are protected by applicable copyright restrictions as set forth by CII.

Any party interested in adapting this software is invited to contact CII Associate Director for Deployment to discuss licensing.
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A project is developed through a cycle that includes front-end planning and project execution. Project execution includes detailed design, procurement of materials and equipment, construction, and startup. In the early project phases, typically during front-end planning, project management is focused on practices that have a substantial impact on changing project outcomes. As the project moves into execution, the ability to influence project outcomes diminishes and the emphasis then shifts to managing project work to ensure the desired project outcomes are achieved.

During project execution, the status of the project is periodically evaluated. Traditional methods or standard practices are used to evaluate project status. These methods typically have quantitative measures such as a performance ratio, schedule variance, and cost variance that provide hard data on a project’s current status and progress. Based on the evaluation of these measures, cost and schedule status are assessed.


Traditional methods and their measures may not adequately identify issues that may exist, such as lack of sufficient identification of warning signs of potential project failure, lack of a method for showing that a project is on the right track, and lack of connectors that can fill the gaps between these traditional measures and the degree to which the project is “on-the-right-track.” It may be that current methods lack the ability to provide real-time indications of emerging problems that impact project outcomes in a timely manner.

There are other non-traditional indicators that perhaps provide a clearer picture of how and where a project has gone off course. These leading indicators may have a significant impact on a project’s outcomes. Identifying and quantifying the impact of these leading indicators is the fundamental need being addressed by the Project Health Indicator (PHI) Tool. The use of PHI Tool can enhance the probability of project success.

In the PHI tool, 43 leading indicators provide real-time early warning signs of an unhealthy project. These leading indicators can complement current, traditional measurement approaches and provide additional insight into the health and vitality of a project. This can help ensure that the project meets the desired performance targets and adds value for all participants in the project development process.