During the life of the project a large amount of data and information is generated, collected, processed, and distributed in different formats to project team members and other stakeholders. Project data is collected on a continual basis as a result of performing various Executing processes and are analyzed, aggregated and transformed to information during the Monitoring and Controlling processes. To many the difference between data, information, and report is arbitrary and fuzzy and as such in the PMBOK® Guide the following divide between project data, information, and report is provided to avoid confusion and improve the efficiency of project communication management.
Work Performance Data:
Is the raw measurements and facts made available from project execution. Examples metrics such as task percent complete, hours spent on a task, quality attributes such as weight of a product, estimated and actual cost for leased equipment, task duration, quantity of items released from production line for delivery to the customer, etc.
Work Performance Information (WPI):
Is an aggregated analysis of performance data collected through various Monitoring & Controlling processes. Examples are status report for deliverables to date, accept or reject status of change requests submitted to the change control log, total amount of time spent on the project to date, list of tasks with slack times approaching zero, etc. In order for the monitoring and executing process group to perform its main objective of comparing work done against planned and taking corrective action, a stream of information reporting performance and status of work is necessary. Of the 10 monitoring and controlling process group processes Work Performance Information is an input to 7 of them (is not an input to Monitor and control project work, Verify scope, and Perform Quality Control processes), it’s also an input to the Perform quality assurance from the executing process group.
Work Performance Report:
Is the representation of work performance information generated to facilitate decision making or cause reactions, raise awareness, or keep the stakeholders up to date on project performance. Examples are biweekly project progress report, quarterly report, risk action plans, etc.
The following figure illustrates the flow of project data and information among project processes for managing and controlling the project.