Benchmarking can be applied during various phases of a project for different purposes. When applied early on, such as at project authorization, it can be used to identify characteristics that may be associated with potential future problems and to identify aspects of project management (e.g., risk management) that need special attention to ensure project success. When applied during project execution, it can serve as a project management tool to guide project decisions. Postproject benchmarking is usually used to assess performance of a project delivery system to provide for lessons learned and feedback that can be used to establish benchmarks for future comparisons. Most organizations tend to begin with postproject comparisons and later progress to the earlier uses as confidence in the benchmarking process builds. Over time, when sufficient data are available, trends can be analyzed to provide insight into the performance of project management systems. Since integrated project team (IPT) members will normally have moved on to new projects, trend analyses of project-level cost and schedule metrics would typically be used at program and department levels.


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