3.8 Project Information – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), Fifth Edition

3.8 Project Information

Throughout the life cycle of the project, a significant amount of data and information is collected, analyzed, transformed, and distributed in various formats to project team members and other stakeholders. Project data are collected as a result of various Executing processes and are shared within the project team. The collected data are analyzed in context, and aggregated and transformed to become project information during various Controlling processes. The information may then be communicated verbally or stored and distributed as reports in various formats.

The project data are continuously collected and analyzed during the dynamic context of the project execution. As a result, the terms data and information are often used interchangeably in practice. The indiscriminate use of these terms can lead to confusion and misunderstandings by the various project stakeholders. The following guidelines help minimize miscommunication and help the project team use appropriate terminology:

  • Work performance data. The raw observations and measurements identified during activities performed to carry out the project work. Examples include reported percent of work physically completed, quality and technical performance measures, start and finish dates of schedule activities, number of change requests, number of defects, actual costs, actual durations, etc.
  • Work performance information. The performance data collected from various controlling processes, analyzed in context and integrated based on relationships across areas. Examples of performance information are status of deliverables, implementation status for change requests, and forecasted estimates to complete.
  • Work performance reports. The physical or electronic representation of work performance information compiled in project documents, intended to generate decisions or raise issues, actions, or awareness. Examples include status reports, memos, justifications, information notes, electronic dashboards, recommendations, and updates.

Figure 3-5 illustrates the flow of project information across the various processes used to manage the project.