Category: KPIs Library.


Keeping track of the intricacies of an IT project is like solving a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. Among the various metrics that project managers use to ensure everything runs smoothly, there’s one critical KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that stands out – the IT Project Hours KPI. What exactly is it, and how can we use it to its full potential? In this blog, we aim to shed light on that very subject. Dive into this concise 4-minute read to gain insights into structuring and comprehending OKRs to get the best out of KPIs.

What is the IT Project Hours KPI?

The IT Project Hours KPI is a measure of the total hours spent on a project by all team members. It tracks both the planned hours (what you forecasted) and the actual hours (what really happened). By comparing these numbers, you can gain insights into the efficiency of your project execution.

Bill Gates

As you get to the end of the project you want to run all the tests cases against one version and make sure that you know that that version passed everything. And so as you get late in the project you get a little more conservative about making radical changes to the software.

Bill Gates

Formula to Calculate IT Project Hours

To calculate the IT Project Hours KPI, you would compare the Actual Project Hours to the Planned Project Hours. The formula can be represented as:


If the KPI value is:

  • Equal to 1: It means the project hours were exactly as planned.
  • Greater than 1: It signifies the project took more hours than planned.
  • Less than 1: It suggests the project was completed in fewer hours than estimated.

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Real-life Examples

The Web Development Project

Scenario: A team was slated to develop a new company website. The planned project hours were set at 300.

By the project’s end, the actual hours logged were 330.

IT Project Hours KPI= 330/300 = 1.1


Percentage of time exceeded= Actual Hours – Planned Hours/Planned Hours * 100

In this case,

  • Actual Hours = 330
  • Planned Hours = 300

Substitute these values into the formula:


The project took 10% more time than expected, indicating potential scope creep or underestimated tasks.

The Network Upgrade

Scenario: An IT department planned to upgrade its organization’s network infrastructure. They allocated 500 hours for the upgrade.

Upon completion, the team had only used up 480 hours.

IT Project Hours KPI= 480/500 = 0.96
Percentage Time Saved = Time Saved/Allocated Hours * 100

Substituting the values,

Percentage Time Saved= 20/500*100 = 4%

The project was executed 4% faster than planned, possibly due to a well-coordinated team or overestimation in the planning phase.

Tracking & Measuring IT Project Hours KPI using OKRs

In IT project management, tracking time and performance is essential. One of the most prominent KPI in this sector is Project Hours. However, how do we ensure these hours translate into tangible outcomes and align with broader objectives? The answer lies in Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).

Objective: Optimize project hours for enhanced efficiency and productivity.

KR 1: Reduce total project overtime hours from 100 hours to 85 hours

Initiative :Conduct weekly team check-ins to assess if certain tasks or phases are consistently causing overtime.

KR 2: Achieve 95% of project milestones within estimated hours

Initiative :Offer training sessions on time management techniques and tools for team members

KR 3 : Increase task completion within allocated hours from 80% to 90%

Initiative :Encourage and facilitate regular communication between team members to address bottlenecks.

Why is the IT Project Hours KPI Important?

Listed below are reasons that catapult the IT Project Hours KPI to the forefront of crucial metrics in the IT world. Discover its unparalleled significance!

Budgeting & Costs

Labor is often a significant portion of IT project costs. By tracking actual hours against planned hours, project managers can keep a tab on potential cost overruns.

Resource Allocation

If a project consumes more hours than anticipated, other projects may get delayed. This KPI provides an early warning to managers to reallocate resources if needed.

Productivity Assessment

Regularly overshooting or undershooting the planned hours can indicate productivity issues, be it due to unforeseen challenges, poor planning, or high-performing teams.

Continuous Improvement

By understanding the variance between planned and actual hours, organizations can refine their planning processes over time.

Future scope

The IT Project Hours KPI is more than just a measure of time. It’s a pulse check on your project’s health, indicating where you’re on track and where adjustments might be needed. As with any KPI, consistent tracking, coupled with understanding the root causes of discrepancies, will help project managers continually refine their processes and deliver better results over time.

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