Part 1: Increase visibility and reporting to provide strategic insight and delivery
Is your PMO providing the visibility and insight required to help your organization achieve its strategy? Some PMOs only have project status visibility.
This blog series, consisting of two parts, explains how to create our own reports, analytics dashboards, dashboards, KPIs and reports to increase visibility and provide strategic insights for multiple stakeholders.
The Savvy PMO increases visibility and reports to six key areas.
Project Status and Health
Actuals versus plans
Intake and demand
The ability to see and analyze trends and interdependencies across a business is essential for success. This includes data from portfolios, projects, programs, and other data. PMOs need to have insight into work demand, work status and budgets as well as resource capacity.
Savvy PMOs use this information to provide visibility and reporting to stakeholders. They also collaborate with them to make better business decisions.
This post will cover the first three areas. First, identify the metrics that your stakeholders need for decision-making. Next, create reports, analytics and dashboards to highlight this data. These questions will help you determine the best visualizations to get the most out of your data.
Who will be the audience of visualizations and reports?
What is the purpose of the project? What are the results?
What business benefits will it bring?
Your visibility and reporting expansion start with project status and health.
1. Project Visibility: Status and Health
It is crucial for managers and sponsors (project, portfolio, and program) to have visibility into the overall status and health of projects. Smart PMOs have the ability to drill down into details.
These insights allow for quick, informed decisions that keep projects on track. Each project dashboard should include an overall health indicator, such as RYG (Red Yellow Green), as well individual indicators for the following metrics:
Project Details: Provide details about the project, including title, owner, start and target dates, status, percent complete, and percent completion.
Financials: Highlight and identify the revenue and cost information that stakeholders require. The dashboard could show estimated labor costs versus budgeted labor costs, capitalized, non-capitalized, and other information. These data could be displayed in phases or another important category for the business.
Project Schedule: Gives an overview of the project status using Gantt charts. These should contain at least the project phase as well as milestone tasks. Gantt bars with color-coded Gantt bars can be used to indicate overall task health and project completion percentage.
Issues and Risk: Inform stakeholders and project managers about any obstacles that could affect projects. These can be presented in a list or graphic form, showing numbers and priorities. Viewers should be able to quickly drill down into more details.
Staffing: Show each member of the project team’s available capacity and allocations. For data such as actual, planned, and estimated hours, include graphical and list reports.
2. Plan Versus Actuals: Visibility to Keep on Track
Strategic advantage is knowing how the organization is doing against its plan at any given moment. PMOs that are smart set up visualizations of actuals and planned for project and portfolio progress, resource usage, and costs.
These insights will help portfolio and resource managers, financial professionals, and executives to better achieve their strategic objectives.
Here are some ideas for portfolio and project dashboards.
Portfolio and Project Progress: Provide stakeholders with a simple view of planned (target) and actual (completion), so they can determine if projects are on time or not. A Gantt chart is a simple way to show start, target, completion dates.