Project Portfolio Management (PPM) software stores a large amount of information that can be used to make important decisions about your organization. This blog post will examine the key elements needed to support a robust reporting process.
Project Portfolio Reporting answers questions such as:
- Are we going to meet our strategic goals? Why not?
- What is the ROI on our portfolio?
- Should we invest more money into capital projects?
- Which department requested the most projects?
The diagram below offers a summary of key project reporting features and their benefits.
Project Portfolio Management captures and stores data in several ways throughout the project lifecycle:
- Quantitative and qualitative data via project intake forms (start date, PM name, business goal)
- Data imported from other systems (PM, accounting, HR)
- Calculated or derived data (scoring, variances, % complete)
Metadata improves reporting by making information more accessible to non- project management roles – especially those outside of the IT department. With metadata, create centrally managed hierarchies and apply the proper “tag”’ to projects. Some examples include:
- Department (IT, sales, finance)
- Location (HQ, factory A, office B)
- Business Goal (increase revenue, reduce expenses, customer satisfaction)
- Aligning reporting with corporate goals allows your stakeholders on-demand insight into initiatives supporting Governance, Transparency and corporate strategy.
Metrics and KPIs
A comprehensive reporting platform records data for the metrics established for any given project or portfolio.
Once metrics are defined, auditing data ensures the collection of information at the proper level of granularity and frequency.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) should provide users with an immediate understanding of how the portfolio is performing.
The purpose of a dashboard is to indicate HOW the portfolio is performing, with more comprehensive reports and analysis used to understand WHY. Brevity and focus are preferred over detail and complexity.
Dashboards effectively present KPIs and metrics to a wide audience. Web-based dashboards support the on-demand requirements of large and diverse sets of stakeholders.
Your PPM solution needs to allow you to create meaningful dashboards by grouping metrics based on the information they describe (resource utilization) or their relevance to a role (CIO dashboard).
Project Portfolio Management software allows the customization of dashboards to the individual user.
Common elements of PPM dashboards include:
- KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
- RAG reports (Red Amber Green reports)
- Gantt charts
Hindsight Analysis provides the ability to analyze data across many projects
and time periods. Project Portfolio Management software gathers data from the moment the project is requested for consideration until long after it has been completed or deployed.
Hindsight Analysis illuminates:
- Whether the project fell short, met or exceeded expectations
- Whether similar projects should be funded in the future
- Accuracy of the risk/reward measurement via established scoring processes
Analyzing budget vs. actual spending provides timely insight that can be applied to concurrent projects.
Anticipated expenses are collected in the early stages of the project lifecycle and compared to actuals as data becomes available. Project Portfolio Management software incorporates these data collection processes into the project workflow.
Project Scoring Reporting
Project Scoring can help you determine whether projects are meeting corporate standards for approval. (Read more about Project Scoring methodology in this blog post.)
Project Scoring reports allow for comparison to other projects in terms
of risk/reward. Project Portfolio Management software should offer a variety of presentations to transform the scoring data into actionable insight.
Reports and dashboards should be available to individuals across your organization.
Distinguish user types (stakeholders & executives, PPM/PMO staff, and Project managers) and their differing needs for information (on-demand, event-driven notifications, scheduled).
A PPM solution should provide a secure, robust platform for the reporting needs of your organization.
A Project Portfolio Management solution provides a secure, robust platform for enterprise reporting for organizations of any size and portfolios of any scale. To learn more about the additional benefits that PPM can deliver please see our “Definitive Guide to Project Portfolio Management”.