Reports are a great way to evaluate data based on the information that matters to your organization. The great thing about reports, and dashboards in particular, is that they facilitate communication between project managers and executives in an easy to understand manner. The other part we love about dashboards is they are not easy to argue with – who can dispute data?
The challenge comes in when thinking about what to measure and what it means. And for that, we have some recommendations.
Here are the top three reports we see to bridge the gap between project managers and executive management.
- Variance Report – This report out of the box contains resource allocation information that shows what percentage of time a certain resource will be working on a given project. This report enables resource managers to track time actuals against forecasted within a project. The result is simply an answer to the question “is my plan accurate?” The report can be broken down by project and used for any time period or interval and look across resources or roles for aggregating data. By having allocations vs. actuals, you have data to adjust your plan, reallocate resources among projects or use the information for future planning. Why would your CIO care about this information? Because you can aggregate the data and provide high level information quickly and easily. Do our resources have enough to do? Do we need to hire more resources? If so, how many? That information is clearly portrayed in this report.
- Portfolio Overview Report – This is a fun report because it provides so much information very simply. For example project health, there are so many factors that determine the health of a project, but portraying this in a simple red, yellow, green format gives bottom-line information without in-the-weeds, roundabout explanations. This report also shows health and dollars spent across a division. I always recommend this report because it provides all the information about the portfolio at the level you want. Plus since PMs and CIOs see the same thing, there is no discrepancy as to how the info got there. Drill down capabilities give PMs the info they need as to why a project is in a certain status, and CIOs can see what’s at risk of delay or scope creep, budget information, and they also can drill down for visibility into what is causing a risk or health indicator.
- Request Report – Shows incoming requests and what requests have been prioritized. By default this report utilizes the out-of-the-box scoring (which can be modified), and ranks projects based on value and risk. The third component of this report is a bubble quadrant chart that increases with cost of project for easy to identify what is coming down the pipe and what is in flight. For an added bonus, our Predictive Portfolio Analysis (PPA) engine can take this information and identify what can be done based on resource capacity and prioritize those projects. The main advantage of this report is to quickly go from idea to plan for execution. This report lets PMs know what is on their plate for a given cycle and let’s CIOs see where the budget is allocated.
There are many more reports both default and customized within Innotas, these are just a couple of my favorites. We take reporting very seriously and know that providing dashboards is a universal communication channel between users and executive management. For more information on Innotas reporting, feel free to check out our demo video library.