November 2, 2017
PMO Meeting Recap: Portfolio Performance Reporting - What does your organization need to see?
Performance reporting is a critical part of any organization. Accurate and timely information can help better evaluate the success of an organization’s project portfolio strategy, monitor their progress, and help set realistic goals for future performance.
Dan Gowens, Senior Director of IT Shared Services at Prime Therapeutics, provided multiple scenarios of performance reporting to our group last Friday during our Project Management Office Group meeting. He started by asking two questions: Why does your organization need portfolio performance reporting? What do you need to facilitate effective reporting?
Why does your organization need it?
For performance reporting to be successful, you need to understand the needs of your organization. There are three key steps to follow when trying to determine the “why”: ask them, tell them, show them.
Ask them: Identify your audience and ask them what is important for them to see. Here are a few suggested ideas for questions:
- What would you like to see?
- What keeps you up at night?
- Is budget performance important?
- What level of risks do you want to see?
- How and when do you want the information?
Tell them: Sometimes they are unsure of what they need, so be prepared to provide a few examples as to why they should care about certain information. What is important to you, that could be important for them?
Show them: Give examples of what you have seen other organizations use. Understand how whoever is reviewing the information can comprehend it in the easiest way.
What do you need to facilitate effective reporting?
- System of Record: Ideally this would be a project portfolio management tool; however, it could be something as simple as Excel
- Good Data: Understand who owns what data, laying out clear data responsibilities can go a long way
- Data Governance: Instead of just trusting that the data is being managed appropriately, take the time to lay out a quality process to ensure you are retaining the right information
- Reporting Mechanism: Basic reporting mechanisms could be as simple as Excel, Business Objects Reporting (SAP), or it could be as extensive as an analytics engine.
And, always remember, no one approach for portfolio performance reporting will work for every organization which is why it’s so important to collaborate with others within your organization to help determine what your company needs.
What reporting mechanisms work best for your organization?