Global and dispersed organizations often struggle with project portfolio reporting.
Within many large organizations, the project management office (PMO) still use Excel and PowerPoint for project status reporting. Although these tools provide a useful format, they are not easily shared in real-time.
The problem is further complicated when the organization has many PMOs spread across the globe.
Key Enterprise PMO Challenges
Many PMOs within global organizations are constrained to stay with Excel and PowerPoint as their organizations don’t have the appetite for implementing an enterprise project management information reporting tool, a decision usually based on incorrect assumptions of high cost or security issues.
- How to manage a large portfolio of projects over a wide geographical region?
- How to provide project status reporting from country to region to global audiences?
- How to present this status reporting in formats suitable for different audiences?
- How to ensure project management information quality of a sufficient standard?
- How to make sure project status is current as status can change significantly within days?
- How to adopt project management best practices with many users who have immature project management skills and knowledge?
- How to centralize management of projects management information over a large geographical region?
- How to ensure projects would meet the standard expected by an audit from a third party?
- How to ensure any solution meets stringent security policies?
Common Project Management Tool Requirements
- Portfolio, Resource and Cost Management out of the box
- Basic workflow capabilities out of the box
- Real-time ‘customizable’ portfolio dashboards to give senior executives the high-level visibility they need to exercise the control required to eliminate project failure
- High visibility resource reports availability to easily identify when resources are over or under allocated means senior executives can ensure the best use of all resources
- Easy to configure templates and template management features that make it simple to build improved processes into templates and evolve project management maturity.
- Enterprise collaboration potential
- Centralized document management capability with security down to the document level
- Project Management key functionality (Risk, Issue, and Task management)
- Integration with MS Project and MS Office with Outlook alerts
- Live roll-up status reporting with customizable reports and dashboards for all audience type
- Team-focused project sites functionality to provide team members a central place to go where they can get visibility on the progress of the project, collaborate with others and contribute to project success
- Definable, customizable metrics to monitor time, quality, risk, issues and anything else you want
- Ability to handle waterfall and agile projects
- Fast status report capability that minimizes the impact on PM productivity and morale.
Potential Project Management Information Tools
- There are a number of capable tools on the market that can meet all or any of these common project management reporting requirements
- In this article, I show BrightWork, a cloud-based project management tool, as an example, as this is the tool I have used most that meets the above requirements especially as it is based on MS SharePoint and thus has complete integration with MS Office which is a requirement for many large organizations
- SharePoint offers the simple capability to create an enterprise PMO hierarchy of PMO offices where live project status can automatically roll up across the organization.
- The additional benefit with a SharePoint Cloud solution with its familiar SharePoint interface requires minimal IT assistance and maintenance, resulting in successful user and organizational adoption.
- Although there are many challenges with the Enterprise PMO reporting problem, there are many mature project management tools now available to meet most global organizational needs
- Effective management of project portfolios and the real-time reporting of their status to senior executives is too important to leave in static Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides
- Organizations need to change their risk appetite (which is often based on false assumptions) and improve the maturity of project portfolio reporting within their organization.