Project Financials: What Does Your CEO Expect from the PMO?

Claire Schwartz

Every executive, manager and project manager knows that financial management is an important--and sometimes critical--element of their job. Executives are held responsible for the overall profitability of the business, middle managers are concerned about department budgets and meeting revenue targets, and project managers are accountable for making sure that their projects are accomplishing their objectives within a set of financial constraints. Successful business execution is dependent upon having timely and accurate financial information available to all of these roles.

But too often, important financial information is distributed via spreadsheets with little thought about how to present the data in a meaningful way to the recipient or to provide enough information for decision-making. Additionally, financial data must be timely--not so old that decisions are no longer actionable, and not so new that decisions are based on data that is incomplete or inaccurate.

While a full discussion of financial management is too broad to cover here, we can look at financial management from a Project Portfolio Management (PPM) perspective. In other words, from a project or portfolio perspective, what does a C-Level executive expect to see from the PMO for actionable decision-making?

Project Financials Start with the Business Case
In the context of either an individual …

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Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up.

- Robert Frost