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Project portfolio dashboard
Hello Team,

How to build a project portfolio dashboard which shows the performance of the triple constraints? What can possibly go wrong?

Which software/tool is widely used?
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Ganesh -

Do a quick Google search for PPM & EPM tools and you will find a few hundred out there.

Gartner used to have an annual survey of such products using their standard magic quadrant evaluation scheme.

Before looking at a commercial product, you might want to start simple with an Excel-based spreadsheet focusing on the specific KPIs which are of interest to your portfolio stakeholders.

Kiron
Probably the 2 most commonly used are PowerPoint and Excel.

A dashboard should be readable at a glance so PowerPoint is the most widely used presentation tool. Of course all the real work to determine the info displayed on your dashboard is in another tool and you're just showing a cartoon.

In Excel you can perform calculations for your metrics in one or more worksheets, and either use the output values themselves on a separate worksheet as the dashboard display or you can use conditional formatting based on the metrics and targets if you want to just show stoplight health on the dashboard (Red Yellow Green)

There are of course more sophisticated tools, but those are 2 very common techniques.
Ganesh,

make sure you can get the performance data standardized from each project (what about your Scrum projects? what about WBS ). A dashboard should be on one page/screen, maybe drilldown, so make sure to have max 40-50 projects to monitor.

Start with process, prototype in Excel and then look at several tools. Each of these steps requires change management, so build a community of PMs who understand what you are doing. Avoid resource management in the beginning, does not add much to visibility of project status.

A tool implementation may cost well over 1 million (licences, server/cloud, interfaces/adaptations, helpdesk, training, change management).

Good luck.
Thomas
Good advice from Thomas, Keith, and Kiron. Of course, it depends on the data that you collect.
Thank you so much Kiron, Keith, Thomas...... surely will consider time-tested Excel.


If I were to consider Communication Effectiveness as one of the KPI - (a) is it worth tracking and (b) how to collect data around it, so that we are not lost in translating?
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1 reply by Keith Novak
Nov 18, 2022 12:49 PM
Keith Novak
...
How you can measure communication effectiveness will depend on the activity.

Tech support for example might have lots of metrics like how long to resolve, how many emails to resolve, can the tech resolve it or must they elevate it to another tech.

How effective your team meetings are, or general coordination between people developing a new product can be much more difficult. I have worked root cause investigation projects where we found systemic communication gaps between organizations, but it's hard to see that in real time. You find it when something went wrong.

The key to KPI metric dashboards is like a car dashboard, those are the few data points you use to actively manage your situation. For it to provide you with actionable data, you must consider how you would act upon it. Are you trying to hold less meetings, improve response time, reduce the number of total information transactions, etc. and how do you steer the metrics in the right direction?
Hi Ganesh,

The purpose of the dashboard is to provide the project stakeholders, with a high level one page view of the project health, progress and cost/schedule and risks (if any) information for each of the projects displayed.

At a program level your KPIs may be different. (Work with your upper management and stakeholders to see what they want to look at.)

The KPIs we use currently for seeing each Project health include the following:

a) Project health indicator that includes (Cost/Schedule) aligning to a Project Objective with any of the three colors (Green,Red,Yellow).

b) Risks/Concerns - if any. (Risk is constantly monitored)

c) This week's accomplishments.

d) Next week's activities or plan.

Usually, a dashboard must be a one page or one board view with all programs or projects listed. Not sure how many projects or programs you have. If there are too many programs you handle, it might be advisable to use a digital workbook where in clicking into the button leads to more details. (OR if it can be accommodated on a big board, then well and good).

As far as considering communication effectiveness, it may not be worth to monitor it as a KPI. You as a program manager must be engaged and make sure the team is responding to requests and communicating at all levels (within team, at department level, with customers and all other stakeholders including your upper management).

Measuring outcomes or results is far more important to see if communication is working the right way or not.

(I would say Stakeholder engagement must really show if communication is happening the right way or not. An engagement matrix may be developed. But this is just my opinion.)

And if you really want to measure communication, the emails now a days have enhancements which track down such things. (See the analytics portion of the emails, it tells if a person is passive and how long since he or she has not answered emails or has no activities going on for example whether it be Outlook or Lotus notes or any other software your organization uses.) Probably, you can extract a bit of data from here, do an analysis and use it as a Communication KPI. The only cavet, to this is your employees may see you as a Micro Manager if you are doing this.
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1 reply by Ganesh Kumar
Nov 22, 2022 2:14 AM
Ganesh Kumar
...
Thank you Vijay, very valuable indeed.
Nov 18, 2022 12:37 AM
Replying to Ganesh Kumar
...
Thank you so much Kiron, Keith, Thomas...... surely will consider time-tested Excel.


If I were to consider Communication Effectiveness as one of the KPI - (a) is it worth tracking and (b) how to collect data around it, so that we are not lost in translating?
How you can measure communication effectiveness will depend on the activity.

Tech support for example might have lots of metrics like how long to resolve, how many emails to resolve, can the tech resolve it or must they elevate it to another tech.

How effective your team meetings are, or general coordination between people developing a new product can be much more difficult. I have worked root cause investigation projects where we found systemic communication gaps between organizations, but it's hard to see that in real time. You find it when something went wrong.

The key to KPI metric dashboards is like a car dashboard, those are the few data points you use to actively manage your situation. For it to provide you with actionable data, you must consider how you would act upon it. Are you trying to hold less meetings, improve response time, reduce the number of total information transactions, etc. and how do you steer the metrics in the right direction?
...
1 reply by Ganesh Kumar
Nov 22, 2022 2:07 AM
Ganesh Kumar
...
Thanks Keith, will consider these points.
Ganesh

Communication effectiveness is more difficult to measure than efficiency.

Measures I have seen
- meeting attendance
- email responsiveness/reminders needed
- download counts
- team surveys
- adhering to deadlines, e.g. providing project dara updates to the dashboard
- # of 1:1 exchanges per week

Thomas
...
1 reply by Ganesh Kumar
Nov 22, 2022 2:12 AM
Ganesh Kumar
...
Thanks Thomas, point noted. We will focus on the must-have and important kpi's and build it subsequently.
It fully depends on the information people that need to take decisions need to see. Information, not data. Data must be converted into information. So, in my actual work place, we have a "one page" dashboard with 5 "traffic lights" indicators. This is enough for key stakeholders in my actual work place. BUt it could be not enough for others.
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1 reply by Ganesh Kumar
Nov 22, 2022 2:13 AM
Ganesh Kumar
...
Right Sergio, we are doing the same.
Nov 18, 2022 12:49 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
...
How you can measure communication effectiveness will depend on the activity.

Tech support for example might have lots of metrics like how long to resolve, how many emails to resolve, can the tech resolve it or must they elevate it to another tech.

How effective your team meetings are, or general coordination between people developing a new product can be much more difficult. I have worked root cause investigation projects where we found systemic communication gaps between organizations, but it's hard to see that in real time. You find it when something went wrong.

The key to KPI metric dashboards is like a car dashboard, those are the few data points you use to actively manage your situation. For it to provide you with actionable data, you must consider how you would act upon it. Are you trying to hold less meetings, improve response time, reduce the number of total information transactions, etc. and how do you steer the metrics in the right direction?
Thanks Keith, will consider these points.
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