One of the key requirements for those assigned the responsibility for delivering capital projects is securing executive sponsors’ support for their projects. The list of executive sponsors could include the organization’s CEO, CFO, and other CxOs, board of directors, department heads, and the key beneficiaries of the completed project facilities. Unlike other project stakeholders, those executives want to have an overall status of how projects, programs, and projects’ portfolios are performing. Most of those sponsors would need to have access to trustworthy reports to monitor and evaluate the project, program, or projects’ portfolio performance status. They need to have access to reports that have visuals to convey what is needed to know straight to the point. Those reports, also known as dashboards, need to be available to be accessed by those sponsors anytime, anywhere using any device.
Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) like PMWeb will ensure the trustworthiness of reported information by automating the different project management processes needed to manage the capital projects delivery. Pre-defined input forms for each process will ensure captured data quality as well as transparency while having pre-defined workflows for those processes will ensure timely and accountable review and approval of the captured data. The Big Data generated from those project management processes across the organization’s complete projects’ portfolio will become available to be monitored, evaluated, and reported on to the different stakeholders including the executive sponsors.
There are four levels of dashboards that could exist when it comes to reporting capital projects’ performance. The first is the enterprise or portfolio dashboard for which the complete projects portfolios that the organization has will be reported on. Usually, those dashboards will have three components. The first will be the summary scores where for example the total capital projects’ budget, awarded contracts, invoiced to date among other data values will be summarized. The second component will be a map visual to display the location of those capital projects with an indicator on their performance status, for example, Green for favorable performance while Red for unfavorable performance while the third component will be a scorecard to provide the key performance status details of each project. Of course, all dashboards will include the option to filter and select the projects and programs to be reported on.
The second dashboard type will be similar to the enterprise or projects’ portfolio dashboard with the exception that it will be program-specific. Those could be for example a University Campus, Medical City, Community Development, Internal Roads and Drainage, railways, Metro among others. The program dashboard will only display the projects that are part of the program being reported on. Further, and instead of the map visual of the projects portfolio dashboard, the program dashboard will include a layout showing the boundaries of the program’s projects.
The third dashboard-type will be the project dashboard where the displayed information will be specific to a single capital project. This information could include project schedule, financial, quality, health and safety, and other critical project performance information. The dashboard will also include pictures that show the current project’s performance status with the option to link those pictures to a site camera to display the current project’s site status.
The last dashboard type will be the project management perspective dashboard for which there will be different dashboards for cost, schedule, procurement, quality, health and safety, and risk. Those dashboards are of interest to department heads who are keen to have a better understanding of how each project, program, or portfolio of projects is performing from a specific perspective. The content of each one of those dashboards would differ depending on the nature of the project management information to be reported on. For example, the cost dashboard will focus on the project budget, budget spending projection, budget adjustments, awarded contracts, change orders, invoices, and payments among others.
It is important to note that the information shared across all of those dashboards is based on the same PMWeb data source. The dashboards can be also configured to allow the reader to drill down to view more details on the reported information to the extent to be able to reach the specific transaction that was the basis for the reported information.
This trustworthiness in reporting the projects and programs’ performance information will help in building the needed trust with the executive sponsors that will enable securing their support for delivering projects. The lack of sharing real-time trustworthy projects’ performance information will damage the relationship with executive sponsors as they will feel that they had been excluded and they are not an important player in the project’s success. Those dashboards will help make executive sponsors become part of the projects’ delivery and for which their support is needed to ensure success when it comes to delivering those projects.
About the Author
Bassam Samman, PMP, PSP, EVP, GPM is a Senior Project Management Consultant with more than 35-year service record providing project management and controls services to over 100 projects with a total value over the US $5 Billion. Those projects included Commercial, Residential, Education, and Healthcare Buildings and Infrastructure, Entertainment and Shopping Malls, Oil and Gas Plants and Refineries, Telecommunication, and Information Technology projects. He is thoroughly experienced in complete project management including project management control systems, computerized project control software, claims analysis/prevention, risk analysis/management (contingency planning), design, supervision, training, and business development.
Bassam is a frequent speaker on topics relating to Project Management, Strategic Project Management, and Project Management Personal Skills. Over the past 35 years, he has lectured at more than 350 events and courses at different locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and South America. He has written more than 250 articles on project management and information systems featured in international and regional magazines and newspapers. He is a co-founder of the Project Management Institute- Arabian Gulf Chapter (PMI-AGC) and has served on its board of directors for more than 6 years. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI), a certified Planning and Scheduling Professional (PSP), and Earned Value Professional (EVP) from the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) and Green Project Management (GPM).
Bassam holds a Masters in Engineering Administration (Construction Management) with Faculty Commendation, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA, Bachelor in Civil Engineering – Kuwait University, Kuwait and has attended many executive management programs at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, and London Business School, London, UK.