It is Fall and a big time for Sports. A team effort is required at work, just as it is on the sports field. Our rule is:
No Good Portfolio Data Unless Everybody Plays!

All the pieces are in place:

  • You have Microsoft Project Server or Microsoft Project Online installed and configured to suit your needs
  • You've had great portfolio reports developed
  • You have a solid project process and governance in place
  • Your key players are trained in the tool and process
  • Your executive team has been told when the data in the system will be updated

What could go wrong?
At this point, you are most susceptible to – you guessed it – human error.
Let's start at the top and work down.

The Executives:

Yes, your management team knows when reports and views will be updated. But lets face it, we all hear what we want to hear. So, our suggestion is keep the update information in front of everybody.  For all groups involved, we are going to suggest messages you might want to broadcast on your PWA home page. In the case of the executive team, it's a simple reminder, perhaps showing the “good through” date and then the “View on” date.  Example, information through <last Saturday> will be updated in reports on Tuesday, <month/date>. This is a great way to minimize any confusion on dates for your entire team.

The Project Managers:

A lot rides on this group. They need to review and accept updates, whether verbal or from timesheets.  They then need to replan the project, given the updates that they have. Part of this replanning should include moving incomplete work from previous dates into the future. Picture a resource forecast report that's missing planned work in the future….because it's still sitting in the past, undone. While it's easy – and important – to create audit reports and slap hands for Project Managers who deliver late, we like to use a carrot rather than stick approach, and we like to see positive reinforcement.  So maybe take all the PMs out to lunch once you've had 100% updated and on time projects 2 months in a row. What might you want to show on the front page of PWA to help?  Maybe, for the current week, the date timesheets were due and the day the project managers schedule updates are due.

The Team Members:

If you're using time sheets to track your work against the allocated time, you also run into the carrot and stick principle.  Yes, management needs to know about people who consistently report their time late, or don't report at all.  This is indeed a reflection of their professionalism and responsibility.  Team members need to know people are looking at whether their time was submitted correctly. But how about some carrot mentality again.  Maybe pizza is brought in for Friday lunch when 95% of timesheets were submitted on time.  Again, while we like to think team members are most interested in seeing lists of tasks, issues for their projects, etc., what must they see for our corporate reporting goals to be met?  When their timesheets are due.
Bottom line, if we want to see good data, everybody's got to play. What are you going to do so your whole team is involved? Please contact us with your best strategies that have worked, we would love to hear them!