#AmazingPM, PPM, project management, Reports

Recipe for creating an effective report

report1Why do you use reports?

Most people use reports in business to learn something about something in the business. Project management reports, if designed properly, inform the reader well enough to decide if action need be taken regarding the report subject. Reports are communication devices cum learning aids meant for wide audiences in the control process. Anything associated with learning can benefit from instructional design techniques, so use instructional design approaches to building reports and see report quality improve.

Three instructional design tools are particularly useful for designing reports: Bloom’s taxonomy, learning outcomes, and the ADDIE model.

Start with Bloom’s taxonomy when designing new reports because the information hierarchy it calls out informs the report writer on the type of data and detail required to accomplish the appropriate level of cognition. A status report that supports a reader’s ability to recall, understand, or apply the data holds fewer cognitive demands and can be supported by a smaller data set than a forecast that asks people to analyze, evaluate, or create thinking. Bloom’s taxonomy provides a mechanism where the verbs associated with the desired level of cognition can be incorporated into the learning outcomes.

“Validate the level of performance of UAT results by listing test scripts attempted, test scripts passed, reason for failure and frequency count of reasons.”

This is an example of a learning outcome with the highest order of Bloom’s taxonomy (validating something requires an evaluative level of cognition). Learning outcomes define the knowledge, skills, or abilities a learner is meant to achieve from a given lesson or instructional material. Learning outcomes are typically comprised of objectives. Drafters of objectives are typically advised to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Use the verbs from Bloom’s taxonomy to guide the wording of the specificity of the learning outcomes.

Next, use the ADDIE model to accomplish the learning outcomes with the reports. Analyze the data needed for the audience looking to act on the report. Design not only the data outlay but also source collection methods. Develop and implement the report by publishing to the intended audience. Evaluate the report through routine feedback on its usefulness to complete the full ADDIE cycle and make changes as they make sense.

In other words, when looking to create a new report, follow this recipe:

  1. List your report-reader’s cognitive-level learning outcome(s) for the report (e.g. “Be able to speculate on the root cause of product bugs”) based upon using Bloom’s taxonomy to be specific.
  2. Follow ADDIE to discover then leverage the data needed to achieve the intended report outcomes.
  3. Get feedback on what works. Fix what needs fixing. Lather, rinse, repeat.

 

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#AmazingPM, Events, PPM

Know Before You Go – Gartner PPM Summit Preparation

The Gartner PPM Summit is coming up next week, and anyone attending will want to prepare in advance to take full advantage of the show.

trade-showMost people attending Gartner are investing resources researching which Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) solution and/or vendors they want to work with for their enterprise project management. Vendors have paid handsomely for the right to present their wares just as Conference attendees have also paid well for the right to go shopping. All attendees make these investments with no apologies that everyone attending is looking to do some business. Make the most of your investment as an attendee by taking advantage of the following methods to prepare for the conference.

  1. Know what you don’t know and want to learn – there are four tracks at the Gartner show (a. Pioneer, b. Partner, c. Build, & d. Transform) that will focus on a. “New” (methods, PPM approaches, metrics), b. culture/change management, c. optimization and alignment, and d. governance and tools. Understand which of these tracks you don’t understand and write down what questions you have on them before attending any sessions.
  2. Understand which primary technology stack(s) you want to consider – there are seventeen product manufacturers (congratulations to Planview for top marks two years in a row!) and you will not be able to take them all in during the show. Prioritize your time to get to the booths of the vendors who support the technology you might buy so you can meet them in person. (Remember, Innovative-e supports Microsoft primarily, we integrate with other technologies, and we will be in booth 213!)
  3. Prepare advance questions to assess vendor ability to understand the PPM vision for your business – ask your prospective vendors how they approach understanding the value of your system to you.
  4. Prepare advance questions to assess vendor ability to execute the PPM vision for your business – ask your prospective vendors how they approach delivery and quality. (Remember, delivery is all about meeting constraints and quality is all about consistency!)
  5. Prepare advance questions to assess vendor integrity and reliability such as asking them to describe a time when a project failed, and customers didn’t get what they wanted. How did it happen? What did the vendor do to remedy the situation?
  6. Have a tool and an approach to evaluate vendors – use a consistent rating tool by all the members of the evaluating team. Explore different scores with qualitative discussions. Use standardized scoring and a weighting system to evaluate across multiple factors. Innovative-e has an example weighted scoring matrix in an excel file, send a request to eoin.callan@innovative-e.com for a copy if you would like to see how it works.

Innovative-e is incredibly excited and eager for the Gartner PPM Summit and to meet with everyone! We welcome your questions of us and look forward to the chance to help you achieve your goals using #AmazingPM.

See you next week in Booth 213!

 

#AmazingPM, project management

How to build an effective PMIS report – Step One: know your audience

Interest and impact drive PMIS report creation foundation.

The measure of success for a Project Management Information System (PMIS) often comes down to one question: do system reports show correct, timely data for informed business decisions on any given project, program, or portfolio? 

Decisions reflect overt, conscious choices made by accountable individuals who own decision outcome consequences.  Accountable individuals may also be called “business decision makers” (BDMs), or “decision owners,” and may choose to share the decision—making power with a group.  Informed decisions take place when all data relevant to the choices and/or consequences of a given decision are included in the conversation with the decision-maker.  A PMIS report is only as good as the content tells the consumer enough to choose, with confidence, to move forward (or to stop moving forward). 

Building a good PMIS report is as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Know your content
  3. Know how to design the content for your audience.

The rest of this post will focus on the first step, Know your audience.  The next post will cover point 2, and a subsequent post after that will address how to put it all together in the design. 

power BI graphic

Creating a new report qualifies as a project.  One performs stakeholder analysis early in projects to identify the proper folks for requirements gathering, communication management, risk identification, issue management, etc.  Techniques used for such stakeholder analysis work well for creating new reports; one easy-to-use technique is an Impact-Interest prioritization matrix. 

The first step in the Impact-Interest prioritization matrix for a new report is to name the report and identify the potential questions to be expected from such a report title (e.g. if I am looking to create a “Past expenditures” report showing how money was spent, some questions might include: was past money spent wisely based upon outcomes achieved to date? Do I need to request more funds for future intentions I have? Are there actions to take now to improve current acceptable performance? Do I need to give budget back because I can’t spend the money allocated to my group? Etc.).

These questions identify the people, groups, and other entities (the stakeholders) holding any interest in report content. 

Plot the level of sincere interest (ranging from low to high) for each person, group, or other entity listed above.  Next, very honestly determine, and plot, the level of direct impact felt by or influenced by each stakeholder entity.  Also determine if each stakeholder’s impact or influence holds sway over a) inputs to answering the questions or b) the consequences of the answers (or c) both).  The greatest interest and the greatest impact stakeholder group comprise the core audience to consider when moving to the next step for deciding the most relevant content to include. 

reports table

#AmazingPM, OutageHawk, PPM, solutions

Equipping Yourself with the Right Project Management Tools in Heavy Manufacturing

Do you manage projects in the manufacturing industry? Innovative-e offers an array of #AmazingPM tools to deliver winning projects, realize better ROI on PM portfolio investments, and empower your teams with decisive insight and control over your projects.  Ranging from mass-produced, OOTB Microsoft products to standardized, yet tailored, Innovative-e services and products, our tools answersthe question, “What should you have in YOUR toolbox?”Tools.jpg

Tools in Innovative-e’s Toolbox for the Manufacturing PM

Microsoft PPM

Microsoft PPM provides, on its own, robust project management capabilities to maximize business value. Increase PM performance and project throughput, optimize productivity by increasing resource utilization, and improve enterprise resource management with Microsoft Project with cost-effective features such as:

  • Easy time and task management
  • Robust issue and risk mitigation
  • Intuitive collaboration
  • Wide-spread access from virtually anywhere

Check out our fact sheet about the business value of Microsoft PPM here.

OutageHawk™

Built to leverage the power of Microsoft PPM, OutageHawk™ is an outage planning and performance management tool created especially for PMs in heavy industry. OutageHawk™ enables project managers in pulp and paper manufacturing plants, chemical manufacturers, energy companies and other heavy manufacturing industries to manage non-routine, planned maintenance outages, plant upgrades, and critical repair outages smarter and more efficiently to come in on-schedule and under budget safely, sometimes by millions of dollars.

Manufacturing PMs who use OutageHawk™ will be able to:

  • Make better informed decisions where to apply resources on critical tasks
  • Gain improved visibility on schedule drivers and the lock-out/tag-out status of jobs
  • ​Maximize collaboration by adopting a tool designed to work with teams

Want to know more? Download our two-page brochure about OutageHawk™ here or watch our short video about how to use #AmazingPM on your next outage.

Edison365 Projects

Edison365 Projects (previously known as PS+) is an award-winning add-on for Microsoft Project to empower you and your team with even greater insight and control than comes with standard OOTB PPM. Improve collaboration and manage your entire project from start to finish with an intuitive add-on that extends Microsoft Project’s capabilities to give you:

  • Easy-to-use OOTB apps and aids to increase system adoption and productivity immediately
  • Visibility into portfolio project management performance
  • Management reporting
  • Finance management

With Edison365, you’ll gain insights into your portfolio project management performance, take control of resources and expenditures, make more informed decisions, have critical near-real-time information at your fingertips, maximize your resources, and enable more productive collaboration. All of this in an easy-to-use, intuitive interface!

Read this comparison to see how Edison365 Projects deepens and enhances Microsoft PPM, or watch our recorded webinar, “Accelerate Your PM with Edison365 Projects.”

Customer Success Management Services (CSMS) Subscription

With these PPM tools at your disposal, you want to protect your investment and make the very most of it. Innovative-e’s Customer Success Management Services (CSMS) subscription and Application Management and Ongoing Adoption (AMOA) service product give a solid foundation for your user community and your PPM toolset. We will train you to effectively use, manage, and maintain these tools to achieve your business goals at your desired level of self-sufficiency.

Innovative-e uses our years of expertise and stable of PPM subject matter experts to address your PM pain points and attain your organization’s project management goals using the people, processes, and technology you already have in place.

csm

Use some or all of these tools to maximize productivity, gain better visibility into your portfolio project management, and access up-to-date project performance information to enable informed business decisions. These tools lead to better control over resource management, project scheduling, and portfolio reporting so projects stay on time, on- or under-budget. Each of these tools is designed to help project managers across a number of industries do what they aim to do with their project portfolios and they are especially helpful for PMs on projects in the manufacturing industry.

If you want better ROI and decisive insight from your manufacturing industry project management tools, drop us a line at info@innovative-e.com today!

#AmazingPM, project management, Project Online, PS+

Project Raise Slow Ride – Preparing to Do the Thing

slow ride prepIn our last several Project Raise Slow Ride videos, Mike has  pretty meticulously planned the raising of Slow Ride from the water. Good planning, risk assessment and mitigation, and preparation for a project are all critical to managing a successful project.

Time is of the essence, though – being submerged for so long is damaging Slow Ride, and the longer it takes to pull her out, the worse the damage will get. After putting together a solid plan, it’s time to actually do the thing.

In our next video in this series, Mike talks a little bit about the prepwork for actually pumping the water out of Slow Ride. Notice in the video that Mike pulls up Microsoft Project on his phone to make some tweaks to the project on the go. With mobile access to Microsoft Project, you can manage projects about a boat, near a boat, or on a boat!

mobile project

The moment of truth is nearly upon us – will Mike be able to save Slow Ride? Stay tuned to see if he’s able to get the boat out of the water, and if he’s able to get the water out of the boat.

Playing catch-up? Here are the other videos:

 

#AmazingPM, project management, Project Online, PS+

Project Raising Slow Ride – Risks, Mitigation, and Simulation

In our last installment of “Project Raise Slow Ride,” Mike began planning the whole thing out in Microsoft Project, with PS+ overlaying even more functionality to the already robust capabilities of Project.

One of the biggest pieces in planning a big project is the risk assessment. Once you determine what the potential risks are, you need to figure out how to mitigate them. In our latest video, Mike discusses some of the risks of raising the boat out of the water, and how to mitigate those risks. In the case of raising Slow Ride, electrical shock is a very real consideration, so Mike talks about some of the specific measures he’s taking to ensure nobody gets hurt.

Another risk of raising the boat is that, when Mike pumps the water out of the boat, the boat could roll over in the water, which, because Slow Ride is a pretty big boat, would be disastrous.

slow ride simMike runs a highly detailed (and really cool) simulation of how he thinks the boat sank, and then simulates the pumping process to see how the boat is likely to behave once the water is being pumped out of it. Once Mike has projected how he thinks the boat will move when the water is being pumped out of it, he’s able to mitigate the risk of the boat rolling over  in the real world with measures that will stabilize it as he pumps.

Thorough and specific planning for the likeliest risks in any given project is essential, and knowing exactly how you’re going to minimize or address those risks is critical to the success of the overall project.

Will all this planning help Mike get Slow Ride out of the water? Keep watching to find out!

Though attention has shifted to Puerto Rico’s damage from Hurricane Maria, folks in Texas and Florida are also still in the recovery process from this brutal hurricane season. Here are some resources if you’d like to help.

#AmazingPM, project management, Project Online, PS+

Using Microsoft Project & PS+ to Plan “Project Raising Slow Ride”

You’ve seen the boat and you’ve seen the whiteboard.  Now it’s time to crunch some numbers and leverage Microsoft Project and PS+ to plan at a whole-project (but still granular) level. Good planning is critical in making a project successful!

project slow ride schedule

In this video, Mike creates “Project Raise Slow Ride” using Microsoft Project and PS+ (soon to be renamed Edison365 Projects, with added functionality to help you see your project through from ideation through execution).

The start of the video may look familiar to you: creating a new project in Microsoft Project. But then Mike demos some super-neat stuff that PS+ can do in tandem with Microsoft Project to help assess project risks and escalate them to issues with one easy click.

Mike also shows off the project benefits page – it’s important to know the WHY of the project you’re mounting to help you stay focused on what matters through the course of the project.

With all this planning, will Mike be able to raise Slow Ride? Stay tuned…