#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

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#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…

#AmazingPM, project management, Project Online, PS+

Project “Raise Slow Ride” – The Whiteboard Session

In our last post, following the submersion of houseboat Slow Ride during Hurricane Irma, we wondered if project management can raise a boat. The next step after wondering if something can be done?

Planning how it should be done.

In this installment of Project “Raise Slow Ride,” Mike sciences his way to some estimates for pumping out the water that has infiltrated Slow Ride and plans how to raise the boat above the waterline. Watch the short video of the whiteboard session here.

Stay tuned to find out if applying project management manages to get Slow Ride out of the drink…

raise slow ride whiteboard

#AmazingPM, project management, Project Online, PS+

Can project management raise a boat?

irmaWhen Hurricane Irma set its sights on Florida, the Innovative-e team was on high-alert, since Innovative-e President Mike Taylor lives on the east coast of Florida. Mike and his family weathered the storm – though not without some difficulties, like days without running water – but the family houseboat, Slow Ride, didn’t fare so well.

Because Irma ravaged pretty much the whole of Florida, pro boat salvagers are, as you can imagine, a little busy these days. But if Slow Ride or any of her parts are to be saved, she has to be raised out of the water soon. Mike decided that he’ll try to raise the boat himself instead of waiting for the schedules of professional salvagers to clear weeks from now.

slow ride.pngMike is tackling this boat salvaging project as, well, a project. He’s using Microsoft Project and PS+ to help him plan, assess the risks and identify issues, establish and maintain a budget, track his resources, and otherwise manage this project as he would manage a work project from behind his desk.

Will it work?

We don’t know yet. This project is still in process. Follow along  in this video series as Mike documents his attempt to save Slow Ride.

Want to help victims of Hurricane Irma, many of whom lost far more than a boat? Here are some resources:

 

#AmazingPM, OutageHawk, project management

Outage Hawk – still on-time, still on-budget, but now even better!

safety-in-manufacturing-monitor-people (1)Announcing a new Outage Hawk (TM) release! This release features a major enhancement with changes to the Updater App designed to improve overall performance and user experience.  

These changes to the Updater App include: 

  • Faster load times of individual users’ jobs 
  • Performance and experience improvements to job update process 
  • A queue for jobs to be published has been added to the app to avoid conflicts and issues when another user is publishing at the same time. 
  • The user will update a job(s), click submit, and is informed the updates have been queued for publish. When the page refreshes, the user will see the most recent updates to the jobs including the same job that was updated by a different user at the same time! 
  • Faster and better publishing operations with provider-hosted Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • The app uses Azure services to perform publishing operations with an Azure Web Job. Azure Web Jobs helps ensure updates in the queue are handled quickly and efficiently without conflict or collision with other users. 

Innovative-e is excited to make these updates available as it extends the functionality and increases user adoption and experience!  We look forward to hearing about and sharing your results using this release! 

Outage HawkWant to know more about Outage Hawk (TM)?