- Birds eye view for upper management
- Simplicity & clarity
- Risks and concerns
- Tracking progress
- Budget management
- Identifying main problems
- Creating good strategy for future
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Birds eye view for upper managementCommonly Project Portfolio Report is made for upper management. It’s a synthetized information about all projects in company. Crucial data about every project, risks involved, budgets and progress we made so far. But you can’t give 100 pages of raw data. You need to make it readable. 10 minutes of reading such report should give anyone general info about situation in company and help make decisions about future strategy.
Simplicity & clarityProject Portfolio Report is a way to simplify in many cases very complex pack of projects. It can provide clear view about situation. You need as many elements to show most important information but not that many to make it too complicated. Remember, if some project or initiative needs further investigation, you can always provide additional data later. But if your report is messed with many irrelevant data (irrelevant from bird’s eye view perspective) there is a good chance that no one will use it.
Risks and concernsPeriodic report (for example one per two weeks) is a great way to present relevant at this moment risks and your concerns about current situation in some projects. Comparing reports from different moments you can also see if the situation is stabilizing or if it’s getting worse.
Tracking progressReport is also great way for tracking general progress in portfolio. You can track each project and monitor situation day by day. But to be honest that’s a job for Project Manager responsible for one, particular project or initiative. In portfolio report you should see a general direction.
Budget managementPortfolio Report also helps for maintaining company budget as a whole. In many cases particular project has little (or bigger) variations in costs or incomes. It’s normal. If whole budget is ok, temporary situation (for example some cost made in this quarter not in next) shouldn’t matter. But if you have that situation in many projects you need to take action. You can do it if you know about it. If not, you can have big problem.
Identifying main problemsProject Portfolio Report is also a good way to find general problems or patterns that you can’t see form single project perspective. Additional costs mentioned above is one of them. But there are more. For example:
- Global risks,
- Problem with employment,
- Delays in related projects.