Why You need Project Portfolio Reports?

Good portfolio report is a crucial tool in every company that needs project portfolio. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got 5 initiatives, 10 projects or one big project divided into subprojects. If you have portfolio of projects, you need reports. But why you need it? We will try to explain that in this article.

Birds eye view for upper management

Commonly 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 & clarity

Project 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 concerns

Periodic 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 progress

Report 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 management

Portfolio 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 problems

Project 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.

Creating good strategy for future

Portfolio Report is not only for monitoring current situation in your company. It’s a great tool to make aware business decisions about future. About company’s strategy in general. Project Portfolio Report shows present considering past to make plans for future…  

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