Especially in the case of carrying out a very large number of projects in a company simultaneously, those responsible for managing the project portfolio can sometimes lose the overview. In this case, a report or graph that provides the relevant information about the current projects in a meaningful and efficient manner - i.e. without unnecessary data ballast - is a basis for decision-making that stakeholders may use.
With the Project Pipeline, MOBA has enhanced a reporting tool and adapted it to its needs which gives a concentrated overview of the overall status of the company's project portfolio. The information of the "status" of all approved projects and their progress in the product development process is combined in a single graphic.
In our report, each project is presented as a separate ball and marked with a name and a unique number.
In addition, this project ball is divided into three equal-sized segments, each representing one of the three corners of the "magic triangle" of project management. The clock icon stands for the time frame of the project planned at the beginning, the target icon represents the functions required in the specification and the quality of the product and the money icon reflects the set budget or target costs.
By means of the traffic light colours green, yellow and red, each of the 3 disciplines is evaluated with regard to their deviation from the plan. White means that either there are no specifications for a point or that an evaluation is not possible at that time.
For our sample project #001, the following illustration would therefore symbolize that
- the project is currently running significantly behind schedule,
- the costs are slightly higher than expected,
- the function and scope of the product fully comply with the specifications.
The project balls of all approved projects are sorted into a graphic according to their progress. The differently colored columns visualize the different phases of the MOBA product development process.
The view is updated at fixed intervals by the MOBA project managers and gives interested parties an overview of the current status of the individual projects and their progress in the product development process at a glance.
With regard to project portfolio management, the presentation also provides further important information:
I) There might be need for action if a critical accumulation of projects in a certain phase of the product development process is given over a longer period of time or if an excessive number of new projects is in the starting blocks, which cannot be started.
II) If e.g. the timeline of the projects tend to regularly deviate from the plan than the costs calculated in advance or the required quality of the products (see example above), the cause could be a lack of resources for the work packages.
To detect such a problem is of course only the first step to solve it.
In the cases described, those responsible for managing the project portfolio are required to re-prioritize the urgency of the current projects and the projects that have not yet begun.
Experience has shown that projects on behalf of customers are always processed with priority A at MOBA in order to be able to complete new developments on schedule.
As indicated at the beginning of this article: The MOBA Project Pipeline - a clear and helpful fusion of project status report and project progress indicator.