A client with multiple projects being managed by multiple project managers with different reporting methods and frequencies was frustrated by the project status reporting process in place. Management was unable to make informed decisions regarding budgets, resources or project needs due to inconsistent reporting. Management was frequently not informed about a project problem until it was too late to repair. A site-wide system for tracking project costs and schedules was missing and project scope was typically poorly defined, leaving room for project deliverables to be out of line with actual project needs.
Project Managers each reported different aspects of the project because they were unaware of what information needed to be reported and how other project managers were reporting project status.
Management needed timely, predictable, up-to-date project status information in order to make appropriate informed decisions. The project status reporting needed to be consistent across all projects to allow management to compare and prioritize project requirements.
Project managers onsite needed a standardized reporting process representing cost, time and scope to help focus their attention and make reporting easier. Due to the large number of projects, the project status process needed to be easy to maintain but more importantly it needed to be easy for the project managers to use and management interpret.
Sphere’s project management team developed project tracking and reporting tools that incorporated the individual projects into one main tracking system through the use of templates filled out by the project managers. The tracking system was updated by a dedicated project controller who reported the project status to management in an easy to understand reporting format, using a stop-light color coding system. The color coding allowed management to visually and quickly assess the status of all projects and dedicate additional time to projects that required attention.
The templates collected project information in a directed, consistent manner that was easy to understand and incorporate into project status reports. The templates addressed scope and project objective, as well as proposed budget and schedule and served as a guide to defining the project deliverables. The templates helped the project managers better define the work breakdown, resources and timing of the project. Processes such as change orders, could then be implemented to better control the project deliverables. With all site project managers using a consistent format, schedules and resource requirements could be easily communicated and conflicts identified early in the planning phase.
Project managers used the tracking system to better monitor their project status and make pro-active changes to projects as required. By assigning a dedicated project controller to meet with the project managers and record the information in the tracking system, project managers were able to focus on the managing the project rather than preparing reports for management.
Once project managers knew the project control tracking process and status reporting process, they were able to develop internal project processes to provide the information efficiently and consistently. Less time was wasted searching for information, allowing them to concentrate on the project in a more productive manner. As well, the templates developed to help project managers plan the projects, helped keep them focussed on the project objective.
In the words of the Customer …
“Thank you so much for the great work your team”