Many companies today realize the value of having the project architecture embedded (coded) in the schedule. Most schedule applications today have the ability to have multiple coding structures and allow that structure to be “attached” to each task or subproject in the schedule. Having a coding structure that at a minimum includes the IMP ID, WBS, Cost Breakdown Structure (this could be the same as the WBS), OBS, and RBS gives the project manager visibility to multiple layers of the schedule through sorting, filtering, and reporting capabilities. Other codes that you may want to include are Responsible Individual, Contract Line Item, Earned Value Technique just to name a few. It gives different work teams (Control Account Manger or Integrated Project Team Leader) in addition to the project manager access to the data they need to manage their scope. Having the codes embedded also helps the project manager identify problem areas within the schedule that helps reduce surprise that ultimately leads to cost overruns and delays.
The project architecture (coding) provides the basic structure that allows the seamless integration of the schedule to the cost management system. Without coding the ability to automatically integrate does not exist. Project teams are often resistant to the mundane task of keeping activity codes up to date. The upfront work to keep these codes up to date will pay off in information that will be available to the team and will lessen the amount of manual manipulation required to keep the systems reconciled.
Processes describe what people are supposed to be doing. To improve your overall IPM competency, you must have consistency in processes and ensure that your people understand and support those processes. Having uniform processes across projects and organizations allows managers to look at the information in the same way. That increases the likelihood that they’ll interpret information correctly, react more effectively, and really improve the outcome. Of course, people aren’t just social creatures; they’re sometimes stubbornly set in their ways. Simply having processes doesn’t necessarily mean people will follow them. That’s why it’s important to have the ability to monitor adherence to your processes. Effective IPM tools allow you to review, audit, and monitor process steps. This is how you improve the overall process: by monitoring the process along with the team’s ability and willingness to adhere to it.
For example, a review of the steps in the process and the areas in which people struggle to follow them may point the spotlight at an unrealistic or unnecessary process step. Adjusting that step may improve process adherence, but if you don’t have the step-by-step details, you won’t be able to make the adjustment. Remember, “I can’t solve a problem I don’t know about.”
Collecting data takes a tremendous amount of time. But scrambling for data takes 10 times more time and it may cost you money in the bid and negotiation process. It is important that you think though how you want that data collected, assimilated, stored, and retrieved. There are multiple types of data that can be collected...technical, schedule, if you are a mfg company part cost (BOM,BILL, Mos), program/project cost information.
Spend the time to architect your Project Based ERP so that you get the information you need to run your total business. A project based ERP system will help enable that architecture and make data retrieval much easier. We will talk more about that in a bit…You should also architect your projects with coding and breakdown structures that will support rapid collection of “like” information. You may be saying to yourself….”Hey the customer dictates our WBS”….that may be true…but today’s systems will let you have alternate structures for WBS, OBS, and other coding fields unique to your business needs. There are so very intelligent analytics tools in today’s world that will allow you to drill down and around on multiple types of data sets…think about Itunes of Project Information…that is possible today with our state of the art analytics tools.
The cost data will be continually updated as projects are executed and will need to be accessible to those who will need to use it. Having a project based ERP that forces the collection of data in a project centric way will go along way in helping to get the right data and the right time.
There are other types of data also….for instance keeping a repository of EVM reports such as the CPR or new IPMR formats…these reports and the associated data can be very helpful. In the past our WBS did not always have a tie to the ERP system…but with today’s tools multiple WBS structures can be utilized to collect information for all types of needs.
We have explored the reasons data is so important to the business and some basic types of data…having the data and understanding how it effects your business is
Gain your customers confidence Help You Understand the “Should Cost” of a Product Create the basis for customer validation Differentiate you from your competitors Ensure you get the cost coverage for the scope you are bidding Create an estimate that will become the Execution Baseline Save your company time and money – Improving Your Bottom Line
4 Simple Steps to Complete Data Traceability
4 Simple Steps to
Why is Traceability Important??
Track process adherence
Joy of being compliant
“The ability to trace
application, location, and
history of an activity or
item by means of recorded
What and Why – Traceability Into Your Data
4 Steps to Achieving Traceability
Step 1: Plan your project structures with the output you want in
Step 2: Define and track project management processes
Step 3: Ensure data integrity
Step 4: Perform regular data quality checks
Create an Architecture for The Project
Architect the schedule with the end in mind
Statement of Work
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS)
Organizational Breakdown Structure
Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)
Project Manager Names
Dates – Baseline and ETC
EVTs – Earned Value Techniques
Physical Percent Complete
Value of Project Architecture
Increased visibility and control
Gives all team access to the data that interests them
Provides basis for robust reporting for CAM, IPTs, and the overall
The coding becomes the integration point for the cost management
and resource management system
The upfront effort to code the schedule and keep it up to date will
pay off in efficiency and accurate reporting
Build the Processes and Keep on Improving
Start with the basics, then go big
Be consistent and apply processes uniformly
Involve the team to help gain buy-in
Monitor the process
Adjust or improve the processes as you evolve
The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) is an excellent source of information
What Process and Who is Responsible?2
Monitor adherence to
Data collection takes a tremendous amount of time…
be thoughtful about how you collect and store your information!
Architect your projects with coding and breakdown structures that support rapid
collection of “like” information
Choose tools that enable project-based information to be collected and tied to the book
Keep a repository of reports and artifacts
The Power of Data
Go from being data rich and knowledge poor to
managing by exception.
Provides actionable information and will tell you
how you are doing along the way
Most are financial metrics such as:
− New Orders
Quantifiable measures used to gauge or
compare performance of meeting strategic &
What is a KPI/Metric?
Guideline for Picking KPIs
Avoid “death by KPI” - sometimes less is more
Assure the underlying data is correct
The results tie to overall corporate goals
Benchmark both externally and internally
Incorporate any learning and evolve your measures
Steps to Perform Data Traces
Have the process maps ready and provide to the audit team in advance
Pick up each block on the process map for the auditors to follow
Utilize screens shots from systems of record
For PM data you can use PM Compass as an electronic CAM Notebook
Assure your CAMs and IPT leads are familiar and KNOW the processes
Want to Learn More?
Click here to download the