If you use a portfolio management tool you must make sure that data quality is excellent. In this video we describe some of the fundamentals we implemented in our tool. These concepts improve quality with no additional work.
Before I dive into these fundamentals, I will present 7, let me give you three simple reasons why data quality in a portfolio management tool is so important.
First. If data in your tool is missing or false there is the risk that you take wrong decisions.
Second. You will then probably start initiatives to improve data quality and the scope of these initiatives is to copy data into the tool from some other tools with better quality. And this creates double work.
Third. If the tool becomes known for missing or false data your team will stop using it. A downward spiral effect. If this happens you might as well turn your portfolio management tool off and save efforts and costs.
But this doesn’t need to happen if you implement our fundamentals…
- First. People who work on a topic want to stay informed and your tool should grant access to everyone who is assigned to a certain role in a topic. So if your business analyst wants information, then you assign him or her to this role, otherwise he cannot view the project information. Due to this approach the team as such creates transparency on who works on the topic. You don’t need to ask them to do so, they will just do it in order to keep everyone informed.
- Second. If everyone has access to a topic who needs to, the wiki principle kicks-in. Everyone is empowered to change the data and will as such be empowered to support keeping data quality high. Missing info will be added and false ones corrected. And if your tool makes recent changes transparent it will be very easy to catch up or to contact the colleague to ask why a change was made
- Third. When a team is preparing the approval for instance for budgets or gates by senior management they will make sure that this preparation is excellent. Normally this is done in Powerpoint and after an approval they need to type it into the tool. This is unnecessary double work if your tool offers a workflow and generates the approval document automatically. The team then prepares the data directly in the tool. And the tool generated approval document – that is readable by senior management – is send over the workflow to the approver. And the approval is automatically documented and transparent in the tool. So your tool will improve data quality by reducing double work. You cannot expect your senior management to login into the portfolio management tool, so an integration with email is necessary.
- Forth. The tool should offer dashboards that can be used and directly beamed on a large screen during meetings. If you and your senior management for instance discusses the red risks using the dashboard in the tool then the team will assure that all solved risks will be marked as solved and all real risks are in the tool. This saves the team the time to enter risks in emails or Powerpoints and after that also in the tool. Again reduction of double work is used to improve data quality.
- Fifth. “At the push of a button” reports should pull live data from the tool to create your dedicated reports such as road maps and budget reports. This avoids the use of old data in Excel, or the use of a copy from a copy that was changed from a copy which was also changed. The trick here is to deliver up-to-date information really at the push of a button.
- . With an interface from your portfolio management tool to your ERP system you can assure that money is only spend with an appropriate approval. For instance, only with an approval of project budget in your portfolio management tool a wbs element will be created in the ERP system and the approved budget will be allocated. This can be done by simply forwarding the approval document via email or an enhanced IT-connector from the tool to your ERP system.
- Seventh. Find a tool with top usability. Why? Not only power users work with your portfolio management tool. A large part of your staff uses the tool for less than 10 minutes per week. These colleagues should not be afraid of the tool. Good usability – and at best usability that fits to the specific user – is a catalyst for adoption of the tool in your organisation. Simple as that.
- Leverage information hunger
- The Wiki principle
- Enforced Workflow
- Realtime Dashboards
- Reports at the push of a button
- An ERP connector
- and top Usability
Do you want to know more about us and our portfolio management tool, then visit our web page or just contact us. We are happy to hear from you.