In the majority of companies, IT is a supporting function. Nevertheless, in times of digital transformation, IT becomes more and more important. Therefore, also IT projects become more crucial to senior management, as they are the main driver of digital transformation inside a company. However, many organizations don’t have a proper IT reporting framework, helping senior management to get an overview of currently running projects, in place. Therefore, management frequently puts the focus on wrong projects, decelerating the transformation process.

To change this, organizations typically try to collect the project status in a central portfolio office, asking all project managers to send them a status report in Excel or Power Point. They then consolidate all relevant information and prepare a senior management report. The problem is, that this comes with intensive effort as soon as there are a few dozen projects in the portfolio.

Introducing an expensive project management reporting framework is often an overkill for such organizations, so they usually stick to manual consolidation work.

colea offers you a platform in which you can collect all relevant data from project managers. Collected data is then automatically consolidated and can be presented via reporting systems.

What to collect?

An IT project management report can consist of various collection items. For this use case we focus on typical items contained in IT project reports in any industry:

  • Executive summary
  • Overall status for scope / time / budget
  • Start date, End date
  • Total Budget
  • Most important milestones including
    • % done,
    • Due date,
    • Responsible person
    • Comment
  • Most important risks including
    • Description
    • Impact
    • Probability
    • Risk owner

How to build?

In order to start collecting this information on a monthly basis, a new collection needs to be created and configured. The reporting interval needs to be set to “monthly” as this is the desired one.

Define Reporting Interval
Define Reporting Interval

As each project should be submitted separately, the projects itself will be defined as reporting unit and project managers will be allocated to respective projects.

For this example, projects will be configured manually in colea. However, in case static data of projects is already maintained in a different system, colea can be interfaced to that system so that projects can be imported.

Define Reporting Units
Define Reporting Units

After projects have been configured as reporting units, the projects need to be allocated to the responsible project manager which is done via “Edit permissions”. Here, each project can be mapped to one or more users in order to grant permissions to them.

Manage permissions
Manage permissions

The information a central unit wants to collect can vary from project to project and so colea allows you building your reporting template with various widgets. For this example we use:

  • Labels to give some structure

  • Comment to provide a flexible way to submit a formatted text as an executive summary

  • Drop-downs to indicate the scope, time and budget using a color system (red, yellow, green)

  • Date fields to submit start and end date of a project

  • Number field to submit the total budget of a project

  • Table widgets to allow submitting multiple rows for milestones and risks. Here, the columns again have individual formats (text, percent, date, comment) for the milestone widget and (text, dropdown) for the risk widget.

Define entry form for report
Define entry form for report

The widgets can be positioned via drag and drop and formatted individually using sub menus. For drop-downs, a list needs to be configured with the individual items to choose from. Number fields can be formatted to have a certain number of digits or are shown in percent.

A pre-population job can be set up in case data should be pre-filled with data from previous month. This helps to ease up the life of project managers.

Once the configuration of the data model is done, it can be published and set to open at any time. Doing this will send out an e-mail with a link to each project manager. With this link, the project manager can directly access the submission form in which he/she can submit the current status of the project.

How it looks like for your users

The only thing the receiver needs to do, is, to open the link and fill in the required information before he/she submits data. In case a project manager has more than one project in his or her portfolio, then there will be a selection box available (with all mapped projects to choose from).

A simple data entry mask
A simple data entry mask

The central unit can watch the submissions coming in and can start analyzing the data immediately with their preferred analysis tool (e.g. Power BI, Tableau, Excel,…).