The project review is a key process of Project Portfolio Management. Including a recurring status update in the form of a “flash report” is a key good practice. You have a project dashboard with performance indicators for your projects. Are they sufficient to fully understand the state of your projects? A progress indicator reporting a delay on a project may not be a warning if the situation is under control. A “time spent” indicator may be green simply because no-one has worked on the project, which is a critical point. The reality of a project is not fully described by figures. This is where the “flash report” or “project flash report” provides supplementary information and a key nuance to gain a full picture of the state of a project. During a project review, time is short and an overview is paramount. The flash report efficiently brings together the “literary” and “mathematical” approaches to describe the current state of the project. Let’s find out how to integrate this secret weapon into your project portfolio governance.
The flash report is a recurring report, the frequency of which is defined according to the meetings organised by the PMO (Project Manager Officer). The project managers feed their flash reports qualitatively according to a structured framework. Having a standard structure is important to facilitate the collection of information.
Once the summary reports are completed and up-to-date, the PMO collects the content and structures a summary of all the flash reports for all the project leaders’ projects. The purpose is to prepare a summary of the relevant information for the steering committee (Management Committee/General Management/Executive Committee) or simply for the PMO’s own needs.
Based on this summary, the steering committee can view the progress rates for each project and obviously gain an understanding of the context in which these results were obtained.
For projects to be successful, the stakeholders must be synchronised at all times. Over 20% of time in a project is spent circulating qualitative data between the various stakeholders.
Two benefits can be observed by making the project flash report a ritual. In addition to drastically reducing the duration of project reviews, the quality of the data concerning projects is significantly improved. This boosts project progress – our project leaders are not keen to report that nothing has happened and therefore make sure that subjects progress…
Start by choosing a project management software solution which integrates this function for project leaders, PMOs, ISD and the general management. It will then be easy to create and personalise good quality flash reports for all the projects directly.
The Project Monitor solution provides this collaborative function, in particular allowing you to easily draft and distribute your flash reports.
Remember that a project is characterised by a specific, unique goal to be achieved, actions to be performed and human and financial resources to be mobilised, with specific start and end dates. To communicate, make decisions and mobilise on all these aspects of the project, “flash reports” submitted on regular dates are very effective.
As its name indicates, the “flash report” is a brief document, the aim of which is to provide a macro overview of the projects on a given date. It is an essential tool to ensure thorough knowledge of projects. It is therefore a project review report document used in the steering committee.
In each project, the project leaders track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). It is essential to explain why and how they reached a given situation and to share the next stages.
There is nothing like an up-to-date status report, giving a few key qualitative facts, a “temperature check” of project progress, so to speak.
In addition to the indicators calculated automatically (budget, schedule, resources), the flash report supports and facilitates analysis. This information is based more on feeling. It is more subjective and makes the KPI more meaningful.
To speed up preparation of the meeting and information gathering, a flash report template needs to be selected which will automatically supplement the indicators to be analysed.
This up-to-date status report is a brief report containing a few comments which will specify, e.g.
Flash report integrated into the dashboard used for a project review. Direct access to it from the project review is an additional way to obtain information about the project.
Example of a standard flash report structure obtained from a template which the Project Leader initiates from the project space, enabling them to supplement the project KPIs.
During the steering committee, this monthly report reviews all the projects. Decision-making based on the calculated indicators together with the flash report is a crucial moment in the future progress of project management.
The managers review all the projects, issue alerts and encouragement, and implement action for support or prevention, and/or to get the project back on track.
80% of steering groups make decisions immediately after having taken in the contextual elements.
These actions boost projects with areas for progress.
What is surprising is that the word Flash says it all: “Device producing intense light for a very short period of time. Behind this word is a notion of speed, bright light and intensity…”.
These flash indicators significantly improve the progress of your projects.
Clearly, checking how things stand with project progress is one of the keys to success.
To complete the flash report Five Ws and How sheet to ensure nothing is forgotten for this key governance tool:
What: a standard overview of the project, mixing indicators and structured text
Who: drafted by the project leader with the collaboration of their project team, validated and compiled by the PMO
When: frequency to be matched to the management meetings. At least once a month. The frequency can be up to once a week.
Where: ideally in a dedicated function integrated into the project portfolio management tool. At least a file in Office format sent by email.
How: with a standard template applied (or even imposed) for all projects.
Why: tool to gather information concerning the status of a project. It triggers and enables decision-making. It is the secret weapon of your project reviews to save time and improve efficiency.
Le triangle coût / qualité / délai est un défi à la géométrie ? Vous ne savez pas à quel chef de projet le confier ? Pas de panique, on vous propose de faire appel à un ANGE. ANGE, c’est à la fois une méthode d’évaluation des compétences et une grille de lecture des besoins de votre projet.
Super, le comité d’arbitrage a prononcé un « GO » pour le projet… Maintenant à qui confier la destinée du projet ? Dans un précédent article je vous parlais d’ANGE – moyen mnémotechnique pour envisager les compétences d’un chef de projet. Cette fois-ci je vais vous parler de la mise en application pour nommer un chef de projet.