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What is a PMO Dashboard?

Updated: 4 days ago

Mar 28, 2024 | PMO Dashboards | Portfolio Management | Project Management Office by Pooja Maheshwari

What is a PMO Dashboard? 

Project management has tight deadlines, budgets are closely monitored, and uncertainties are unavoidable. To succeed in such an environment, project management leaders and stakeholders require an all-encompassing product that can provide a 20,000-foot view of the entire project landscape, transform complexity into simplicity, and bring clarity to chaos. 

A Project Management Office (PMO) dashboard is a single source of truth that can replace confusion with consistency and empower teams to deliver on-scope, on-time, and on-budget.

The PMO dashboard is a product that provides a quick and accessible overview of the project portfolio's health, progress, and overall performance.  Leaders depend on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics displayed in a PMO dashboard to gain insights into their project portfolio's overall health and performance. PMO dashboard helps them make informed decisions by presenting relevant information concisely and easily.

For a project to achieve success, it is crucial to identify and address the right problem. Even if the team is highly skilled and the project methodology is efficient, failure to focus on the correct issue can lead to suboptimal results.
According to Gartner, Organizations that leverage effective PMO dashboards cite a 20% increase in project success rates.

A PMO dashboard mitigates this risk by providing visibility into the project's progress and helps identify potential challenges ahead of time. By leveraging the PMO dashboard, project managers proactively address these issues before they become more significant problems.


What to include in a PMO dashboard?


Portfolio and project overview

A Portfolio and project overview in the PMO dashboard is a summary view of the entire portfolio. Each project needs to outline a project purpose, scope, objective, and other relevant details. The portfolio and project overview must include metrics indicating the portfolio's overall health such as the number of projects at risk, the total number of active projects, budget details, and total actual spend Vs forecasted spend. It can also contain the list of all projects and their accompanying information such as project name, manager, and status. The projects can be categorized based on their status or type. High-level timelines can also be provided.



Project status

Project status in the PMO dashboard provides a clear overview of a project's current conditions, progress, and overall health in real-time. It helps project managers to assess progress, identify issues, and make informed decisions.



Timeline and schedule

The PMO Dashboard's timeline and schedule feature provides a visual representation of project timelines, milestones achieved on all ongoing projects,  upcoming milestones, planned sequence, and duration of activities that must be completed to accomplish the project's objectives. It also helps to identify potential delays or scheduling issues.


Key aspects of the timeline and schedule of a PMO in a PMO dashboard are: 


  1. Gantt charts or Timeline visualization: A visual representation of project phases, tasks displayed over time, and color-coded bars representing task durations. 

  2. Project milestones: Identification and visualization of major milestones planned and actual dates. 

  3. Upcoming deadlines: Highlight upcoming deadlines and delivery due dates. 

  4. Task dependencies: Identification of dependent tasks and relationships. 

  5. Milestone trend analysis and future predictions: Analysis of milestones completion rates, trends in meeting deadlines, and anticipating milestone completion dates for current and future projects. 

  6. Schedule performance index (SPI) and Schedule variance (SV): SPI shows the efficiency of time utilization and SV indicates variance from the planned schedule. 



Resource allocation 


Resource allocation in the PMO dashboard provides insight into whether the resources are optimally distributed and utilized across different projects, and resource allocation patterns.


Key aspects of resource allocation in the PMO dashboard are: 

  1. Resource overview and allocation: High-level summary of total resources available, status, overall utilization rate, and resource allocation percentage per project. 

  2. Resource type breakdown: Categorization of resources by type (human, material, finance) and allocation percentage to identify the high-demand resources.  

  3. Resource capacity planning and bottlenecks: Available resource capacity, potential for launching new projects, overlapping resource demands, and potential resource shortages.  

  4. Resource cost analysis and allocation efficiency: Cost per resource, total project cost (resource related), resource utilization rates, and areas of improvement in resource allocation.  

  5. Resource allocation heatmap: Color-coded visual representation of resource allocation, quick identification of over-allocated or under-allocated resources, and allocation percentage per department or team.  


Budget and financials

The budget and financials in the PMO Dashboard provide an overview of the financial performance of projects. It helps stakeholders to monitor the budget, identify potential cost overruns or savings, and make decisions related to funding. 


Here are the key elements of budget and financials in the PMO dashboard:  

  1. Budget summary: High-level overview of the budget of each project like total project budget, budget allocation of each phase/category 

  2. Budget v/s Actual: Comparison between planned budget with actual cost. 

  3. Cost categories breakdown: Categorization of costs into different expense categories like personnel costs, equipment and material costs, and other operating expenses. 

  4. Budget adherence status: Color-coded indicator for budget adherence and alerts for potential risks. 

  5. Forecasted spending and cost trends over time: Prediction of future project spending based on current trends and visualization of how cost has changed over time. 

  6. Return on Investment (ROI): Current ROI metrics and comparison with projected ROI 



Risk and issue management

Risk and issue management in the PMO Dashboard is important for monitoring and addressing potential risks that may impact the project. It helps leaders to identify risks, issues, and strategies to mitigate them.


Key elements of risk and issue management in the PMO dashboard include: 

  1. Risk and issues overview and categorization: Total number of identified RAID items (risks, issues, actions, and decisions), high-level risk categorization (technical, financial, external), categorization of issues (technical, communication, resource), and percentage distribution per category. 

  2. High-priority risks and issues heatmap: List of high priority and high severity risks and issues, color-coded heatmap for risk and issues severity, and mitigation strategies. 

  3. Risk and issues trends over time and mitigation plan: Historical data on identified risks and issues, trends in risk and issues occurrence, mitigation actions taken, and status of efforts.  

 

Stakeholder Communication

Stakeholder communication in the PMO dashboard ensures relevant information is shared with the right person at the right time. It provides communication plans, activities, and strategies.


Key elements related to stakeholder management in the PMO dashboard are: 

  1. Communication plan and channels: Identifying stakeholders, the channel of communication (Emails, meetings, reports), and the effectiveness of channels. 

  2. Stakeholder engagement levels and segmentation: Categorization of stakeholders based on roles and interests, communication strategies for each group, and trends in engagement over time. 

  3. Feedback mechanism: Overview of mechanism (Surveys, Forums, feedback sessions) for stakeholders to provide feedback and feedback trends and analysis.  


Quality and deliverables


Quality and deliverables in the PMO Dashboard focus on monitoring the quality of project deliverables and ensuring they meet the project standards. It provides insight into the progress of deliverables, quality control measures, and issues related to quality.  

  1. Deliverables overview and status: Overview of major project deliverables, their status, milestones associated and achieved.  

  2. Quality standards, criteria, and control measures: Document quality benchmarks aligned with industry standards, Quality assurance and control procedures, and checkpoints in the delivery process. 

  3. Defect rates and rework: Tracking the number and type of defects identified, effort spent on rework, and success rate.

PMO dashboards offer a centralized platform for monitoring, analyzing, and reporting on various aspects of project performance. With the above key elements, PMO dashboards benefit organizations in achieving their goals. 


Benefits of a PMO Dashboard

A well-designed PMO dashboard serves as a powerful ally for leaders. It aligns with the need for agility, adaptability, and data-driven decision-making. Leaders can navigate the complexities to deliver on time and exceed quality expectations by leveraging real-time insights, fostering collaboration, and promoting proactive approaches.  


Visibility and transparency for efficient decision-making

PMO dashboards offer real-time visibility into the status of multiple projects. Due to transparency, leaders can access relevant information at any time. PMO dashboards provide a consolidated view of project metrics which helps leaders to assess project health and make informed decisions. Quick access to critical information helps address issues and risks quickly and work towards mitigating them.  


Time and cost savings for continuous improvement

Automated data collection and reporting in PMO dashboards saves time and gives quick access to accurate and up-to-date information. PMO dashboards help gain insight into historical data and lessons learned. That helps to refine processes, methodologies, and management practices.  


Resource optimization for increased accountability 

PMO dashboards allow effective resource management by providing resource allocation, workload, and availability. Leaders can optimize resource utilization, avoid over-allocation, and ensure that the right resource works on the right tasks. Clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and ownership of tasks in the PMO dashboard help team members understand their roles and track progress. 


Risk mitigation

PMO dashboards help identify potential risks and issues early in the project life cycle and help teams develop mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of unforeseen challenges. 

Managing a project is a complex and challenging task. Many organizations use PMO dashboards to keep track of progress. However, some organizations are skeptical and claim that PMO dashboards only add another layer and overwhelm teams with excessive data.  


Relevance over excess

In the age of information overload, it is easy to accumulate excessive data. A comprehensive and customized PMO dashboard extracts relevant insights from data directly aligned with the organization’s goals, projects, and KPIs. The data is presented in a meaningful and actionable way to help the team make informed decisions, improve efficiency, and achieve success. 

A PMO dashboard is useful when aligned with the specific needs of the organization. A well-designed PMO dashboard can accommodate an organization’s unique requirements and help teams navigate the complexities of project management. It provides valuable insights, addresses specific challenges, and keeps everyone on track toward achieving their goals.  

Regular monitoring of project health

Monitoring the health of a project is crucial for its success, team morale, and efficiency. Regularly monitoring the project's health and promptly addressing any obstacles or blockers is important. PMO dashboards help project managers communicate priorities and milestones to the team, align all collaborators with the vision, and maintain transparency regarding the project's health to drive team efficiency. PMO dashboards help in decision-making, so the project manager can make informed decisions to ensure the best course of action for the project.  

 

Improved communication and alignment with strategic objectives

PMO dashboards improve communication through centralized communication plans, updates, and feedback mechanisms. Communication strategies can be aligned with project goals ensuring that information is shared correctly to the right person at the right time.  

Strategic objectives are aligned with organization goals in PMO dashboards, which helps leaders contribute to overall goals, enhancing the values from project investment. 

Enhanced portfolio management and performance monitoring 

PMO dashboards support portfolio management by providing an overview of the health and alignment of the portfolio with organizational objectives.  

KPIs like project timelines, budgets, and deliverables help to monitor project performance with predefined benchmarks and to keep the project on track and within scope.  

“According to Forrester, organizations with mature PMOs are 33% more likely to achieve project success.” 

PMO dashboards can be customized as per the specific needs of different projects and stakeholders, and scalability allows leaders to adapt to changing environments and requirements.  


Conclusion 

Effective project management is a critical factor for any organization’s success. A well-designed PMO can help in monitoring, analyzing, and improving practices. It can foster collaboration, ensure projects are aligned with organizational goals, and provide a comprehensive real-time view of project data. PMO Dashboard also helps leaders make informed decisions, plan resources better, and manage projects more efficiently. Implementing a well-designed PMO dashboard can lead to confirmed success, making it a wise investment for any organization.  

Effective project management is essential for the success of any organization. A PMO Dashboard can monitor, analyze, and improve practices, promote collaboration, align projects with goals, and provide real-time project data. The PMO Dashboard helps leaders make informed decisions, better plan resources, and manage projects efficiently. Investing in a well-designed PMO dashboard can lead to confirmed success. 


Create a powerful project management dashboard with Laminar™ PMO

Laminar™ PMO can help you run the PMO like clockwork. We bring the tools, processes, and people to establish and operate your PMO. Laminar™ is a pure plug-and-play solution that can be configured in less than a week and sits on top of your current project management tools - purposefully designed to be low-maintenance and fully automated so that you can focus on running the business. 



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