For those who have children, or those who can remember their school days, an important check on progress was the school report. This was and still is produced at the end of the school year and provides a summary of a child’s performance for the school year. This is great for the school as it allows the school to communicate progress of every child in a consistent way. It is crucial for the parent as, it provides important information of how their child is progressing. Written correctly, it allows the school and parents to provide praise for areas of success and additional focus on areas requiring attention. Everyone can see a beneficial tool.
Annual PMO Report
In much the same way, there is a huge amount of benefit in producing a PMO report at the end of each year. This can provide a summary of the performance of all of the projects, the key deliverables and how the PMO has performed against it’s own objectives.
This can be very powerful as it provides a concise summary of what has been delivered in return for the investment of budget and, most importantly, how the PMO has delivered value (see post on using key performance indicators to measure PMO success).
The reason this is a powerful report is that there are usually many deliveries in a year. By December, those in quarter 1, 2 and even 3 are long forgotten. So providing a concise summary reminds everyone just exactly has been achieved.
Where as a school report is written by a teacher, the PMO report will typically be written by the head of the PMO. Therefore, it is important to be objective and not make statements that are over optimistic. This will discredit the report with the audience.
The aim should be to keep the report brief and then include supporting material if absolutely needed. It is very important that the first page delivers all the key messages as, in many cases, this is the only page that will be read.
The format should be either a word document or presentation.
What to Include?
The first page should be the “executive Summary”. Use this page to deliver the key messages and metrics such as:
- Executive summary – bullets of a simple paragraph or two that states the key points
- Total projects delivered – good to show how many should have been delivered in the year and how many were actually delivered. Also show as a percentage. This allows you to show how this compared to previous year.
- Costs – show a summary of baseline budget and actual. Show if the year ended over or under budget and again show comparison to previous year.
- Tangible Benefits – show what tangible (real cash) benefits were delivered against the start of year baseline and comparison to previous year.
- In tangible Benefits – list any key / note worthy intangible benefits delivered
These metrics should allow you to add commentary on PMO performance in helping improve the quality and certainty of project delivery.
Use the next page to list details of all of the projects that have been delivered including the benefit that has been achieved. This list should tie back to the metrics on the Executive Summary. Include the delivery date with the project name.
- Delivery Date
- Project Name
- Benefit Delivered (in business / outcomes language not technical language)
Senior management may already ask for a summary report at the end of the year. If so make sure you give yourself time to prepare to ensure the report is of high quality.
If they don’t ask for the report, be pro-active and produce it anyway. You can then distribute it to key stakeholders to make sure they are fully aware on what has been achieved.
The report also allows you as the PMO to identify what has worked well and areas for attention. Meaning you can take action to improve in the following year.
Tip: Pulling this information can be hard work. So make sure that for next year that you build a process to capture these data points, especially the list of delivered projects as this will save a lot of time and allow for interim reporting of progress at quarter ends.