The Project Management Institute (PMI) encourages its members to advance the profession. One of the ways to do this is by helping others increase their project management skills. The target audiences for this blog are professional PM’s early in their careers as well as those who manage projects but are not PM’s by title or trade. I will be posting every week or so, offering practical tips and tools on the full range of project management topics. I hope you will find this useful and help you advance your career.
Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Resource Health:
Your Resource Health is Green if:
- Stakeholders are attending required meetings
- Resources are meeting their commitments
- The team matches the skill-sets defined in the project roles matrix
Your Resource Health is Yellow if:
- Stakeholders are not always attending required meetings, OR
- Stakeholders are not always meeting their commitments, OR
- Some parts of the team do not match the skill-sets defined in the project roles matrix.
Your Resource Health is Red if:
- Stakeholders are not defined, OR
- Stakeholders are consistently not attending required meetings, OR
- Resources are not meeting their commitments, OR
- Critical parts of the team do not match the skill-sets defined in the project roles matrix
Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Value Health:
Your Value Health is Green if:
- The business objectives are stated in the project charter
- The business objectives are measurable
- The value in the business case will still be achieved
- There are no compromises from the original scope and schedule that affects the value of the solution.
Your Value Health is Yellow if:
- The business objectives stated in the project charter may not be achieved
- There are compromises (e.g. a smaller testing window) from the original scope and schedule that somewhat affect the value of the solution.
Your Value Health is Red if:
- The business objectives stated in the project charter cannot be achieved
- There are compromises (e.g. a smaller testing window) from the original scope and schedule that have a major affect on the value of the solution.
Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Scope Health:
Your Scope Health is Green if all of these are true:
- You have an approved Project Charter
- Scope is defined in the Charter
- There is a defined scope change request process
Your Scope Health is Yellow if:
- You have an approved Project Charter AND
- Scope is defined but there are significant change requests pending Executive Sponsor review and approval
Your Scope Health is Red if:
- Scope is not defined
- OR scope is defined and there is no scope change process
- OR the scope change process is not being followed.
Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Budget Health:
Your Budget Health is Green if all of these are true:
- You have an approved budget
- It is actively managed
- The current forecast is within the approved budget
Your Budget Health is Yellow if all of these are true:
- You have an approved budget
- The current forecast is greater than the approved budget but corrective action is defined and likely to resolve the problem.
Your Budget Health is Red if either of these are true:
- You don’t have a budget
- OR you have a budget and the forecast is greater than the current budgeted amount and corrective action is not possible
Your budget health can turn back to Green if you obtain approval for a new budget. The new budget becomes your new baseline from which you will measure budget health,
Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Schedule Health:
Your Schedule Health is Green if:
- You have a schedule
- It is actively managed
- The forecast matches the published completion date
Your Schedule Health is Yellow if:
- It is early in the project and you don’t have a schedule but are working towards one, or…
- You have a schedule and the forecast has a greater “live date” than the current published date but corrective action is defined and probable, or…
- The schedule is not being actively managed.
Your Schedule Health is Red if:
- You don’t have a schedule, or…
- You have one but the published live date cannot be met.
- Note: Red can turn back to Green when a new schedule is approved and base-lined.
Some years ago, a company I worked for invested in improving our Project Management practices. They engaged with IBM professional services for 6 months to guide and mentor the in-house Project Managers. The first thing the IBM consultants did was establish a baseline that would be used to measure success at the end of the engagement. This baseline was “The Project Health Scorecard” (aka “PHS”). The PHS was measured at the beginning and end of the engagement as evidence of progress in our project management practices. I am a big fan of this concept and now use it on my project dashboard for all of my projects.
The PHS is an “early warning system” for potential project trouble. In that sense it is a child of Risk Management. Because of its condense and concise nature, it is appropriate for use in Project dashboards as well Project Portfolio dashboards, where you can see the health of all active projects at once. I typically update the PHS weekly in the regular project status meetings.
The PHS contains six key measures of project management best practices. Each measure is given a status value of “green”, “yellow” or “red”. I will present each of these measures along with the guidance for status values in a six part series as follows:
- Part 1: Schedule
- Part 2: Budget
- Part 3: Scope
- Part 4: Value
- Part 5: Resources
- Part 6: Risk
In this final part of “Risk Management Deeper Dive” I will briefly discuss “Risk Monitoring”. Monitoring your risks involves the following:
- Conducting regular meetings (as outlined in the Project Management Plan) where the risks and risk plans are reviewed. I recommend every week or every other week depending on the levels of risk exposure.
- The Risk Owners, the Project Sponsor(s) and the Project Manager(s), at a minimum, should be present at the meetings.
- In the meetings you should review the risks in order of risk exposure, with the highest exposure risks addressed first. In case your meeting time is limited, this ensures the most important risks are discussed.
- The risk probabilities and impacts are reviewed and changed as needed.
- The risk triggers are reviewed to ensure reliable monitors are in place. Any triggers tied to a near-term upcoming date are reviewed in detail.
- Risk mitigation plans are reviewed to confirm the plans are being executed.
- Risk contingency plans are reviewed to verify the plans are still valid.
- Close any risks that are no longer valid.
- New risks are raised and discussed. You can continue to use the Risk Hierarchy chart to help identify new risks.
After each meeting, the updated risk plan should be posted to the project repository. Open high-exposure risks should be highlighted in the project status report.