The Project Health Scorecard Part 6: Risk

Executing Monitoring and Controlling

Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Risk Health:

Your Risk Health is Green if:

  • Issues and risks are documented in a central repository
  • Risks have triggers, mitigation and contingency plans for high-exposure and high-impact risks
  • Risks are reviewed on a regular basis by the project manager and risk/issue owners;

Your Risk Health is Yellow if:

  • Issues and risks are defined in a central repository but not reviewed on a regular basis by the project manager and risk/issue owners AND/OR…
  • Risks have no mitigation and contingency plans associated with the high-exposure items

Your Risk Health is Red if:

  • Issues and risks are not documented in a central repository
  • Risks are not formally managed.
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The Project Health Scorecard Part 5: Resources

Executing Monitoring and Controlling

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

The Project Health Scorecard Part 4: Value

Executing Monitoring and Controlling

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.

The Project Health Scorecard Part 3: Scope

Executing Monitoring and Controlling

Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Scope Health:

Your Scope Health is Green if:

  • You have an approved Project Charter
  • Scope is defined
  • There is a defined scope change request process

Your Scope Health is Yellow if:

  • You have an approved Project Charter
  • 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.

The Project Health Scorecard Part 2: Budget

Executing Monitoring and Controlling

Here is the suggested guidance for the status of the Project Budget Health:

Your Budget Health is Green if:

  • You have an approved budget
  • It is actively managed
  • The current forecast is within the approved budget

Your Budget Health is Yellow if:

  • 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:

  • 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

The Project Health Scorecard Part 1: Schedule Health

Executing Monitoring and Controlling

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
  • 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.
  • Red can turn back to Green when a new schedule is approved and base-lined.

The Project Health Scorecard: Overview

Executing Monitoring and Controlling

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