Since project management first became a formal discipline, status reports have been the bane of every project manager’s life. Team members hate having to stop their work to update them. Stakeholders doubt the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of them. PMOs feel as though they spend way too much trying to corral them. And leadership largely ignores them.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, if your strategic portfolio management (SPM) is to be effective, it can’t be this way. Executives only fund investments after they understand what they are going to get, how that is going to benefit the business, and how much it’s going to cost (money and resources) to achieve. That is what drives approvals and that’s what must be monitored and managed throughout the delivery process.
Don’t tell me the joke is funny, make me laugh
Executives don’t care how work is being delivered – that’s a decision for the teams who are executing. They care about the performance of the investments that they have carefully selected. They care that the expected value, the expected contribution to strategic goals, is being achieved. And that’s what they expect to see reported when they review the status of initiatives collectively and individually. Value based reporting in a context that allows them to take the necessary action.