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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
April 17, 2008


For the past several months, we have begun emailing a project bulletin board to our directors and executive suite. This bulletin board contains a comprehensive listing of all active and requested projects involving information services. On a bi-weekly basis the project manager is responsible for updating the content of the project status. After the update period is closed, our IS leadership team reviews the project status updates to offer assistance for the red and yellow flags. This project bulletin board is then emailed to our organizations directors and senior leaders.

Surprisingly, the response to the board has been a non-event. Personally, I have received four emails back: Two requesting an update to adobe reader, one regarding the update on our RALS project was late, and the final one from the CMO to everyone that his pet project timeline was unacceptable. Perhaps this goes more to how our IS organization is viewed as a utility department instead of a strategic enabler.

The content of the board is quite complete. For active projects, the information gathered is:

  • Project ID: The assigned number for when the project became active. The year followed by a sequential identify.

  • Entity: The business entity for whom the project is being completed.

  • Division: The business division for the project.

  • Funding Source: Where the funding for this project is derived. Current Values: Capital, Departmental, Application Support, AH Initiative. Departmental is a department requesting the work. Application Support is work needed to be completed to support an application.

  • Executive Sponsor: The executive sponsor for the project. Current Executives listing.

  • Project Sponsor: The project sponsor

  • Program Name: The name which has been defined for the program.

  • Project Name: The name that has been designated for the project.

  • Business Manager: The individual responsible for system support after the project is completed.

  • Project Team/Program Manager: The name of the project manager responsible for managing the project. This individual is responsible for creating and updating the project in the bulletin. This individual must be an IS employee.

  • Level of Effort: The size of the project effort. This includes our outsourced vendor's hours.

  • Testing Coordination: Determines whether or not testing coordination is needed for the project.

  • Project Execution Phase: The current phase of the project. Current Values are: Staged, Plan, Select, Design/Build, Test/Train, Go-Live, Post Go-Live, Complete, Canceled. Complete and Cancelled projects will be removed from the active board to the complete board after 2 reporting cycles have been completed.

  • Start Date: The date of the original kick off meeting

  • Completion Dates

    1. Original - The original completion date.

    2. Revised - The revised completion date. (Live Date, Support, Closure)

    3. Actual - The actual completion date for the project

  • % Completion: The percentage of completion for the project.

  • Project Status:

    1. Current - The current project health status

    2. Previous - The previous project health status

    The general guideline is:

    • Green - On target, good performance against plan

    • Yellow - Caution, ability to meet project objectives may be threatened, may need intervention

    • Red - Serious issues and/or go-live in jeopardy, intervention and/or corrective action needed.

  • Next Steps / Follow up information: A brief executive description of the overall project status. If the project is in yellow or red status, steps or measures to remove the status should be included in the update.

  • Last Update: The date the entry was last updated.


Executive Status Report:

The executive status report is the drill down section of the high level project reporting. It provides a high-level glimpse into the health of the project.


  • Project Name: The name of the project

  • Executive Summary: The purpose of the Executive Summary is to be the initial, high-level description of the project that identifies the overall needs and objectives of either a new IT solution for the organization or a previously unplanned modification to an existing IT solution. It should outline the strategic purpose of the IT solution requested, all business needs (strategic alignment, revenue generation, regulatory, legal, operational improvement, etc.), and provide details of the benefits to the organization.

  • Budget Indicator: The Budget indicator assesses the ability to estimate and control project costs. The Budget indicator measures the actual cost expended to the planned cost expended. This is a determination of whether the project is on track to meet its target budget for implementation.

  • Schedule Indicator: The Schedule indicator is a high-level measure of project progress based on milestones. The schedule indicator assesses whether the dates projected for completion of major identified deliverables (i.e. milestones) are being met.

  • Scope Indicator: The Scope indicator assesses whether the project scope has remained stable. Scope management is concerned with whether or not new requirements have been identified that will impact the completion date, cost, or other success criteria. Scope change management is concerned with whether or not these changes have been formally approved.

  • Risk Indicator: The Risk Score is an indicator of the amount of risk involved in the project. A separate Risk Management plan should be developed that addresses all risks from identification to risk response control. Risks can be external (regulatory, government, environmental), internal (schedule, costs, scope changes, etc), technical (changes in technology), or unforeseeable. When looking at risks, one should look at the probability that it will occur and the impact of the occurrence.

  • Date: The date of the reported entry

  • Items Requiring Leadership Awareness: Please include any items that need to be brought to Leadership's attention for this reporting period.

  • Program Highlights - This Period: Please include any highlights for this reporting period.

  • Planned Activities - Next Period: Please include any key activities for the next reporting period.


There have been several lessons learned from the implementation of this board at our organization. However the main lesson is as follows, if you aren't high enough in the hierarchy to have followership, then your colleagues in leadership positions really need to buy-in and agree to the process. This is a pretty black and white fact. If the cio, director, or manager doesn't actively engage and promote the process, there is little success in holding the project manager accountable.

The other key lesson is for the senior execs and directors, to understand the significance of the bulletin board. A communication and dialogue needs to occur to familarize them with the content of the board and significance.

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1 Comments to “Implementing a project dashboard 101”

Hi there. I was wondering what application(s) you used to 'fill' your board? Please don't tell me it was Excel (I am so over using Excel!!!).


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