Project Visibility and Control for Project Managers

With the right processes & tools, Project Managers can have the information they need to focus on performance & profitability, and reduce project risk.

3 minute read

Do you need project visibility and analytics to drive decision-making?

Would real-time querying make your job easier?

Do you need a tool to communicate with all project stakeholders (executives and project teams) in both a simple and sophisticated manner?

If the answer is YES, this blog is for you!

Project managers (PMs) and their teams scramble too often for project visibility information in Excel and perform busy work instead of actively managing their projects and fostering relationships with customers. With the right processes and tools, PMs can have the information at their fingertips needed to focus on performance and profitability, reduce risk, and manage their projects.

Successful PMs have the tools to look deep within the project data past, present and future. Their goals are met because they can obtain the right information with accurate data, eliminating costly manual manipulation of data. These best-in-class PMs have comprehensive and timely visibility and control over their projects, resources, revenue, profitability, schedule, pipeline, and financials. They can make decisions quickly and effectively, resulting in a positive effect to the bottom line of the organization.

What is Project Portfolio Management (PPM)?

The purpose of project/program integration management is to...

  1. Coordinate project activities and integrate all efforts into a project plan
  2. Integrate, analyze, and report the project results in carrying out the project plan
  3. Control changes to the baseline plan
  4. Collect, integrate, and organize project information in a project information system.

(Reference: Project Management Maturity Model by J. Kent Crawford pg. 27)

Project Portfolio Management is a great overall philosophy that enables organizations to efficiently manage projects. A major outcome of PPM is having visibility and control over the projects, which will benefit the organization by:

  • Fostering a greater understanding of the key drivers of revenue and profit in your organization
  • Proactive tracking and management of performance relative to an annual operating plan
  • Elimination of profit losses on direct projects due to unanticipated project overruns
  • Increased profitability on T&M and Fixed Price projects
  • Reduction in the amount of funding “left on the table” (revenue backlog)
  • Increased adoption rates for the system you choose as it relates to planning and forecasting
  • Reduction in Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) or other invoicing metrics
  • Less time spent managing the financial aspects of direct projects

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

As we discussed in a previous blog, KPIs provide status and information for all levels within the organization. KPIs are typically displayed on dashboards and they should be a real-time visual representation of the role-based information needed to manage the business.

You should be able to quickly see with colors and graphs where you are against your plans. KPIs provide actionable insights to help you run your business on one single screen.

Commonly Used KPIs

Below are a few examples of commonly used metrics that project managers should have access to in order to run their projects successfully. Hopefully your organization is running a software package that provides this information.

  • Annual Billable Utilization: Billable Hours / Total Hours or Billable Days / Total Days
  • Booking: A commitment by a customer to buy your goods or services
  • Backlog: Total Bookings - Delivered Goods or Services
  • Billing: An invoice requesting payments for goods delivered or services rendered
  • Revenue: The amount of earnings that can be recognized
  • T&M Revenue per Employee: Actual Bill Rate x Hours Charged + ODC

For a more in-depth look on establishing strong KPIs, read our blog, "Tips for Developing Key Performance Indicators for Your Organization."

Earned Value Management (EVM)

Another helpful aspect of project visibility is earned value management. Earned Value Management (EVM) is a project management best practice that flows directly with your established PM policies. The basics of EVM are plan, execute, assess performance, and monitor the project. Project managers can assess completion of the work at the task level and by doing this will get a host of metrics on current and future performance.

Gain Project Visibility and Control with Unanet’s Project Management Software

How can one just system provide project managers with the project visibility and control they need to ensure business success? Unanet’s project management software allows you to align projects to corporate strategy, lower project management costs, gain key real-time project insights, and much more, all in one single source of truth! We’ve helped over 2,000 customers transform their project management processes.

To learn more about Unanet and how it can provide your project managers the visibility and control they need to ensure project success, download our eBook, 9 Simple Steps to Convince Your Leadership to Adopt Project Portfolio Management (PPM).