In this article, we share a hack for action tracking that reduces the resource burden and increases the likelihood of project success through better action tracking. Actions come from all over the place and can easily become the cause for project failure, whether that be significant delays, quality issues, and/or budget overruns.
There are only three (3) types of activities on a project:
- Delivery activities and tasks to build and implement the new capability
- Management activities to govern, control and assure the project
- Actions that are unplanned and emerge to support the above two types of activities
What are the sources of project actions?
Actions come from all over the place on complex projects. It can be resource intensive to stay on top of them and a fatal blow to project success if they’re not managed effectively. The main categories of sources of project actions are:
- Project Forums and Meetings: Project meetings often result in actions targeting project evolution and foreseeable challenges.
- Governance Forum Actions: These actions orbit around high-level strategic commands, analysis requirements and compliance directives.
- Assurance Reviews: The findings and recommendations that come out of assurance activities will either drive changes to governance and control processes, and/or be actions that need to be delivered by the project.
- Risk Treatments: Actions devoted to treating and counteracting potential threats.
- Issue Rectification Actions: Centred on addressing and rectifying risks that have been realised.
- Change Control Implementation Actions: Actions that caused by approved changes to project parameters, resources, or chronologies.
How do you integrate action tracking?
There are levels to the game when it comes to PMO registers, tools and templates. We want it all, so we use SharePoint Lists, PowerApps and PowerBI to get the flexibility of Excel with the functionality of custom software.
Simply put, we integrate our registers through Lookup functionality, so the Action Register is connected to the Committee Actions and Decisions Register, Risk Register, Issues Register, Change Register and other relevant registers. That way, when you enter a new risk in the Risk Register, the risk treatments (Actions) are automatically captured as Actions that sit in the Action Register and the Risk Register. The information can be updated in either location and the changes will flow to the other linked registers.
The following diagram depicts the core concept.
Our implementation makes it easy to establish and tailor to the specific internal frameworks of our client organisations. We know each organisation has a unique set of requirements and various tools in use for project tracking and reporting, and often for risk management. Our approach leverages those tools in the easiest way possible which ensuring better than the best, PMO management.
Think of it this way. When you log a new issue and there are resolution actions identified and agreed, rather than have the actions sitting in the issue register, or not. Our approach has them linked to the issue and identified through the issue register, while also having them sit in an integrated register of actions. The backwards linking makes it simple to identify the right information quickly.
The data people reading this are probably across how to implement this solution, if you’d like a more detailed walkthrough, get in touch.
What are the benefits of an integrated approach?
- Resource savings: Time is no longer wasted on going through various registers, de-conflicting and identifying.
- Centralisation: Integrated action tracking and reporting is faster, easier and less resource intensive for all parties.
- Customised Reporting: Configure the register to craft reports curated for different stakeholder needs. Using SharePoint Lists has the added benefit of in-browser PowerBI integration. It’s simple and powerful. 5
- Simplified stakeholder engagement: Users can easily stay abreast of information or contribute to entering information through user tagging and commenting within these easy to use tools.
- Cohesive Integration: Liaise with technical squads to ensure your register seamlessly merges with other pivotal systems. Using tools like SharePoint lists and visual platforms like PowerBI not only enhances visibility but also augments analytical prowess.
This is a sample of the level of experience our team brings to program delivery. We have a range of PMO hacks and methods that give us and the programs we support an edge, leading to an increased likelihood of success.
We invite you to reach out to our team for advice or an initial consultation. We’re always happy to discuss your unique challenges and explore how our expertise can assist you in streamlining your project delivery capability. With a team of professionals who bring a unique blend of strategic thinking, strong communication skills, and a commitment to excellence, we’re well-equipped to guide you on this journey. Reach out to us today to take the next step towards mastery in managing complex projects.