Communicate IT Value with an IT Initiatives Portfolio

One of the best tools I developed over the years is one that helps communicate IT value and the level of success you are achieving. I call it the IT Initiatives Portfolio.

IT Initiatives PortfolioIT Initiatives Portfolio

This is one of the Top 15 tools and templates I think every IT manager needs and I’ve written about it a couple of times, , , here is additional information that will be helpful in using this tool.

There are six key parts to this template, and the information on this report can tell you a lot:

  1. Success in completing projects on time
  2. Success in completing projects within budget
  3. Benefit results. I include columns for expected results and achieved results for both 6-month and 12-month intervals. You won’t use these columns for every project but it is certainly helpful to list some type of business value benefit for every project you work on, , , this is the value contribution your IT team is making.
  4. Success in meeting client needs
  5. Overall success rate of each project – on time, within budget, achieving expected results, and meeting client needs.
  6. Ongoing success rates of completing projects successfully. You get this by calculating the percentages of success for each of the key measurement criteria – on time, within budget, and meeting client needs plus overall project success rate. This is your track record, , , something you need people to know about because it shows how good your team is operating.

Let’s take a closer look at the information maintained on this report:

it initiatives portfolio_resultsExample

In this example I’ve rolled it up so you can see the results of three projects. The nice thing about Excel is that you can summarize all the projects to calculate overall performance indicators at the bottom as I’ve done here.

In the example it shows we have achieved the following performance track record:
– On time percentage – 66.6%
– Within budget – 100%
– 6-month actual benefits of $21,500 which is $500 better than expected
– 12-month actual benefits of $63,500 which is $5,500 better than expected
– Meets User Needs percentage of 100%
– Overall project success of 66.6%

It helps to prepare an annual report that lists every project the IT team completed during the year and keep copies for every year to show progress and to analyze to determine how you get better. You will find this information becomes valuable to have handy at times.

Something else to consider is that when people know you are tracking performance and you are serious about it, , , two things happen:
1.  Your IT team focuses harder to complete projects successfully.
2.  Senior managers view you more as a business manager than a technical manager.

Both of these are important for your credibility.

Summary
Project success is the path to IT credibility, something you must establish if you are to attain any level of IT success. To get there you need to do more than just complete projects successfully, , , you must also communicate the status of active projects and make others aware of the track record and results your team achieves in delivering projects successfully.

CLICK HERE to download a customizable IT Initiatives Portfolio template.

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