Project Reports and the PMBOK

Must read

IT Project Teams are STILL driving competitive advantage

IT Projects are perfectly placed to shape the future of business as we emerge from this pandemic Businesses need to be leaner and more innovative. It’s time for IT Project teams to say, “Hold our coffee, watch us do our thing” – this is our moment.

Embrace the change: Getting to grips with new IT systems

New IT systems for a growing business can be an exciting prospect and deliver many benefits, but how do you convince employees to embrace...

5 Skills Needed To Drive Future Projects

Why do projects fail? It's a question that invites a lot of interest and significant statistics. And there are no wrong answers here. Skills shortages...

Does a Project Manager Need PM Qualifications?

What makes a successful project manager is a combination of their academic abilities, experience and skills, both "soft" and "hard" skills i.e. communication skills...
Lynda Bournehttp://mosaicprojects.wordpress.com
Lynda is Director of Training with Mosaic Project Services focusing on the delivery of CAPM, PMP, Stakeholder Circle® and other project related workshops, training and mentoring services. She is also the CEO of Stakeholder Management Pty Ltd. She was the first student to gain a Doctorate in Project Management from the RMIT University and has extensive experience as a Senior Project Manager and Project Director specialising in delivery of IT and other business-related projects within the telecomms sector.

One of the less well understood parts of the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition has been the significant refinement in the way project data is transformed into useful project reports; mainly due to the distributed information.  This short article will map the flow.

The starting point is Chapter 3.8 – Project Information

Figure 3-5. Project Data, Information and Report Flow © 2013 Project Management Institute
Figure 3-5. Project Data, Information and Report Flow
© 2013 Project Management Institute

This section recognises information changes in character as it is processed:

  • Work performance data is the raw observations and measurements made during the execution of the project work. Data has little direct value.
  • Work performance information is created when the data is analyzed and assessed. The information used to help control the work is derived from the analysis in context of the work performance data. This information also forms the basis of project reports.
  • Work performance reports are the physical or electronic representation of work performance information compiled in project documents and used for project decision making.
  • Work performance reports are also distributed or made available through the project communication processes with the intention of influencing and informing the actions of stakeholders (both internal and external).

This overall flow is defined in more detail in each of the PMBOK’s knowledge areas.

The actual ‘work’ of the project is defined in process ‘4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work’ (and a limited number of other processes).  These ‘work’ focused processes all have ‘work performance data’ as an output.

Assessing and analysing the data is part of the controlling process in each of the specialist knowledge areas from ‘scope’ to ‘stakeholders’. For example, process ‘13.4 Control Stakeholder Engagement’ has work performance data as an input and work performance information as an output (as do all of the other controlling processes).

These nine sets of specific performance information pertaining to scope, time, cost, etc., are brought together in process ‘4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work’, to produce work performance reports as an output.

Figure 4-9. Monitor and Control Project Work Data Flow Diagram © 2013 Project Management Institute
Figure 4-9. Monitor and Control Project Work Data Flow Diagram
© 2013 Project Management Institute

These reports are of course used for internal project management purposes, but also form a key element of project communication.

A key element within this process is knowledge management and gathering and using lessons learned; this aspect is discussed in our White Paper: Lessons Learned.

Process 10.2 Manage Communications receives the work performance reports as an input, and uses communication technology, models and methods to create, disseminate, store and ultimately dispose of performance reports and other project communications based on this information.

The art of effective communication being to get the right information to the right stakeholder, in the right format at the right time!  For more on this see: The three types of stakeholder communication.

So in summary, the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition has got the flow from raw data to useful reports fairly well defined, the only challenge is knowing where to look! Hopefully the 6th Edition will do a better job of ‘joining up the dots’.

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Project Management Lessons learnt from Covid Holiday Disruption

The very definition of Holiday (Noun - an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling), is an entirely flexible parameter to work within, so how do we adapt? And what Project Management lessons are to be learnt from this summer?

Project management for the ‘new normal’

We live in strange times. Who would have thought last year that 2020 would be the year of Covid-19, the year of...

Long-Term Strategies To Help Manage Your Team Remotely

The world has changed profoundly since COVID-19. No one saw a global pandemic coming but now isn’t the time to panic. Instead,...

10 Steps for Planning and Implementing a Successful Branding Project

Your brand is perhaps your most valuable asset. It defines your organisation’s reputation and visibility in the market. The strength of your...

4 Ways AI is Transforming How We Manage Projects

Project management is more than a simple planning of phases. It is an extremely dynamic function. Companies hire project managers to provide...