The truth is what may define healthy for one does not necessarily translate into healthy to another. Certainly, my definition of healthy (absolute perfection) may not be the same as someone else's definition.
My definition of healthy may be strictly related to only one set of quantifiable statistics and someone else may have a broader definition of healthy. This perception correlates to the Marketing Operation's project health functionality. Please keep in mind that the Marketing Operations project health is configurable and may be changed to reflect different perceptions of project health per template. The unique configurability provides the administrator the flexibility to modify the rules to reflect project diversity.
Project Health Objectives
The objective of implementing project health rules is to assist project owners and teams with tracking the overall status of their projects. The rules may be different for each unique project template. Therefore, a mutual agreement regarding project health must be defined prior to configuration. Please keep in mind that the garbage in...garbage out rule will impact the health calculations. The only way to ensure the proper implementation of project health is to properly utilize dates in the application. If the project dates are not accurate the project health will be impacted preventing the implementation until project clean up is completed.
Project KPIs - Key Performance Indicators Currently Available to Administrators
Marketing Operations has a static list of KPIs to configure. The health definitions for the KPIs are healthy, warning, critical and unknown. The KPIs are:
- % Milestone Overdue--Project Level KPI--Compares the total delay time to the total planned time for all In Progress and Completed project milestones.
- % Budget Overrun--Project Level KPI-- Compares the total estimated budget less actual expenses to the total estimated budget. Please note that this KPI requires the Financial Management module.
- % Time Overdue--Project Level KPI--Compares the total delay time to the total planned time for all In Progress and Completed project tasks.
- % Tasks Delayed--Project Level KPI-- Compares the number of overdue tasks to the total number of incomplete tasks.
- % Milestone Tasks Delayed--Project Level KPI-- Compares the number of overdue milestones to the total number of incomplete milestones.
Recently, I worked with a client with many blank dates in the project workflows. The blank dates presented an inaccurate project health display for their projects impacting their ability to implement the desired project health rules. In order for the health status to be calculated the dates for tasks and milestones must be entered. The application uses the server system date to calculate the current date. The application will use the current date and compare it to the forecast/actual date and target end date for the health of the project. One caveat to note is the system will mark tasks with a skipped status as healthy and not late. During the next health status calculation, the system reassesses the skipped task as on-time. When the task status changes to finished, the system supplies the actual end date with a time stamp. Therefore, the health calculation will be based on the forecast/actual date when the task status changes to finished. Currently, the application will display negative values for % Time Overdue and % Milestone Overdue. The negative % represents a project ahead of schedule. The negative number was designed to represent the amount of delay that a project manager would be able to take advantage of without impacting the project schedule. However, the negative numbers may also represent blank workflow dates. This is the result of garbage date data, hence garbage in...garbage out.
Please keep in mind that the system automatically calculates project health status daily, and updates the calculation periodically throughout the day. In addition, you can manually initiate the health status calculation when needed.
Prevention Tips Coming Soon
Coming soon in a future release to assist in the prevention of unhealthy inaccurate date data is a warning message to project owners to inform them of blank workflow dates prior to finalizing project workflows.
Please refer to the Marketing Operations Administration and User Guides for more information regarding project health status.
Happy Healthy Planning!