Dashboard Reporting for Effective AE Project Delivery

Posted by Jeremiah McNicholas on May 19, 2015

Build a Better AE Firm

There are many variables at play when you consider the management of an AE project. A project manager must keep watch over many factors that could impact project scope, budget, or schedule to ensure successful project delivery. To keep up with these moving targets, comprehensive dashboard reporting is an absolute must for any architecture or engineering firm.

So what makes up a comprehensive dashboard report? To answer that question, let’s take a look at some of the key responsibilities of the project management role. A successful project manager is expected to take ownership of their projects early on by keeping in constant communication with the team and client, properly planning resources, reviewing all charges, and tracking progress on the project. To deliver on these expectations, a project manager’s dashboard should provide reports that will support conversations with clients and help guide the activities of the project team. Reports should include information regarding project and phase scope, budgets, milestones and completion estimates to help the project manager quickly answer important questions from the client or the project team.

Dashboards should also include resource management reporting to help a project manager ensure the right people are assigned to the right tasks at the right time. This information is vital to delivering a project on time and within budget. This could be something as simple as a chart displaying the project team’s availability by week. Of course, resource planning is only the beginning. A project manager’s dashboard should also contain a running tally of all time, expenses, and consultant fees charged to the project. This will help a project manager make sure the project is going according to plan and make the necessary changes early on if the project is veering off course.

As the project progresses to completion, a successful project manager is expected to review client invoices (and in some cases ensure timely payment), collect feedback from the client, and close out the project. These responsibilities may require additional dashboard reporting. An invoice report detailing all invoices sent to the client will help a project manager know exactly what the client has been asked to pay and when. This will help inform client conversations, simplify billing review, and provide visibility into the most appropriate time for a collection call.

There are many different approaches to creating a comprehensive dashboard for project management. It’s important to start by considering all of the information needs of a project manager and strive to satisfy as many of these needs as possible.

If you’re interested in exploring this topic further, please join us for a live presentation on Wednesday, June 3 at 10am PT/1pm ET to learn more about how a project manager can “Drive Project Profitability with Dashboard Reporting.

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