The key to successful PPM – Establish a drumbeat

Blog 10-03-2021

To implement a PPM system like our PM3 the implementation should be treated like any other project. It needs:

  • An active sponsor;
  • Scope;
  • Plan;
  • Resources;
  • Success criteria, etc

Many PPM vendors simply install the software, configure it and after some formal training the ‘project’ is complete. This approach rarely works and after the initial enthusiasm of using a shiny new tool, the PPM product falls into disuse. Having successfully implemented PPM (PM3) in many clients, I can recommend a way to gain full adoption of your chosen PPM solution. The secret is developing a rhythm or a drumbeat in reporting. One of the biggest benefits of any PPM system is the management information that the tool can provide on a real-time basis.

The PPM project should define a weekly and monthly drumbeat of reports that are generated from the base data in the tool (updated by the project teams). These drumbeats should go to different audiences including senior stakeholders. The drumbeat process can be particularly effective if the reports are emailed automatically (as in PM3). This puts the emphasis on the project managers to ensure that their data is correct before the reports are emailed.

In my experience the initial set of reports can be patchy in terms of the currency and the quality of the data. Once this poor data quality is discovered – usually very quickly – the PMO works with the project teams to improve the data quality. However, once the project teams realize that their statuses are in the drumbeat reports used by senior management, they soon make an effort to ensure their data is accurate before the drumbeat reports are emailed.

The other benefit of the report drumbeat is that the senior stakeholders get used to reviewing their reports on a weekly and/or monthly basis. They anticipate the reports landing in their inbox and this encourages them to read and analyse the information.

Many of our PPM clients have used a reporting drumbeat to derive real value from their PM3 implementations. These clients include Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and MDU.

For any more information on PM3 or how to establish a reporting drumbeat, please contact me on:

About the author

David Walton – I am David Walton, Programme, Project and Portfolio Management specialist and director of Bestoutcome here in the UK. We make the PMO tools PM3, PM3time and PM3NHS, the only PMO tools designed by practitioners for practitioners.

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