Determine what data is needed
Before spending time configuring several fields or building out forms in OpenAir, it is necessary to determine information to be captured and what will be done with that data. Project status and/or health data, typically referred to as RYG Status (Red, Yellow, Green), is commonplace for many organizations. Who will review the data? On what cadence will the data be reviewed? What action will be taken with the detail provided?
Methods for capturing project data
Project health and status information can be captured in several places within OpenAir. The simplest and most straightforward is via the Project Properties. Creating custom fields such as health, status and key project dates and a corresponding divider for the section will allow current state capture. Current state means historical values of the field will not be visible on the form, rather the fields are a representation of what is currently going on with the project. The fields can be included in both reports and list views for easy reference.
When historical information is needed, the project Issues feature, which is located within individual projects and enabled by project stage, comes in handy to track the same detail. Use of this feature typically requires custom fields and the use of form permissions to achieve the desired layout and content and, if needed, allows for a robust build-out. Each new “issue” would reflect a new, historically logged, project status and any accompanying detail such as notes or dates. OpenAir also allows terminology overrides so Issues can be renamed to Project Status, for example.
Project Metrics are captured as a combination of native fields, custom fields, and custom calculations. Metrics such as such budget vs. actual dollars or hours, timing from project start to go live, project margin, average bill rate for fixed fee projects, and qualitative measures such as RYG status are examples of the spectrum of data that is able to be captured and reported on within OpenAir.
Rather than reporting on every metric available, it is important to determine which metrics are most applicable to your team or organization values to support scaling and growth and project health transparency. Key data may change over time; within OpenAir, it is easy to modify reports and configurations to capture your changing needs.
For more scheduling tips and techniques, check out the recorded webinars for Metrics and Project Management as a start, or any of the other TOP Step recorded webinars, at http://topstepconsulting.com/webinar-series/.