Cost Engineering January/February 2015 - (Page 4)

TECHNICAL ARTICLE Integrated Project Reporting Using Dashboards: Harnessing the Power of Primavera P6 John W. Blodgett and Brian Criss, PSP Abstract:"Integrated reporting" can be accomplished by using reporting and dashboard tools that support accessing multiple data sources directly or through a data warehouse. The data sources can include Primavera P6 for planning and scheduling; a financial tool such as SAP; and/or internal homegrown databases. The data warehouse is the "central" database containing data with differing structures used in producing reports that incorporate the data directly from their auditable source databases. The report/dashboard solution is supported by programming to align the data based on common elements to provide enterprise level information, supported by individual system audit reports. A further objective is to move beyond siloed spreadsheet data by incorporating various sources into a single source of consolidated information. The data warehouse can also be used to store snapshots of datasets in order to perform trending and analytics. This article will discuss the business case for developing integrated reporting dashboards; an example case-study of an existing dashboard developed and used by a utility company; and alternative approaches, such as off-the shelf analytics offerings. This article was first presented as OWN.1670 at the 2014 AACE International Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA. Key Words: Analytics, integrated reporting dashboards, data, databases, Primavera P6, planning and scheduling, SAP, and trends. O rganizations striving for effective project controls are consistently looking for better ways to communicate among the various stakeholder groups. Typically, within organizations, one finds that the project controls umbrella actually entails the involvement of several groups within the organization, each with their own specific agenda (or criteria for success by which they are measured), as well as, software applications used to meet these goals. The challenge for executives and 4 project controls managers alike is the inherent desire to consolidate the information captured and maintained by these various groups within the organization, (See figure 0). The common reference heard in reference to organizational structures is the term "silos." This often has a negative connotation; however, this dynamic may often be seen as a necessity in order for the organization to function properly as a whole. Charles Duhigg, in his book "The Power of Habit," examines the makeup of large companies [1]. In his COST ENGINEERING JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 book, he discusses the makeup of companies as less than a single whole, but rather as a fiefdom of various smaller components of the organization. These differing components of the company have evolved independently over time as are the rules (both written and otherwise) by which these different groups interact with each other. Further, Duhigg maintains that such separation of these groups is essential to the overall efficiency of the organization and allows for the day-today work to get done without elevated levels of bureaucracy to govern decisions. For project controls professionals, this dynamic is often the central area of concern which needs to be overcome. Namely, how best to achieve interoperability among tools used by the various internal interest groups to arrive at a consolidation of information by which decisions may be made in a timely manner? Often, very manual and disjointed reporting has been developed and leads to conflicting "your spreadsheet vs. my spreadsheet" dynamics. In addition, project controls often seeks to integrate various tools together so that they can see consistent data across the various tools. There is the concept of the "system of record" for certain types of

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cost Engineering January/February 2015

Cost Engineering January/February 2015