All those CPM, PERT and Gantt project management charts can’t be wrong. There’s value to be unlocked in measuring project performance and making appropriate adjustments. That includes vendor and contractor performance too; a factor that often determines the fate of a project. To build successful relationships with their suppliers for excellence in performance, managers in client organizations know that governance, metrics, monitoring and communication are all important. Some of these factors must be dealt with manually. Others can benefit from support of a system designed for efficient reporting and effective action.
Governance, Quality, Time and Money
Good project management governance and definition of PM policies and standards is the starting point for any meaningful measuring of performance. Risk management and a process for updating according to best practices are integral parts. Once the rules have been defined, they can be incorporated into the software system. Metrics for vendor and contractor project performance are identified so they are consistent with the governance structure. Assessment methods can be refined through the use of key performance indicators designed to flag potential problems before they turn into catastrophes. These are used together to find an appropriate balance between quality, timing and costs.
Vendors and contractors should also know how their customer is measuring their performance. Communicating these project management metrics and making the measurement data available to suppliers in real time is important, because it avoids time lags between evaluation by the client and response by the supplier. By clearly linking the data to the standards of performance expected, both client and provider can see immediately whether results are aligned with objectives and if action is required. This means holding performance information where it can be accessed at any time by authorized users, whether those users are inside or outside the client organization.
Vendor and Contractor Access
Information access management is also therefore an important part of performance, communication and management. Third party providers need to see project management information that concerns them, but only that information. User profiles must be set up to allow them to access systems accordingly. A client enterprise may be using multiple software applications for scheduling, estimating, collaborating and file sharing. Rather than issue a complex combination of user IDs and passwords, organizations often find it more productive to use a single access point such as a cloud portal that reliably grants external users the correct combination of access rights with the highest cloud security.
Better Communication of Performance Information
Top project management portal features go further than access security for performance information. They also include optimization of connections and communication as users increasingly move towards mobile computing devices and smartphones in particular. The smaller screens must be taken into consideration when displaying project data to ensure that usability remains high and performance information and alerts uncompromised. Intelligent routing of communications to optimize network link speed and quality also make it easy for users to check project performance from different locations. Ultimately, this translates back into improved synchronization of client expectations, vendor and contractor efforts, enhanced performance management and better results across the board.