Building an Executive Dashboard for a Project Portfolio


By Bernardo Nicoletti 

Rome, Italy


Project management requires careful planning and control at different levels. This paper will concentrate on the monitoring of a project portfolio from an executive point of view.

The process of planning and management control consists of a set of rules, procedures, and organizational structures designed to ensure compliance with the organization’s strategies and the achievement of the following objectives (the four E):

  • Effectiveness, in terms of reaching the purpose of the projects on scope, time, cost, and quality;
  • Process Efficiency, in terms of achieving the objectives of the project with the least resources of the organization (administration, production, distribution, etc.)
  • Economics of the projects, in terms of assuring the profitability of the projects and the protection from risks and losses;
  • Ethics and compliance of operations to assure that the projects comply with the law, regulations and policies, plans, regulations, and procedures of the organization.

The Executive Dashboard

A project portfolio dashboard should provide the executives an accurate and current picture of what is happening in the organization. It should allow an overview on the conditions in which the project portfolio is positioned.

The Monitoring

The dashboard should include the KPI (Key Project Indicators) critical to the organization. They are metrics that monitor the progress of a project.

There are mainly four types of KPI for a project:

  • Indicators to measure the goal achievement, from the project start up to the hand-off for acceptance;
  • Indicators of time and measures of the volume of work to evaluate its progress;
  • Quality indicators: assessing the quality of the output, according to certain standards;
  • Indicators of costs.

In the following paragraphs, the KPI are considered from three different aspects:


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About the Author

flag-italybernardo-nicolettiBernardo Nicoletti

Rome, Italy

Bernardo Nicoletti is author of Lean and Digitize: An Integrated Approach to Process Improvement, published by Gower in 2013.  Bernardo graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. He worked for GE Capital, as Group CTO, GE Oil & Gas, as CIO, and AIG, with assignments in Italy, UK, USA and Latin America. Currently he is Professor of IT Procurement at the Master in Procurement of the University of TorVergata, Rome, Italy.  He also provides consultancy services in Europe and Asia on IT Strategy, Organization and Procurement.

Bernardo has been particularly active in the application of Lean Six Sigma to Financial Institutions. He calls his approach ‘Lean & Digitize’ and over time has developed a specific methodology as a way to reduce costs and improve quality, bringing value to the Business.  He is the author of 20 books on Management, published in Italy. He has been a frequent speaker in International Conferences and has published 200 articles. www.bernardonicoletti.com.

More about his latest book, Lean and Digitize, can be found at http://www.gowerpublishing.com/isbn/9781409441946.