The use of data to power decisions and shape strategy has long been a foundational component in successful project and portfolio management. From developing task duration estimates to calculating an initiative’s expected return on investment, businesses need access to data they can trust. However, today’s project teams rely even more heavily on up-to-date information than in years past to analyze performance, allocate resources, select vendor partners, and ensure initiatives are executed on time and on budget.
If your organization hasn’t yet adopted a set of proven data management best practices or committed to harvesting actionable insight from the information it has available, consider these reasons why good project data is more important than ever.
1 – Business goals are more fluid.
The pandemic created ripples across every corner of the marketplace. In this dynamic environment, your company may need to swiftly respond to changing customer needs, advancements in technology, trends in market sentiment, resource availability fluctuations, and unanticipated financial pressures. Project data that’s timely and accurate empowers your leadership team to ensure that the organization’s current strategic goals drive project planning and execution, and that your efforts remain aligned to those goals even as market conditions evolve.
2 – The supply chain has more challenges (and opportunities).
Supply chain data that was useful a year ago may no longer be relevant. Challenges in the logistics sector have altered procurement and transportation timelines. Local shutdowns have impacted the availability of raw materials and reduced the number of workers processing and packaging them. Businesses have closed, opened, and merged. Costs related to purchasing and shipping goods have changed in many cases, and businesses are finding that cross-border transactions may also be more complex than in past projects. Your team needs access to good data to ensure you’re making the best procurement and price decisions based on today’s supply chain climate.
3 – Work arrangements aren’t the same.
Even project teams that were already accustomed to working remotely discovered new challenges when the bulk of their company’s executives, project sponsors, vendors, collaborators, and other stakeholders switched to working from home. Data that’s siloed or sprinkled across disparate systems may be more difficult to access and analyze when you and your team aren’t logged in onsite. A strong integration strategy is key to success in any remote workplace, and access to information through a single dashboard enables distributed project teams to leverage the data they need, no matter where they’re located.
4 – Vendor relationships are evolving.
Where your project team may have relied on a small handful of vendors for core areas of support in the past, more organizations are finding themselves tapping into a wider network of providers. And those vendors are more likely to be spread across the country – perhaps across the globe – than in years past. This broad availability opens up numerous efficiency and cost-saving opportunities, but your team needs good data to ensure you can maintain awareness across your vendor network, conduct due diligence, identify constraints, recognize emerging risks, and control expenditures.
5 – More data doesn’t mean better data.
Historically, companies often felt they didn’t have enough information to make good strategic decisions. In today’s technology-rich environment, those same businesses may be drowning in data. But while the quantity might be good, the quality doesn’t always follow. If your project management efforts and actions are based on bad data – information that’s obsolete, duplicative, unconfirmed, or in conflict with other data sets – then your project results could fall short. Systems that are built to support integrations with core platforms and that can normalize multiple data streams will enable you to move forward with confidence.