Portfolio Summary Review
The Steering Committee should receive relevant portfolio status information on a regular basis, say monthly or quarterly. If a Project Management Office (PMO) is in place, they may be satisfied with the PMO reports. Long-winded textual diatribes are not necessary. Summary information can be provided graphically, often referred to as a "dashboard".
A portfolio dashboard is a set of metrics collected together and presented graphically to governance bodies on a regular basis and portraying the latest performance status of the part of the organization being observed. It is called a "dashboard" because the charts are often in pie chart form and resemble the dashboard of an automobile. In this case, the dashboard displays portfolio performance figures against objectives and expectations.
Portfolio Detailed Review
A more detailed review could include the following:
- Component data: Regular updates on the status of portfolio components, especially at phase-end milestones; current priority; and forecasts of delivery, final costs, and expected benefits.
- Resource allocation and capacity data: Financial, human and production capacity for purposes of scheduling next-in-queue projects.
- Environmental constraints: Includes constraints such as government regulations, borrowing capacity arising from interest rates, weather, and so on.
- Selection criteria: Any changes arising from portfolio optimization calculations; mandated changes in balancing points; or changes in the weightings to be applied to specific selection criteria.
- Key Performance Indicators: Any changes in the organization's approach to gathering metrics, especially in the area of benefits realization.
- Portfolio management criteria: Changes in details such as diversification; project management objectives tolerances; and risk tolerances generally.
- Governance standards: Any changes in corporate policies, whether or not government mandated.
- Strategic Goals: Any changes in corporate strategy, perhaps arising from a review of portfolio benefits realization performance, but in any case as they apply to selection and prioritization of portfolio components.
Obviously, each Steering Committee member should be particularly familiar with any portfolio work that they are sponsoring and/or portfolio work that is being performed on their behalf.