What types of reports does Platypus create?

Assuming that all the project plans are kept up to date especially with regard to the % complete status for every task, Platypus creates the following cross-project reports:

  • Late Task Report:
      This report identifies tasks within all the projects tracked which were scheduled to have been completed already but are still short of 100% done. The tasks are sorted by project and then by due date.
  • Work-in-Progress Report:
      This report identifies all tasks within all the projects tracked which have been started but not yet declared complete, i.e. with % complete set to more than 0% but less than 100%. The tasks are sorted by project and then by due date.
  • Milestone Report:
      This report gives the status of specific tasks within the projects tracked with the same names as milestones defined prior to running the report. This report is formatted as a table with the rows representing the projects and the columns representing the milestones. It gives an at-a-glance view of project health very clearly and succinctly to the program managers, project offices and senior management.
  • Resource Allocation Report:
      This report tracks resources across projects to identify critical chains, available resources for new projects, scheduling conflicts and potential bottlenecks due to over-allocation. In this report, the resources are sorted by name and then by project.
  • Short-term Assignment Report:
      This is the most important report because it facilitates the philosophy behind Platypus, i.e. Tactical Project Implementation. This report shows the status across all the projects tracked on tasks due in three time periods? previous, current and next. The time periods can be selected between daily, weekly and monthly. The tasks are sorted by project, by period and then by due date within the period.
  • Short-term Assignment Report:
      This is the most important report because it facilitates the philosophy behind Platypus, i.e. Tactical Project Implementation. This report shows the status across all the projects tracked on tasks due in three time periods? previous, current and next. The time periods can be selected between daily, weekly and monthly. The tasks are sorted by project, by period and then by due date within the period.

What is the Tactical Project Implementation methodology?

General George Patton had said, "Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy." In military usage, as should be in everyday usage, strategy is the overall plan or policy for obtaining the desired objective or result. Tactics deal with the actual actions that realize the strategy. However, many people today consider strategy as the long-term plans and tactics as a short-term planning process. Many managers spend significant time in planning projects but still fail in implementation of the projects either due to unrealism in the plan or a disconnect between planning and execution.

Tactical Project Implementation is designed to a) improve the realism in planning, and b) successfully implement the plan. This is accomplished through a very strong focus on the current - current objective, current milestone, current period of time and current task. The strong current focus improves the efficiency of implementing individual tasks, and when individual tasks are implemented efficiently, the project as a whole cannot but be successfully and efficiently implemented. The current focus is also extended to the duration of the project - long-term projects are divided into successive sub-projects such that no single unit exceeds a reasonable time horizon, e.g. three months. Success begets success, and when sub-objectives are successfully attained, the project objective is reduced to mere mechanics.

While the focus is on the current time period and objective, the immediate future is also taken into account. A view to the next time period allows future tasks to be prepared for, and, in case of external dependencies, reminders to be sent out. Thus, with current tasks efficiently implemented and next time period prepared for, timelines will be met and even exceeded.

Tactical Project Implementation also leverages resources effectively using VKS Associates? proprietary Blue Square / Red Circle and Resource Alignment models. The Project Time Bank is also used to track resource efficiency and reward resources with compensation time. These concepts are beyond the scope of the current document.

For more information about Tactical Management and Tactical Project Implementation methodology, please contact VKS Associates, LLC, through the contact page on the website www.vksassociates.com

How does Platypus facilitate Tactical Project Implementation (TPI)

A significant aspect of TPI is the current focus. Platypus is designed to support current focus or the tendency to concentrate on the immediate tasks. In order to do so, the project team must:

  • Fix errors in the past
      The Late Task Report and the previous time period section of the Short-term Assignment Report bring to the immediate attention the tasks that were scheduled to be completed especially in the most recent time period. This allows the project manager and project team to understand what was not done and why, and strive to fix this slippage.
  • Focus on the present.
      The Work-in-progress Report and the current time period section of the Short-term Assignment Report highlight tasks under way and tasks due to be completed in the current period. This allows the project manager and project team to meet expectations in a timely manner.
  • Prepare for the future.
      The next time period section of the Short-term Assignment Report gives a reminder of the tasks due in the immediate future. This allows the project manager and project team to prepare for what needs to be done and to remind external groups that the project team depends upon.

In addition, the Milestone Report allows senior management to compare projects on an equal basis, and the Resource Allocation Report allows the organization to plan for future projects and/or to handle staffing issues.

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