What is project health card?
Project Health Card is generally a one page document or a card which show the health and status of project KPI (Key Performance Indicators). The project health provides visual clues of which area of the projects are not performing well.
What should a project health card include?
At a minimum it should contain basic information about the project, overall project status and status for individual project KPI. Depending on the need of the organisation additional details can be included but adding too many details can make the card complicated and unreadable.
Overall Project Status
The health card should include an overall project status which provides an overall project health. This overall status indicator is generally a cumulative calculation of the individual KPI.
How you arrive at overall status of the project varies from organisation to organisation but below are some of the examples. Generally, this status is rolled up into portfolio status.
- Overall status is green if all the KPI are green.
- Overall status is amber is two or more KPI are amber.
- Overall status is amber is one KPI is red.
- Overall status is red if 3 or more KPI are amber.
- Overall status is red if 2 or more KPI are red.
It also depends on the severity of the issue. You could face an issue which is very critical and could delay the whole project in which you will mark overall status as red.
The importance and meaning of Project KPI can vary depending on people and organisations. Some organisations may give priority to budget and some may give priority to schedule, some may have limited resources some may have limited budget.
Regardless of the company or individual there are some KPI which are common across. Here are some examples of project KPI – Project Schedule, Resourcing, Budget, Risks and Issues, Benefits, Change Requests, Action Items and Quality.
Project Schedule -
This is the timeline of the project with start dates and end dates for each task. The health of the schedule will decide if the delivery date of the project will be met.
This KPI is to measure if the project adequate resourcing. If the project does not have the required resourcing is bound to fail.
One of the most important factors in any organisation. Not having enough money can cripple any project.
Risks and Issues -
This highlights the status of various risks and issues in the project. If this is red than a good chance the project is in problem.
Project benefits are setup when we start the project. This KPI measure tracks the health of the benefits this project will get to the organisation.
Change Requests -
Change is the only constant so after a project has started there is a good chance there will CRs. This KPI measures if change requests are in good condition.
Action Items -
A project is made of tasks and sometime these tasks may have to be done by someone external. In that case this is a good tracker of outstanding tasks for someone not on the project team.
Last but not the least. This KPI tracks how the quality aspect of the project is progressing.
Project KPI Status
- Each of these KPI can be Red, Amber or Green also know RAG status.
- Green status indicate that all is good. No worries.
- Amber status indicates something wrong and could get worse if no action taken. Time to start worrying.
- A red status indicates that the situation is out on control and action is imminent.
Please refer to How to use RAG status reporting to find out how you can use the different RAG ratings.
Using Project Health Card
- Project health cards should be used to convey high level status.
- They can be part of bigger detailed report or portfolio report.
- A good document to be displayed on large screens.
- Cannot replace the a project status report which has all the details about the project.