The final, and perhaps most important question when managing a project is – what is likely to happen in the future?  This can be broken down into many details:

  • Will the project finish on time?
  • will the project require more money or resources than planned?  How much?
  • What changes can be made to reduce time, work or costs?

Historical data is the key to these questions.  Advanced techniques involving predictive analytics and machine learning can be applied to this data to produce guidance around what is likely to happen, as well as what actions can be taken to make changes.  One example using Excel’s Forecast Sheet is shown below.

Project predicted actual cost

Predicted Project Cost – 90% Confidence Interval

Using historical data supplied through the ShareAdvance Project Intelligence Power Query model, this graph shows the likely project cost for the coming quarter with upper and lower confidence intervals.  Many such reports can be produced once significant historical data has been collected in the ShareAdvance database.

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First: What is the current status of my projects?