Original Date: 11/12/2001
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Pivot Table Reporting
Frontier Electronic Systems established Pivot Table Reporting as a way to compare planned versus actual direct charge expenditures and provide visibility at all management levels. This real-time performance reporting tool has reduced annual paper and printing costs by $85,000.
Previously, Frontier Electronic Systems (FES) operated without a real-time data comparison tool so that cost reporting information from accounting could not be analyzed against product completion metrics. As such, monitoring performance-to-plan during a given month was cumbersome, unreliable, and generated reams of printed data. The manual manipulation to compile data and perform comparisons took around 15 days to complete. By that time, the cost data was at least 45 days old. To address these issues, FES established Pivot Table Reporting in 1997.
Pivot Table Reporting uses a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to generate reports which summarize actual data from the accounting system and forecast data from the project management system. The reports are provided on a weekly basis to Program Managers and used to identify performance variations from planned cost during each month. These invaluable reports provide leading indicators of potential problems that might not otherwise be identified until monthly financial reporting is completed. As a result, Program Managers have an opportunity to mitigate program risks before they become problems. The pivot table reports supplement monthly reports produced from the Project Management System and the Earned Value Performance Measurement and Reporting System.
Pivot Table Reporting enables planned versus actual comparisons to be done electronically on a weekly basis, which means cost data is only seven days old. This improvement represents a 38-day, or 84%, reduction in Estimates To Complete (ETC) cycle time. In addition, accuracy of ETC numbers have improved by 24%, and annual paper and printing costs have been reduced by more than $85,000.
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