Decision Lens Accelerate - Adding Data to Portfolios

Once a portfolio has been created, we need to populate our project data. You can do that either manually or by importing Data.

Manually Adding

If you are manually adding you select the “Add Projects” or “Add Field” links on this page.

“Add Projects” brings up an excel-like window where you can type or paste in one or more projects.

All Projects must have a name in order to save the additions.

“Add Fields” allows you to type in the Field Name and define which type of field the data is: Value, Cost, Risk, Balance, or Other Information.

Field Types

Decision Lens uses a standard framework to organize and analyze portfolio data.  Each field in the portfolio must be mapped to a Field Type.  All fields must be mapped to a Field Type.

Value: These are Fields that represent things you want to do better on.  Examples include Revenue, Mission Readiness, Net Present Value, Miles of roadway in good repair, etc.

Cost: These are Fields that represent things that you are constrained on. You have a limited amount of resources, and each project uses those up, so you cannot possibly do everything.  Examples are Pools of Money, FTEs, Hours, etc

Risk: These are Fields that represent the amount of uncertainty that a project will bring about the results it claimed it would.  Examples are Likelihood of Success, Technical Complexity, Material Risk, etc.

Balance: These are Fields that represent things that categorize your Portfolio.  It will be used to determine if your plans have the appropriate balance of resourcing across these categories. Examples are Region, Business Area, Strategic Objective, Investment Type, etc.

Tip: Only map the key fields that represent critical data for your portfolio to Value, Cost, Risk, and Balance.  Only these fields will be analyzed by our algorithms.  All other metadata can be simply mapped to Other

Choose which is better

For Value and Risk Field Types, data entries for each project must be numeric in order to have the Decision Lens Algorithms be able to analyze.  The user has the ability to set whether higher (eg Cost Savings or ROI) or lower (eg number of defects or time to market) numbers are desirable. 

How are you populating your data?

There are multiple ways to populate data depending on data availability.

  • Manual: Use available numeric data to represent the field values
  • Quick Estimate (available for Value or Risk): Use a quick 1-5 scale to represent the field values.  Quick Estimates are useful as initial placeholders where hard data is not yet available.
  • AHP (Value Only): Use an in-depth collaborative decision-making methodology in order to derive a "Value Score".  This method, while more robust, will also require additional time and effort in configuration.  

Importing Data

If you are importing data you select the big blue “Import Spreadsheet” button on the Activity Page.

Choosing Files

This brings you to the import page. Read the Uploading tips in order to guarantee a successful import of data. Then click the “Choose a file” link to upload your excel spreadsheet. Decision Lens will tell you once it registers the file has been uploaded in the system, telling you that it is ready to import the data from your spreadsheet.

Choosing a Project Field

Click “Next” and Decision Lens will try to find which column is aligned with your projects name.

Click “Next” again once and start mapping all of your columns to the project dimensions of Value, Cost, Risk, or Balance. If you have a field that does not align to one of those dimensions you can leave it unmapped.

Mapping & VCRB Overview

The Value Cost Risk Balance (VCRB) framework allows us to easily categorize and understand project level measurements and how this contribute to plan level understanding.  Any measurement you have for projects falls into one of these buckets:

  • Value: These are things you want to do better on. Examples include Revenue, Mission Readiness, Net Present Value, Miles of roadway in good repair, et cetera.
  • Cost: These are things that you are constrained on. You have a limited amount of resources, and each project uses those up, so you cannot possibly do everything. Examples are Pools of Money, HR.
  • Risk (aka Certainty): How certain are you that the project will do what it claims. Typically thinking in terms of the certainty of staying within budget and deadlines while bringing about the value it claimed it would.
  • Balance: When you break down by category (e.g. Region) is your plan breaking down in the way you want?

Tip: Only map the key fields that represent critical data for your portfolio to Value, Cost, Risk, and Balance.  Only these fields will be analyzed by our algorithms. All other fields can be categorized as Other Information to be included in the portfolio but not used to help assess performance or composition of a Plan. 

Decision Lens will use algorithms to auto-map the columns of data in your excel spreadsheet to the project dimensions of Value, Cost, Risk, or Balance. If you wish to move or remove a mapped dimension you can do so on this page either by dragging the field to the leftmost “Unmapped Fields” column or by clicking on the edit icon and selecting “Unmap this field”.

Fields can also be renamed via clicking on the edit icon on a given field tile.

Now click “Next” and you will be brought to your Baseline Plan and view your information in the Projects page.

Please see related video