Effective Risk Management through Real-Time Reporting

Contributed to by  Elysha Decker, PMO, Covario PM_Risk_Image

Covario’s Project Management Office (PMO) accomplishes big wins for clients by delivering on-time and under-budget results, as well as ensuring that projects are not impacted by unforeseen risks. These wins are made possible due to the implementation of a risk management process that supports proactive, efficient and accurate project management.

Our PMO designed a process for risk management that leverages a real-time, automated reporting tool in order to maximize the amount of issues identified and minimize the time spent discovering risks. The tool allows our project managers to spend more time on strategic and proactive planning. The process benefits our clients because we can anticipate and resolve “fires” faster, spend more time on SEO and SEM strategy and execution, and maximize the amount and quality of deliverables.

Covario utilizes an online project management tool, AtTask, to build real-time reports that monitor project-specific risks such as financial, strategic, and operational risks. We use the tool to create customizable dashboards, which enable our project managers to support under-budget execution and on-time deliverables by calling continuous attention to project-specific issues. The user-friendly and real-time characteristics of AtTask maximize the efficiency of our daily operations.

One of Covario’s larger account teams created an AtTask dashboard to measure project metrics that would ensure proactive risk management. Real-time monitoring of these key elements allows our project managers to identify the three main risk areas (as mentioned above) that a Forbes Insights Study found to be the top concerns of executives today for impeding on success in the global marketplace (Deloitte, 2012).

  • Burn-rateCapture burn-rate to monitor financial risk by displaying current quarter projects by percent complete and hours/budget used.
  • RoadblocksDisplay roadblocks to monitor strategic risks by highlighting the late and at-risk categories for tasks that are due daily and weekly.
  • On-Time DeliveryTrack on-time delivery to monitor operational risk by showing the percent of on-time versus late tasks that were delivered by the team and/or by individual team members.
  • GapsIdentify gaps to monitor operational risk by task status (e.g. complete, in-progress, new, on-hold etc.) of tasks that are due daily and weekly, as well as tasks that need to be assigned daily.

Since Covario’s clients and our company are international in nature, continuously monitoring these three risk areas for the global marketplace allows our project managers to anticipate hurdles in a timely manner. In return, benefits are gained for our clients by not only ensuring success, but by creating value through our increased efficiencies.

Covario monitors the top three risk concerns of executives today through the real-time, automated tool within AtTask, which allows our project managers to be efficient and accurate when continuously identifying issues. The Forbes Insight study found the contrary, in which the majority of risk management systems monitored risk periodically, on a “monthly, quarterly, biannual or annual basis” (Deloitte, 2012, p 9). However, a risk management expert claimed that periodic risk management does not effectively mitigate risk.

Experts also say that leveraging technology to implement continuous risk monitoring can result with increased efficiencies and decreased costs with regards to risk management. By continuously monitoring these important risk areas through AtTask and its real-time reporting tool, Covario is breaking the trend and increasing value for our clients. Technology enables this efficient and proactive risk management, which as one of our largest client’s Chief Risk Officer says, “…you are essentially turning a hazard into an opportunity” (Deloitte, 2012, p 10).

Covario’s real-time, automated strategy is at the cutting edge of digital project management since it is customizable not only to the client-specific projects that shift deadlines, scopes, and budgets, but also to the characteristics of a global resource pool that make progress on projects at all hours of the day and night. This dynamic environment requires Covario’s PMO to adopt processes that maximize flexibility towards anticipating hurdles, while ensuring tight alignment to client budgets and goals.

There are many more considerations when evaluating the state of project management at your company.  Please continue to reference Covario’s Actionable Insights Blog for more provocative thought leadership on this important business category of your advertising agency or corporate marketing practice.


Deloitte. (2012). Aftershock: Adjusting to the new world of risk management. Forbes Insights, Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/risk_management_2012/index.html

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