Introducing custom list weightings

custom list enhancement

PPO has introduced a new “weighting” attribute on custom list items. By default the value is zero, but you can set this to any numerical value with up to five decimals of precision. You may however be asking yourself “But what can I use it for?”

The answer is that it can be used in any calculated field or report where you want to apply a weighting or conversion ratio of some kind. Typical examples of this include:

  • Risk Rating calculations
  • Project Prioritization
  • Currency conversion
  • Benefit Unit of Measure (UOM) to monetary value conversion

We will look at each of these use cases in a bit more detail below, but first what are the benefits?

Why did we implement this?

If you are an existing client you may be saying “But I already have this functionality in PPO. How is this different?” The difference is that previously these weighting had to be implemented within custom functions by the PPO Support Desk.  The advantages of using the custom list item weightings include:

  • Users now have the ability to change / tweak the weightings themselves, without having to log a support ticket to have them changed.
  • Increased visibility of the weightings that are applied. The weighting factors themselves can be exposed as calculated fields or shown on reports.
  • Reduced costs and faster turnaround time for implementing complex weighted calculations. Even if the assistance of the support desk is required, the new functionality will allow the support desk to implement your requirement a lot faster, resulting in cost savings for you.
Risk rating calculations

Most project management methodologies including PMBOK and PRINCE2 suggest that you calculate a Risk Rating for every risk that is raised for a project. By default, PPO is configured to support the calculation of risk ratings using the models suggested by PMBOK and PRINCE2 which incorporates the Risk Impact and Probability.

Some organisations however have more complex requirements which incorporate other factors and also apply weightings to these factors.  The new custom list item weighting feature is ideally suited for this. For detailed guidance on how to do this, refer to this FAQ.

Project prioritisation

Many clients have a requirement to prioritise their projects based on a range of factors such as Project Type, Project Complexity, Strategic Alignment, etc.  This is usually accomplished by implementing a calculated field which takes all these factors (as captured on the project) into account and applying some sort of weighting to each of the factors.

The new custom list item weighting makes this simple to implement while at the same time providing visibility to users in terms of the weightings applied and allowing you to change these weightings yourself. If you are interested in implementing this functionality, please contact the PPO Support Desk.

Currency conversion

If you want to capture costs/expenses/invoices in multiple local currencies but also want the ability to show the costs in a reporting currency, you can do this using the guidance that is provided in this FAQ.  If you are however looking for a simpler approach, you can use custom list item weightings to achieve something similar. The simplified approach is also covered in the abovementioned FAQ. If you need assistance in choosing between the two options, please contact the Support Desk.

Benefit Unit of Measure to monetary value conversion

If you are tracking benefits on projects, the benefit is typically tracked in some Unit of Measure (UOM) such as man hours, $ / ton, increased unit sales, KWh saved, etc.  Although this is very useful, you want to be able to measure benefits across your entire portfolio of projects all of which have different UOMs.  The new custom list item weighting functionality allows you to do this by attaching a monetary conversion factor to a UOM e.g. for each $/ton improvement we save $650.  You now have an easy way to see which projects or subsets of your portfolio are adding the most value.

If you are tracking benefits on your portfolio, please ask us about it and we would be happy to assist.

Have questions?

If you are unsure of what this new functionality means for you or want to know how you can convert existing calculations to make use of this new feature contact us at We’d love to hear from you!

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Author: Jimmy Hekma

Jimmy is one of the founders of Project Portfolio Office and is the companies Chief Technology Officer and heads up the Product Management team.

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