Today during lunch I attended the ThoughtWorks' Webinar "The Agile PMO". Not being a PM or anything like that I cannot comment on the content other than to say that I learned a lot about what PMOs do. But, that is not the point of this post.
At the Webinar Ross Pettit was talking about when a PM reports status to the PMO they should measure that status in terms of Business functions. To me this made so much since, I cannot believe I never thought of it before. I believe on most of my projects, many aspects of the project are 90% done for more than 90% of the project (this goes double for all the projects that fail or are late).
This 90% done for 90% of the time is not really any one's fault. You see most people in IT are optimistic (or they are very jaded and pessimistic). This leads people to believe that things will get done quicker than they normally do. That is why I think it is a great idea to report things in terms of how much Business functionality is done. If you report the status in terms of Business functionality, then all parties involved would be able to understand the status. This would help in avoiding the 90% done for 90% of the time, because either the Business functionality is available or it is not.