August 10th, 2022
According to Forbes, bad data costs the U.S. economy $3.1 trillion per year. A study commissioned by SnapLogic showed that 91% of IT decision makers believe they need to improve the quality of data in their organizations, while 77% said they lack trust in their business data for accurate decision making. With data volumes steadily rising, the challenge of maintaining quality data to support data-driven decision-making continues to grow. The EcoSys™ Project Validation Framework was introduced in the 2019 EcoSys Standard Product Release to help prevent problems with incomplete and incorrect project data.
In the EcoSys Standard Product, the EcoSys Project Validation Framework is implemented as a set of project checkpoints to ensure the accuracy, comprehensiveness, and overall quality of project data. The automated validation checks use standard Projects Controls business process rules to check if the project data is valid, consistent, and complete, while also providing feedback to end users that enforce these validations. As an integral component of the EcoSys Standard Product, it is a no-code solution that automatically performs robust data validation throughout the project lifecycle. The Project Validation Framework structures these validation checks to meet most businesses’ needs but with the ability to tailor the solution to accommodate additional business rules that are specific to your organization’s project cost control practices.
In EcoSys, validation checks exist for Budgets, Forecasts, Changes, Variances, and Opportunities. Validation checks can be configured to ensure specific requirements are fulfilled before the process moves to the next step, whether in an automated workflow or manual process. For example, there are several requirements that a budget must meet before it can be submitted for approval, and these requirements are implemented in EcoSys as budget validation checks. Some of these checks include: Is the budget time-phased? Does it have line items, and have they been assigned to the budget header? Have workflow users been properly assigned as approvers for the budget? The Project Validation Framework is continually being improved and expanded to include additional validations in other areas, such as Project setup.
Viewing Validation Check Status
The Project Validation Framework provides continual feedback to end users on the status of validation checks. EcoSys users can view an open budget’s validation checks by navigating to Budgets > Original Budgets and selecting the Register tab. In the Validation column, “Pass” indicates that all validation checks have passed, while “Fail” indicates that one or more validation checks have failed. Users can easily understand what caused the open budget to fail by clicking on the “Fail” hyperlink in the Validation column and reviewing the validation list. Failed checks, highlighted in red, direct the end user to the steps that need to be completed or fixed. This process may need to be re-evaluated for each failed/missed step until all validation checks pass.
The image below shows the Budget Validation Checks after clicking the “Fail” link in the Register. In this example, you can see two of the eight Budget Validation checks have failed. The first validation that failed shows that the time-phased cost does not match the budget cost. In order to remedy this, the end user would need to run the Time-Phase Open Budget action.
When all validation checks have passed, a Submit hyperlink appears in the Budget Register indicating that the budget can be submitted for approval.
Users follow similar steps to view other types of validation checks, such as Change and Forecast Validations. To view Change Validations, users navigate to Change > Changes and select the Change Register. To view Forecast Validations, users navigate to Forecasts > Forecast and select the Register tab.
Managing Validation Checks
Validation Checks are defined as an Enterprise Default and can be viewed by navigating to Admin > Projects Admin > Enterprise Defaults. In this screen, the current validation checks for each process are displayed along with an optional description.
Since validation checks are utilized to control the data through their ability to prevent incorrect or incomplete data from being submitted by end users, new validations may need to be added or existing validations removed to align with changes in processes and policies.
The EcoSys Project Validation Framework serves as a proactive, user-friendly way to make project data validation an integrated part of your organization’s project workflows. EcoSys admins can maintain any required validation checks, including adding or removing validation checks as needed to help end-users identify, be alerted of, resolve, and prevent data quality issues at each stage of their project’s lifecycle.
Join our TECO3100 Advanced EcoSys Admin & Troubleshooting course to get hands-on practice maintaining the Project Validation Framework. This advanced EcoSys administration course focuses on the administrative configuration and troubleshooting aspects of the EcoSys application, using real-world examples and practical exercises . Check out our training page for more information or to register today!