The greatest invention since sliced bread just might be dashboards for project management. They can give you a quick overview of a range of information concerning a collection of projects that you have underway. They can help you manage and drive tasks in simpler, more streamlined ways. And they provide you with clear data visualization tools to share your metrics of progress with management executives, product owners and other stakeholders.
STEP DOWN DASHBOARDS
Use dashboards to keep you abreast of the incremental changes in the five key dimensions of your projects: the scope of the project, the time to completion, the cost, the management of resources and the quality of your product or results. For speedy perspectives on project performance, it’s best to begin with one dashboard that houses all of the key metrics from management’s perspective. Keep in mind that each and every project metric in the executive dashboard should be measurable, actionable and visually attractive.
When managing multiple projects, build dashboards that fulfill a specific purpose. For example, start with one for each extensive project, then build one that summarizes all projects’ performance and finally, create a team dashboard, both to keep stakeholders updated, and to use during meetings.
DATA FRESHNESS IS CRITICAL
Data freshness is becoming more and more valuable to stay competitive in business. The most important analytics data is constantly updated so you can make the most efficient and effective decisions. Up-to-date data delivers more confidence in the data and makes insights more actionable. Powered with up-to-date info, project teams are effectively informed of their progress with the project and are able to make better decisions and fewer mistakes.
ACCURACY IS YOUR CREDIBILITY
As project manager, the quality of your reports reflects directly on you. If your data is bad, you’re going to lose the confidence of your team and the trust of your stakeholders. Use systems that cleanse and standardize your data to minimize or eliminate data-entry errors and discrepancies caused by joining data from multiple departments. On a team level, improve accuracy by having each team member track their own work and their own time.
RELEVANT MEANS USEFUL
To ensure your dashboard’s relevance and strong performance, identify the KPIs that are most valuable to those who will use them. Invest the time in inquiring what metrics matter the most and what questions are left unanswered at the end of the project. The dashboard that is customized to its users’ needs brings the greatest returns.