Project Management Dashboard:- The dashboard shows your speed, fuel level, oil. Everything is under control. All of a sudden, a red light comes on. Panic? Should we slow down? Should we stop? That’s the whole story of the project management dashboard.
Since the 2000’s, we talk about mega-data in France, or more generally big data. With the snowball effect, this explosion of data led to a proliferation of information and analysis. All this information, if it is our daily life, can complicate the exercise of synthesis. On the other hand, well analyzed, these data can be useful and help us to improve decision-making processes, to make more efficient the operations of the companies . Unfortunately, in many cases, there is a difficulty in analyzing the numbers, focusing and remaining in line with the strategic objectives.
Project Management Dashboard, a Decision tool
By car, the dashboard informs the driver of the operation of the vehicle. The indicator lights provide information on the general operation of the car, warning indicators such as the fuel level, or the wear of brake pads, can anticipate incidents. Finally, alarm indicators, such as the brake failure icon, require the driver to stop immediately. In project management, the concept is the same. To improve the efficiency of decision making, we can never say it enough; we must set up a dashboard. Easier said than done!
“A dashboard is a visual representation of the most important information needed to achieve one or more goals; grouped and arranged in a single screen for quick reference “. Clearly, it’s about setting up a system to drive in a global way. The indicators must be evocative and allow running a company, or a project.
If we take the definition of Stephan Few, we can at first, stop on the visual character of the dashboard. Indeed, this tool summarizes the situation at a glance. The page must be visual and must draw the reader’s attention to points essential to the smooth running of the project. It is recommended to use without limits, colors, percentages, diagrams or icons. You have to make the page look good to encourage user adoption. Genius Project proposes a dial with symbols and colors in order to immediately see the progress of the project, and the statutes. The user can also see if the budget is under control or if deadlines are respected.
Indicators, make the Right choice
Stephan Fen’s definition also speaks to the importance of information. We touch there, a sensitive point. Too many dashboards present figures and results, some beside each other and very obscure for the user. The first trap when creating a dashboard is to propose too many indicators. Two specific and concrete indicators are in fact more valuable than 10 complex figures, the conclusions of which are not known. To create an effective and useful dashboard, we must look for relevant indicators. These must be quickly understandable and in small quantities.
It is often recommended not to have more than 10 indicators. Beyond that, the picture becomes too complex. The choice of these indicators is important. It is essential for making the right decisions and reducing decision times. Well-chosen indicators make it possible to know exactly what is being talked about and to detect any problems quickly.
The idea of the tool lies in showing the current situation, in relation to the strategic objectives. The information must therefore be updated. The percentages clearly show the tasks or steps that still need to be done to achieve the objectives. The colors make it possible to quickly differentiate the domains in “red” or problem areas “green”.
Simplicity and Usability for more Efficiency
The more an array is personalized, simple to read and intuitive, the more it will be used. User-friendly, it will motivate users and improve productivity. To have more detailed information about a project, the collaborator can click on a parameter and dig to get information. The scorecard remains global, shows trends and aims to keep strategic objectives in view. One last tip, Avoid changing it all the time. This will prevent users from having to check the content and meaning of the information all the time. No inopportune changes so, but regular updates!