Imagine you are a Project Manager and you’re walking in to your office in the morning. After you’ve found your first mug of coffee, you turn on your computer. It’s logical that the first thing you would want to know is: what do I have to do today? You want to know whether your projects are on track both time-wise and financially. And you need to know if there’s anything that needs your urgent attention?
As a team manager, you also want to know what your people have been up to. Who’s at risk of dropping the ball? Your boss (also in search of his morning coffee-fix) walks past and wants to know about invoices and payments.
You and the Dashboard
The whole idea of a dashboard is that you see all the information you need at a glance. So what it is that is important enough to find a spot on your dashboard? And maybe even more to the point, what is so important that it shouldn’t be left off the dashboard.
It’s important to remember that dashboards are not just for project managers. The entire team needs to have a good overview of the active projects. Managers need to make swift decisions.
1. Getting the basics right
Unrelated to what’s on the dashboard, it’s important that dashboards are intuitive and very scannable. Because Dashboard are overview tools, the general rule of less-is more applies. Clutter anything with a lot of unnecessary information and what is of essence is lost in the ‘noise’. In other words, ‘simple’ and ‘visual’ are the message. On the other hand, have too little on your dashboard and you are lacking all the information you need.
2. NOW is the word
But it’s equally vital that any dashboard information is current. Nobody wants to have to import and export information before they get to the info that relates to this very moment. Not only is this a question of efficiency but also of accuracy. Real-time is a non-negotiable in our book.
3. What’s on the Dashboard?
So going back to our above script, what is the information you want on your dashboard?
- Talk business and you’re talking budgets. At all times, you need to know where you are with project budgets. How much was quoted? What part of that was accepted? What was invoiced and what was paid?
- But as a project manager, time really is money. So as much as you want to know about how your budget is tracking, you also want your budget to remain on time. It’s a no-brainer that as a project manager you want to know how many hours you have spent on the overall project. This is not only important if you invoice by the hour but also in the context of accuracy of time allocation for future projects.
- Apart from time and money, any project manager wants a project tasks summary on their dashboard. Most importantly, you need to know which tasks are active and which are coming up soon? It’s handy if in that same immediate glance, you can determine who is part of the team for a particular task. That information needs to be highly visual. You want colors, avatars, etc.
- And last but not least, you want to know in a blink of an eye about critical issues that require immediate action. I’m talking about highlighting overdue tasks and projects; Moving them to the top of the list. It allows you and your team to prioritize and solve potential threats before they become expensive problems.
The question on your mind : How does all this translate to Proworkflow?
At ProWorkflow, we are all about making sure that you can manage your project as best as possible. You have all the real-time information at your fingertips. We put a lot of thought in the design of our dashboard and just recently did a fair bit of work on improving the visual aspect of it. With a well-designed dashboard, no project details are ever lost or misrepresented. You don’t have to dig for information. It’s all there, right in front of you.
ProWorkflow Bonus Tip:
Did you know that you can customize the dashboard header links? It means that your accounting software, your website link, or your One Drive account is only one click away.