In our last article we talked about some best practices to create a project dashboard. Hope that article was quite useful, and your project dashboard is up and running providing useful information to your project teams! If your project dashboard is successfully driving projects towards completion, then you have done a great job.
However, if you have received some negative feedback or if your project dashboard is not helping you move the project forward towards successful delivery, then you may want to re-evaluate your project dashboards. So, in this article we will talk about 5 mistakes you might be making in your dashboard that you need to avoid!
1- Dumping too much information on a single dashboard
If you are a project manager who is perfectionist and highly detailed, then you might end up loading the project dashboard with lots of information thinking that all of them or any information can be useful for the success of the project. Offering too many options to your users can be counter-productive! Remember, less is more! So, don’t try to answer too many questions with a single dashboard. Create project dashboards on a particular theme or goal with few key data or information. If you feel the need to provide more information on other project matters, then you can create another project dashboard.
2- Using figures and data that no one understands
If you are using metrics that no one understands then it is difficult for others to make any conclusion or decision. Most of the time as a project manager you know the source of your metrics as well as their history and their context. But other members of your team don’t necessarily have the same level of awareness. So, the right data or figure should be used, and they should be explained and presented in their context.
3- Uploading too many graphics which don’t make any sense
If you think that flashy graphics with many different colors of charts and histograms are good for your project dashboard, then think again. Too many flashy colors are not only a strain to the eye but also hinder the user to understand and analyze the information. The goal of your dashboard is to keep it simple and easy to read. So, don’t clutter your dashboard with low value, flashy and colorful graphics and widgets.
4- Not seeing and understanding the project dashboard as its users
As project managers you tend to be in your bubble! So, you make the project dashboard according to your perspective, intuition and experience. But, in fact a project dashboard is for your project teams. So, try to view the project dashboard according to your stakeholders, clients or team members level of experience and perception.
5- Not seeking feedback before final launch
And to be able to view the project dashboard from the perspective of your colleagues, you need to talk to them and seek feedback. Just launching a project dashboard without seeking feedback can alienate your project stakeholders or team members. So, ask them if the metrics and information provided in the project dashboard is relevant to them. Or if the visuals are convenient to them.
Hope the above tips are helpful! Good luck with your new project dashboard! In case you are looking for a new project management software that will allow you to create a custom project dashboard, you may want to try Orchestra PPM solution.