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Taming Chaotic Project Management - Top 5 Benefits to a Project Dashboard

Posted Oct 22 2009 10:05pm

One of the quick wins for taming chaotic project management is to have a project dashboard. The project dashboard should be a comprehensive listing of all active project status reports within your department. The dashboard should be easily viewable and show up in individual's mailboxes to be viewed. It should be placed in from on the organizations leadership team from director level up at least every two weeks. This is a push communication, not a pull.

A project dashboard has several benefits, however in my experience the top 5 have been:

  1. Transparency - Having to see the entire picture, brings new insights. Epiphanies will occur over higher level governance items. If your IT infrastructure is old, customized beyond belief, and not well intergrated, there will be a lot of "surprise" red obstacles. This helps to realize that funding to improve the foundation is needed. Yet another benefit to transparency, if resource allocation is not done well, it will show on the dashboard. Finally, the organization will get the need for governance. Transparency is like having chocolate cake, you know the diet is around the corner.

  2. Communication - Another great aspect is the communication. If the organization has invested or has expectations on projects, communicating helps to inform everyone on their status. If it is not being worked on, it is not active. If it is active here is how it is going. This helps everyone know the business changes around the corner.

  3. Accountability - It is simply amazing when project need to be quantified in red, yellow, and green lights. Accountability is kicked up a notch, as sponsors, project manageres, and team members strive to overcome the barriers. Awaiting for decisions status are communicated to the entire leadership team.

  4. Barriers Jettisoned - If your project is on the board and has a barrier which is clearly labeled. Such as a risk high a high proability and a large impact, the executives will see this in a concise manner. All of a sudden, help is on the way for those problems too big for a project manager to handle.

  5. Alignment - Finally, emailing the project dashboard eliminates the question of what all those geeks in IT are doing for us. Now the question becomes how come you are doing that and not this? We need this. How do be become better aligned is the question of the day

  6. Further Readings on Taming Chaotic Project Management:

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