When you’re managing a project, you need to juggle several elements, including team members, resources, clients, budget, progress towards the goal, and more. The whole experience is made more fraught because you’re often under time and budget pressure as well. This is the fundamental value of a project management dashboard.
It’s there to help you with every aspect of project management, making it easier to track your progress and helping you keep all the data you need at your fingertips.
The ideal project management dashboards are beautiful, intuitive, and easy to use, helping you locate the information you didn’t even know you needed to bring you multiple benefits.
1. Improve the flow of collaboration
One of the most valued features of a good project management dashboard is that it levels the playing field across all your teams. Every team and team member can access the same data, see the progress that has been made towards the shared goal, and spot bottlenecks. When every employee can freely access the same data, it removes the frustration that comes from wasting time searching for an email or waiting for someone to reply to your question.
You’ll save time on briefing everybody, because a dashboard effectively allows them to brief themselves. Communication improves, because each employee can check back on the dashboard as often as they like.
An estimated 71% of workers say that they spend an extra few hours or more on work tasks because of poor communication. No one will labour on in ignorance because they were too embarrassed to re-ask a question or seek clarification about something. What’s more, project managers won’t feel the urge to micromanage or nag team members about progress; it’s all right there on the dashboard.
2. Keep track of earned value metrics
Earned value metrics are a way of tracking progress on your projects so that you can find out how much of the potential value of a project has been ‘earned’, or realised, thus far. Once a project is completed, you can say that you’ve finished putting the project’s potential value in position to become realised.
If you’re running multiple projects, you’ll need more than just a spreadsheet to see which ones are on schedule, which are on budget, and which need adjusting.
A project management dashboard brings that bird’s-eye view you need to see how your current projects compare with your planned schedules and costs.
3. Balance the workload
Successful project management requires you to balance the project workload across the varied abilities and skillsets of your project team members. You want to avoid overburdening anyone with too many tasks, even if they are extremely capable, and equally prevent other team members from taking life too easily and leaving other colleagues to do most of the work.
With a project management dashboard, you can zoom in on granular detail like how much time was spent on each task and who has spare time in their day, allowing you to spread the workload more evenly across the team. When task allocation is visibly fair and balanced, your teams will trust you more and work together more efficiently.
With the information from your dashboard, you can also spot which employees need some more support or guidance, helping you strengthen the team as a whole.
4. Visualise profits and losses dynamically
Profit and loss statements are valuable business documents that help managers and executives track the profitability of different projects throughout the fiscal year. Project management dashboards keep that information readily accessible at any moment, so you won’t be restricted to quarterly or monthly reports.
You can check up on dynamic profit and loss movements whenever you like, giving you better insights into the state of your business and allowing you to make agile business decisions that are based on data – not guesswork.
Advanced visualisations can give executives multiple ways of viewing the same information, making it easier to understand and absorb.
5. Align priorities across teams
“Scope creep” is a well-known threat to project productivity. One person after another can end up working on new tasks that seem important and relevant, but that were not included in the original project brief.
If you don’t keep a tight hold on the goal of your project and all your priorities, you (and/or your project team members) could easily end up wasting time and energy on tangential tasks and assignments that aren’t part of your core mission.
Project management dashboards help you to track all your tasks to make sure that none of them are neglected or, conversely, receiving too much attention that unbalances your timing and resource allocation. In an ideal world, you’ll see that the lion’s share of effort goes on the most complex and high-value tasks, but your dashboard can identify if you’ve left that golden path and are wasting time and energy on more minor activities.
Keep your projects on the straight and narrow
Project management dashboards are rising in popularity right now, and for good reason. They help you to track collaboration, keep on top of earned value, balance the workload, visualise your profits and losses, and align priorities across team members. With the right project management dashboard, projects can be more efficient and enjoyable for project managers and team members alike.