Are you bored of dashboards? People talk about dashboards or sometimes balanced scorecards as essential management tools, and yet all the ones you see are remarkably boring to look at. We were challenged to come up with something better.
Our start point was that anything computer generated and automatically updated loses a sense of immediacy. There is something about drawing a line on a graph or moving a pointer on a dial which really brings it home; much more so than getting a linked Excel spreadsheet dashboard to look up the data for you. As you move the needle in to the red, something happens in the brain.
The other premise, was that a dashboard on the intranet or circulated by email can be forgotten as soon as you close it down and move on to the next thing. If you really want to manage by measures then you need to make it visible all the time – and writ large!
So to demonstrate the idea, here is a mock up of a wall-mounted dashboard that we made for a client. The full thing would be 5 or 6 panels wide, one for each department in the business – but this demo is just the first part – for the Marketing dashboard. There is a logical flow from the top to the bottom – starting with the measure on a dial (and you will read loads on the web about why dials are a waste of space, but when you have a whole wall to play with – what the heck).
Then there is a pair of graphs – showing the monthly (or weekly) values in one graph, and the year’s cumulative in the other. Both are presented compared to target, with last year’s data for comparison.
Below that is a ‘Wall of Fame’ (to celebrate what’s gone well) but more importantly a ‘Wall of Shame’ to highlight the areas that the improvements should focus on.
And finally at the bottom, the action plan. Hand written again is great – and using a method to plot progress what clearly shows what has been done recently rather than some time ago.
So if you want to find out more about our take on dashboards, or get the presentation we did to show this in more detail, then get in touch.