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What Is Project Management Dashboard?

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I. What is a Project Management Dashboard?

First, we have to understand the tool. In fact, a Dashboard is another name for a progress report. That means that for Project Management, the Dashboard helps people to have a better overview of the project. Dashboard reports allow managers to get high-level overview of the business and help them make quick decisions

The dashboard can be created through different applications: Excel or other software.

A project management dashboard gathers many information together. Then the dashboard represents information in order to have a better overview.

Information that are necessary to create a Project Management Dashboard are:

Resources are essential to reach the project goals. Human resources, equipment,
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In fact a project can become quickly a money pit. That is why the initial budget has to be established before the go live of the project and it has to be a follow-up of this budget at every milestone.

Here is the example of a project management dashboard:

http://cache.chandoo.org/images/pm/img/project-dashboard.png

II. What is this tool for?

Then, in order to create a Project Management Dashboard, you have to understand the usefulness of this tool. There are many reasons for the use of a project management dashboard, but the most important are:

To have a better overview of the project and establish a good planning (time, cost, resources) and to create milestones. Provide interactive summary of a management report.
Given that the dashboard is a kind of planning that people update, it can give you information anytime on how the project is going (time, cost, resources).
Then you can anticipate the issues that are coming and find, eventually, other solutions. Also, it consolidates, aggregates, and arranges measurements in a visual representation.

III. How to build a Management Dashboard?

1.
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Top management or project sponsors or team members or other departments?
What are they interested to know? Day to day issues or High-level stuff or Plans or Budgets?
What is the frequency for updating the dashboard? Weekly, Bi-weekly or Monthly or Once in a blue moon?
After this preparation, come the steps of creation.

2. Steps of the creation of a Project Management Dashboard

Step 1: Make an outline sketch of the dashboard

Based on the above answers, you vaguely know what should go in to the dashboard. Based on this, you should make an outline sketch of the dashboard with the information you want on it (vital facts about the project, activities, issues, project plan snapshot, burn down of deliveries, project timelines).

Step 2: Get the data to be placed on dashboard

For our dashboard, we need the following inputs:

Overall project status and progress
List of on going activities and issues
We will derive other inputs from the following:

Project Plan Gantt Chart: will provide us the project plan
Project Timeline Chart: will give us the timeline chart
Burn down chart: will give us the project deliverable
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