Project management can be a bit of a juggling act. Developing and launching a project involves a multitude of small assignments and subprojects that eventually lead to a polished and complete product. Whether you’re launching a website or starting a new sales process initiative, managing large-scale projects requires the right tools. This is what makes project management dashboards so important.
What if you could track, update, and gauge the status of your project in one place? What if your manager and stakeholders had access to integral data along the way? With the help of an effective dashboard, you can delegate tasks, provide realistic deadlines, track KPIs, and monitor the overall health of your project using real-time, tangible data.
The best tools for project managers start with KPIs
KPIs (key performance indicators) are the measuring sticks that determine whether your project is a smashing success or total bust. According to Florida Tech, Project management KPIs include specific measurable tools that indicate how well your team is reaching its goal. When it comes to finding the best project dashboard, think about the measurable data that defines your success. For PMs, success involves the following three factors, and your project management tools should too:
- Create a realistic timeline
- Manage and allocate resources
- Report pertinent information to stakeholders
You don’t have to be afraid of deadlines
Believe it or not, deadlines are your friend! With the right tools, you can use real, actionable data to determine when each step of your project should (and can) be complete. If you’re like most people, you probably associate the word “deadline” with thigs like stress, anxiety, and overtime. A project management dashboard can change this by empowering PMs and each member of their team to know exactly how much time they have and need to complete the project, resulting in less frustration and more happy stakeholders.
A few words about resource management
One of the most exciting things about project management is getting to work with a diverse array of people from different departments and unique skill sets. When you track stats for projects, you’ll begin to accumulate data that helps you identify and assign the right personnel for the right projects based on two factors: availability and skill set. Proper resource management will influence every facet of your project and even allows you to set more precise timelines based on the data you’ve gathered about each member of the team.
Read next: Dashboards: Tools for Better Management
You don’t have to go to the stake(holders) for your project
Keeping stakeholders – including your boss – in the loop during a complex project can be intimidating, especially if you’re behind schedule. A powerful PM dashboard can eliminate scheduling mishaps, but it can do something else too: Keep managers and executives informed without eating up too much of your time.
In short, you can provide updates regarding your project without compiling reports or creating presentations because everything your boss needs is already in one, easily accessible place – your dashboard. What’s more, dashboards aren’t limited to in-office hours or your office location; stakeholders can access them anywhere and on virtually any device.
Data sharing = motivation and unity
Working on a large-scale project takes time, and it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture by getting lost in the minute details along the way. By keeping not only stakeholders but your team up-to-date on the progress of your project, you’ll create accountability and – more importantly – motivation. Additionally, a project status dashboard ensures that everyone is on the same page; it’s a single source of truth that defines what your goals are, but also how close you are to attaining them.
The right tools for the job
iDashboards provides you with hundreds of chart and graph templates that you can build into your project management dashboard. After uploading your data, you can easily switch between different chart types to customize your dashboard, so you can create the most effective view for you and your team. Interactive charts like bullet charts and speedometers track progress towards individual goals, and classic project management charts like Gantt Charts show your task dependencies and timelines for each stage and team member. Plus, you can completely customize your design and color palette, making your dashboard engaging and attractive. To make sure this BI project stays within your budget and delivers value, you may want to look into IT project management services.
Real-time data updates
When working on a project, the last thing you want to do is add extraneous tasks to the pile. Tracking your project metrics is essential, but if reporting begins to eat up the time needed to work on the project tasks, you’ve got a problem. Luckily, you can sync your project management dashboard directly to your data sources like Excel spreadsheets, CRMs, SQL servers, Google Analytics, and much more. Data will sync automatically, so that each time you refresh the dashboard you’re seeing an accurate, up-to-date view of your project progress.