By now, we hope you already have dashboards in place and your data at your fingertips. But if you are not capitalizing on having your most critical data easily accessible, your team is missing out on the opportunity to manage risk and decrease resource inefficiencies. How do you translate that data to your companies’ future goal setting and planning techniques to become more agile across decision-making?
The most common reason companies do not reach their goal is either forgetting to set them in the first place or forgetting to track and check in on them. Maybe the process of finding the data was a strenuous and time consuming project, but with real-time data insights pulled from dashboards, you have the tools to find answers and instantly track goals.
Strategic goals allow everyone in the company to understand the direction they are moving in. With your dashboard, you are empowered to move into the new year making those informed decisions and paths for your company with metrics you can track all year long.
We believe the cornerstone of a solid business is metrics you can track; and with the power of data in your pocket, your team can set out for a successful 2021.
Create Concise Dashboards
The first step to dashboard project plan and goal setting is making sure you and your team can access data they need without confusion. The goal of using your dashboards is to make your data easily accessible to the appropriate data user, customizing to fit each goal and project.
Try not to over-crowd or clutter a dashboard with too many facts and figures that are not relevant. By keeping a simple, concise board your team can stay aligned to their goals and check in easily. An effective planning technique is to tailor your dashboard around what you want to achieve and what are seen as realistic benchmarks, including only the most important facts and figures. Live benchmarking and performance statuses will alert your team to reassess progress towards goals and remain adaptive when changes need to be made.
Choosing your strategic goals will require research and planning from your decision makers, leadership team, or board of directors. They must consider the wider scope of the industry including sales, performance, growth, experience, market conditions, and other data points. Be sure to look through historical data as well to ensure you are not aiming too high or too low. If you are aiming for 30% sales growth, but have historically only gotten 5%, that may be too high of a goal to place on your team and may result in burnout.
Using the information in your dashboards, set goals that your team can get behind. Many are working with remote teams for the first time. When setting goals for a remote team, be sure to be transparent with goals and allow the team access to them. This may mean a task manager for your team so everyone can have tasks assigned to them.
The most important thing you can do within your remote team is communicate consistently. Schedule weekly or even daily check ins to see how everyone is progressing against their assigned deliverables. It may also be beneficial to schedule in personal time or fun activities to allow your team to connect with each other and feel motivated.
Display your Goals and Get Feedback
Getting your team on board will be better for achieving goals in the long run. Hold initial (data-driven) meetings with your team to discuss the goal and gain thoughts and feedback. Your employees may see something new or give some new perspective. You can also pull up your dashboard on a TV screen or sharing screen for everyone to see where you are starting and where you want to end up.
Then, try and inspire your team to act upon the goals. Maybe you send out a company-wide email quarterly with updates or display your goals in the conference room for everyone to see. Motivating and engaging your team, especially if still currently remote, is an important step in reaching your targets.
Make Large Goals Feel Less Daunting & Drive Accountability
Often, your strategic goals can feel overwhelming to your team in the day to day grind. Accomplishing something in a year might not mean anything without smaller bite size pieces. When goals are split up into more immediate objectives and targets, they seem more attainable to your employees, and therefore may support greater morale towards the duties they’re responsible for.
One of your goals may be, “increase revenue 50% by the end of year.” That is a pretty big target and your team may not know how to go about achieving it through tactical objectives that fit within their bandwidth. Instead break it down into increasing leads, making a certain number of sales, or setting specific revenue targets by quarter.
An important step will be to schedule regular check-ups within your department and allow employees to have access to the data within the dashboard so they can check their own progress.
When employees can see the relationship between their work and the targets on the dashboard, they can become more motivated to achieving those goals. You can also show certain widgets within the dashboard to certain employees, helping to keep them focused on the goals that matter.
Having these data sets in front of you will empower managers to drive accountability and set reasonable goals for their team. You can set up your dashboards in ways that work best for your reporting and track key metrics for check ins and reviews. The consistent accountability also empowers your team to hit goals and stay on track, if they can see numbers as well. Be sure to work checking the dashboards into your regular meetings and discuss the status of your goals.
If 2020 taught us anything, it was that everything can change at the drop of a hat. You may get to the end of Q1 and see your team falling behind on their goals or maybe they are knocking it out of the park. If you check your data regularly, you will not be surprised, if for example, in Q4 when your team is behind where they should be. You can get out ahead and find a solution that works for everyone and helps maintain successful business continuity.
Having access to your data and your goals is power for your company. Do not let things slip through the cracks, take control of your data today!
As you set out and execute on your strategic plan for the months ahead, learn the next steps you can take to make the most out of real-time data or current dashboards in place by downloading our Guide for Planning Your Dashboard Project here.