Read the A Distributed Workforce Toolkit for the Long Haul guide to learn how to build a dashboard that fits your specific business needs.
When you’re leading a remote workforce, mobile, cloud, and collaboration technologies all have a role in supporting your project management priorities and objectives. Knowing what you need can help you to understand dashboard capabilities, identify the right project management solutions, and equip your project heads to remain focused on team leadership rather than transactional micromanagement. In creating your dashboard, consider:
- The BI you need. When assessing your options, consider the business intelligence that you need to produce through the solution. Pick a tool that can get the job done, and then the tool gets out of the way and lets you do the work. Test several and then choose one that you like, that your employees will use, and that presents no system compatibility or interoperability problems with major customers and vendors.
- Substance over function. “It’s not so much the functionality as the quality of the information that goes into the dashboard,” says Harold Kerzner, Ph.D., senior executive director for Project Management at the International Institute for Learning and author of Project Management Metrics, KPIs, and Dashboards: A Guide to Measuring and Monitoring Project Performance. “Today, in dashboard reporting, we measure benefits that are being achieved, business value that’s being created, how we’re mitigating risks, safety, quality. There are numerous things that we can put in a dashboard today.”
- A strategic approach. It’s easy to get caught up in the “cool factor” of technology tools’ features. But what’s really cool? The benefits and competitive advantages those features can create for your company. When comparing virtual collaboration and communication tools, for example, look for those that offer the ability to conduct real-time group polling via keypads. These survey solutions allow employees to text a response to a question or request posed during an audio or video conference.
Your best strategy may be to focus not on comparative capabilities of various project management platforms, but rather on creating a project management dashboard strategy. Know what your key metrics are, which metrics you need to focus on and which are going to just be distractions, and harvest the data you need to achieve your goals.
A focus on team leadership and overall objectives keeps teams in line.
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