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August 10, 2022

Project Dashboard Templates

Project management is a skill that demands order and organization. An ideal project manager has all the ideas, needs, and progress related to a project meticulously put together in the same place. However, without being able to identify and visualize the goals for the project, team members and stakeholders often find it challenging to stay on the same page as the project manager. 

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There are numerous ways to ensure that all the parties involved in a project are in the know of what is going on. However, there is no better way than a project dashboard to make this process the simplest.                                           

What is a Project Dashboard (& Why is it So Important)?

When you need all of a project's key points, insights, and status, looking all over the place does not make sense. Instead, keeping them together saves you time and effort, precisely what a project dashboard does. 

To give you an overview of everything involved in a project, project dashboards can be that one interface where the project manager and members can communicate while updating each other on the project's status. A project dashboard has three key functions making them essential to teams. It can help you visualize the team's course of action, track performance metrics, and generate information to be translated into actions. In short, a project dashboard is what a team needs to monitor their work, gauge what is working and not, and how to fix it.  

What Information Should Appear on a Project Dashboard?

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The information to display on a project dashboard varies with each team. Depending on the role, the department, and project objectives, you can tailor your dashboard for optimum performance. Regardless of what you plan to include on your dashboard, remember that the project dashboard is meant to inspire action. Here are a few metrics and features you must add to your project dashboard for the best results.

Activity Tracking 

Essentially, this can be your updates section. Tracking all the project-related activities, starting from which task is assigned to whom and upcoming deadlines to notifications that team members need to know. This can give the stakeholders and other viewers a glance into the team's progress and how far the project has come. 

Milestone Tracking 

While constructing a project plan, the tasks are divided into the smallest actionable goals. As the project progresses, the manager needs to stay updated about the status of these tasks. With a milestone tracking feature added to your dashboard, you can periodically notice the number of slated goals in the states of to-do, doing, and done. In addition, adding a description for each task, complete with the member responsible for it and the deadline, can keep everyone in the loop.  

Resource Allocation Monitor

Knowing how the resources have been distributed for the project is critical for proper management. Therefore, every dashboard should have a resource allocation tracker breaking down how the project's available resources have been allocated. With such a tracker, you can monitor how and where the resources are being spent and manage them better. 

Personal To-do List

As a team with multiple actions being taken simultaneously, the project manager and stakeholders cannot take note of everything at once. This is where personal to-do lists come in. They keep each member accountable for all their tasks under their name. A simple checklist of tasks to tackle within a specific time is an effective method to get things done.

Datasheets

When creating a project dashboard, skipping out on adding a feature to manage your data spells doom for your endeavour. Having your datasheets in order and up-to-date is the mark of a project progressing steadily. You should add a shortcut to MS Excel or Google Sheets on your dashboard. 

Timer for the Project 

Keep track of your hours on this project with a time tracking feature. The timer feature can show how many hours are left for the project completion and the time spent already. If you notice any task going on for longer than usual, you can compute the extensions the team will need in the future. 

Messages

Project teams are no longer restricted by time zones and geography. For instance, your developer might reside in India, whereas your marketing specialist is in Japan while you are based in the US. A communication interface for the project dashboard can improve scalability and efficiency for teams worldwide. 

How to Create a Project Management Dashboard – Examples

Creating a dashboard for the first time is not an easy job. A good project dashboard identifies the right metrics and combines them in relevant and comprehensible ways. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all rule on creating dashboards; what works for one project may not work for another. The dashboard creation can vary depending on the data you have, how you manage it, and the tools and techniques you can access. 

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Suppose a marketing agency is creating a dashboard for their latest project. A strategic and impactful dashboard should include market insights, creative content, and promotional insights that the team works with. An essential metric would monitor the click-through rates offering an overview of how much of the promotional content, assets, and communications resonate with the target audience. Similarly, cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition are other metrics that cannot be avoided from the dashboard. 

After choosing each element for the dashboard, customizing it to the teams' preferences can improve productivity. One factor to focus on is that the dashboard should be easily digestible. The easier it becomes for the users to extract actionable goals at a glance from the dashboard, the better the team functions.

Why a Project Dashboard Is Crucial to a Team's Progress 

In conclusion, a project dashboard is not something to be overlooked in project management. Without a dashboard, the entire team works without coordination, leading to unnecessary complications in a project.

Another loss that teams face by not using a dashboard or using an ineffective one is misunderstanding the critical metrics of the project. Without understanding the essential metrics, your team loses track of actionable insights at the right time. 

Without a doubt, a well-thought-out and properly created project dashboard can save lives regarding project management. 


 



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