Management dashboards are hugely popular but successful implementation of a dashboard system requires awareness about organizational change management to ensure tangible results are achieved from such projects. Keep the following items in mind when embarking on a dashboard project:
Prepare for Business Change – Before jumping in and developing all sorts of metrics and key performance indicators (KPI), sit down with the rest of the leadership team and define the overall project strategy. Implementation has to start at the top with active engagement and buy in from the CEO.
Establish the Right Metrics - Once the groundwork is set, the next step is to identify both the right metrics and the amount of metrics with which to track the company’s progress towards business goals. Metrics can range from harder more technical goals such as client satisfaction and profit margin levels to softer less technical ones such as workforce retention and retention.
Get Buy-In at All Levels – Implementing an effective dashboard system will require a significant change in the way managers view their jobs. A newly implemented business dashboard system should change existing reporting and decision making practices.
Use Simple Development Tools – A business dashboard development project should not become an intense IT project! With the introduction of many tools on the market today, IT should be able to use off the shelf technologies to build business dashboards in a rather quick manner.
Be Prepared for Surprises – Many dashboard development projects result in new discoveries about our existing data and assumptions that have been in place without much notice for a long time. This is a good time to take a critical look at our data and validate our past assumptions. Remember that a dashboard based on inaccurate or inconsistent data will not result in much decision making improvements!
Look at it as a Journey – A successful business dashboard project goes through increased depth and breadth over time. As the system starts being used on an ongoing basis, its functionalities will need to become available to lower level users in the organization. It is best to have set this kind of expectations at the get go rather than having promised that all managers from all functions at various levels will be using the system initially. Companywide utilization of dashboard technologies evolve over time and their value increases exponentially as more users are added to the mix.