PMO Dashboards...Without the Pain

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Okay, I give up. I’ve opined at length on the problems that can be created by dashboards; in fact, as part of my research for this article I reread an article that I wrote for my own company a few years back called “Dashboards, dashboards everywhere, and no one wants to think”. That probably tells you that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of the dashboard. However, I am now prepared to grudgingly admit that they are probably here to stay--the world doesn’t seem particularly interested in rejecting the tool simply because I don’t like it.

I’ve therefore had a rare epiphany and decided that if I can’t beat dashboards, then I’ll join them (grudgingly for sure, and with a fair amount of muttering under my breath). However, if I’m going to do dashboards, then I’m going to try and do it right. In this article, I want to explore some of the things that I consider important in a dashboard, and perhaps more importantly the controls and processes that need to be in place to support the dashboard and ensure that the content is accurate and meaningful.

What is a dashboard?
There are some terms that seem to have meaning to everyone--in IT, “portal” is one; and in project management, “dashboard” is certainly one. However, no one seems to share the same understanding of what a dashboard…

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