Project Management

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Topics: Business Intelligence, Information Technology, Stakeholder Management, Strategy
Looking for recomendations for large IT project dashboard reporting product.
Tracking ~ 10 projects and IT Director wants a simple high level dashboard to show % complete (think swimmer's lane chart), dates, risk and issue tracking status.
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Jira has good dashboarding capability. Another easy option is PowerBI.
You can even use Excel.

I like 'the request for 'simple reports', they always become not so simple and invariably there is a need to drill down from the 'high level'

Of course the tool should be free and should not require any skills.

I hope that you already defined what the 'simple' dashboard looks like
Kerry -

There are a myriad of free, low cost and very expensive solutions which could address the visualization side of this ask, but the bigger challenge will be getting consistency in tracking and reporting from the PMs managing the ~10 projects. For each measure reported, it will be important to come up with an operational definition and educate and coach the PMs to publish it in an accurate, timely manner.

Otherwise, the IT Director might draw incorrect inferences and (worse) make poor portfolio decisions.

Agree with both Stelian and Kiron. A consistent approach and measure are key for any meaningful dashboard. What tools are being used for these projects? If a consistent tool across, i.e. MS Project, Jira, etc., then simpler to consolidate. Ideally, these would be real-time numbers. Otherwise, the data is outdated by time the dashboard is viewed.
Bear in mind that if the executive wants the dashboard to look a specific way, and the tools you have don't support that well you have 2 choices:
1) Convince them to accept something else
2) Use a bit of graphic arts to make the information you have fit their expectations for how it should be visually depicted.

I worked for a director who wanted a dash board that looked like the one used by the CEO, which resembled an aircraft flight deck with analog gauges for metrics. We asked the people who developed the CEO's version how they made those analog gauges. Step 1 gather and compile the data. Step 2, select the appropriate graphic with the needle pointing to the right place from a library of graphics they created.

It was certainly a crude way to display something which looked quite sophisticated, but that was what the customer expected to see.
This is easy to do in most MS office products or Visio. What have you tried and have you received feedback yet?
There are lots of examples out there but make sure you find out what they want as many have said above.

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