What Is a Project Management Dashboard?

The field of project management is constantly changing. Today’s project managers must deal with increasingly complex systems, the nuances of managing remote projects and maintaining a strong level of communication with more stakeholders than ever.

Rather than relying on age-old practices of team meetings and simplistic reports, a  project management dashboard can help a project manager maintain control of a project is several ways, and you need to understand what these dashboards represent, why they are being used and how they benefit the project.

1. Defining a Project Management Dashboard

A project management dashboard is part of a software program that allows project managers, executives and stakeholders to review the most pertinent information of a project at any given time.

Traditionally, those involved in project management would need to review hundreds of details before finding a definitive answer to a question. Instead, modern project management dashboards analyze mountains of data, compile reports and generate metrics that indicate the current and projected status of a project.

2. Why Are Project Management Dashboards Used?

Project management dashboards are being used as a resource for enabling better project management. For example, project managers can review, monitor and manage data from virtually any part of a project, which leads to better management of the whole project.

This concept also helps to prevent project managers from micromanaging a project. In other words, project managers can provide data-driven direction on how to proceed to ensure a project’s success.

3. What Are the Benefits of a Project Management Dashboard?

The benefits of a project management dashboard range from improved collaboration to better budget control, but the most significant benefits revolve around communication and usefulness in large-scale projects. As a project grows in scope, duration and intensity, the amount of data generated by hundreds, if not thousands, of tasks and activities grows exponentially.

Therefore, project managers cannot realistically review of this data manually. Fortunately, advanced analytics systems are capable of reviewing data and scoring the effectiveness of a given part of a project in relation to standardized values. Ultimately, the project management dashboard is a necessity for managing large-scale projects.

For example, risk analysis and management are improved through the use of a project management dashboard. Project managers need to be able to perform recurring risk analyses throughout the duration of a project, and the project management dashboard enables project managers to review current data about risk relevancy, likelihood and outcomes from the same source as other project information. This helps increase the efficiency of risk management and reduces the impact of risks concurrently. Applying this example to projects that span years can easily result in significant savings of resources, including time and monetary investments.

Project management dashboards are a staple of modern project management, and today’s project managers can work to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget more effectively than their predecessors. Although project management dashboards can be complex, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of the benefits of a project management dashboard.

Key Takeaway

  • A project management dashboard derives values from the analysis of data from across a project.
  • Project management dashboards help project managers avoid micromanaging projects, which helps to build rapport among all parties involved, including stakeholders, executives and staff members.
  • Better collaboration is the hallmark of an effective project management dashboard, and this dashboard can be leveraged to improve the efficiency and workflows of practically any part of a project.