Would you consider buying a Tesla fitted with a vintage car dashboard?
Weird question! Isn’t it?
Any modern car dashboard must make driving easy. The information should be right in front of you and when you need it.
Now, let me share a bizarre observation!
Senior Managers of many Small and Medium-size Enterprises operate without Executive Dashboard. The Executive Dashboard provides a real-time visualisation of all business activities.
But many Executives still rely on old-fashioned reports. Such reports often supply lagging indicators and historical information. It is equivalent to running a Tesla with a vintage car Dashboard.
It is painful to see organisations spend thousands of dollars on Enterprise software. Still, Senior Managers do not have any decent Executive Dashboard. If you are operating without a Dashboard, you must continue reading.
Are you underestimating Dashboards? Think again!
Executive Dashboards help you to focus on the things that matter and when they matter the most. You take control with a holistic view of the Business.
The Dashboard helps in:
- Operational Excellence: You gain insights on your team’s performance, throughput, and quality. You access your reminder and To-do list. So, there is no need for emails and posted notes.
- Risk Management: The Dashboard supplies a helicopter view of the Business for executive governance. You can review insights on Operational, Regulatory and Compliance risks. The Dashboard helps to check and control day-to-day activities. It allows you to mitigate risk and manage issues.
- Decision Making: Dashboard provides data insights. You can visualise trends and forecast. They help you to make informed decisions.
- Continuous improvement: You improve process and procedures through continuous improvement. The Dashboard is the guiding and evaluation tool. Based on the real-time insights, you can view what works and what does not. You learn, adjust, and continue to improve.
Consider you are the Operations Manager. You manage risks by tracking leading indicators. You are also responsible for the day-to-day administration work.
To help you win in your job, the Executive Dashboard is your best friend. The Dashboard will help you to track the live status of all business operations. For example, you check the pending work by reviewing Aging AP Invoices, Customer Complaints and Expense Claims. The drill-down feature helps to review detail for any summary level items. The Reminders and To-Do lists helps you to keep on top of the game. Thus, Dashboard is a powerful tool to consume real-time information with precision.
So, the vital question is why many Executives do not have the much-needed Dashboard?
5 insane reasons Executives do not have a Dashboard
- Lack of digital maturity: Your organisation may have many standalone systems. The Systems may not (integrate) talk to each other. The data quality is low. Data extraction and presenting information on Dashboard is in the ‘too hard basket’.
- Ignorance: You may not be aware of the value the Executive Dashboard can offer. You like the old way of receiving reports from your staff.
- Habits are difficult to change: It is easy to ask staff to supply reports rather than learning the new system. It may be due to learning anxiety, laziness, or ignorance. Anyway, the results of this are not favourable for you and your organisation.
- Your expectations were not loud enough: During Enterprise software implementation, the focus is always on the technical work. The Project team, work on Reports, Dashboards, Security towards the end of the project. Integration partner (Vendor) train customer staff on the Dashboards, Security, and reporting. Often due to lack of ownership and BAU work Executive Dashboards never gets priority. Executives devise their ways outside the system to fetch the required information. The fact is that if you have not set a clear focus, you may never get a Dashboard. As we say – ‘You get what you ask for’.
- Go-Live rush: Often project teams do not consider Dashboards as Go-Live critical. After the Go-Live, the team deal with Production issues. Dashboards never get a priority they deserve, as per the above point.
There can be many other reasons that are specific to you and your business. So, what can you do about this?
How to ensure you have a Dashboard that works?
- Educate and convince yourself: The first step is to understand the purpose of Dashboards. Why you need them and what they can do for you? Find the current issues due to second-hand information you are receiving. Visualise how Dashboard will change the way you operate and increase your effectiveness.
- Decide what you need: The Dashboard must be custom to your needs. As you only want to see the information that is important to you. The layout and structure must meet your personal preferences. The following points will help you to find your needs:
- Identify your daily tasks, KPI, trends, and data you track for decision making.
- Analyse the dimensions of your role, for example, which team report to you, their deliverables, customer expectations and so on. Based on this, determine which information you like to be on your Dashboard. Name a list of leading and lagging indicators that you want to track
- If you responsible for approving invoices, Purchase Orders, Expenses, then, get an actionable dashboard for authorisation. These dashboards can help you review and authorise multiple approval requests at once.
- Ensure that you can drill down summary information to view details.
- Ensure you have a section for To-Do list, Reminders, and past Notifications.
- Ask for it: Demand from the responsible team to develop a custom Dashboard for you. Work with the team to provide requirements, Dashboard design and test the solution. Where necessary, seek help from your peers, staff, and IT. If your organisation is implementing Enterprise software, then ensure that the team delivers your Dashboards. Often, the Vendors offer standard Dashboard/reports pack. Check out with the vendor if that is a practical option for you. You can save a lot of time and effort.
The Bottom line:
Dashboards have an immense value to offer. Do not underestimate their importance. Educate yourself, how Dashboards can help you and your organisation. Take necessary steps to get a custom Executive dashboard for yourself.
It is vital to take the next step!
So, what is the next step for you? It may be talking to your peers; IT Support, Project team or a vendor. Make sure that you do not settle for what you have! You deserve better!
All the best!