Dashboards are, above all else, an outstanding way to share information quickly and in language (visual or otherwise) that the majority of viewers can understand. Pat Tucci relates this story to help illustrate that exact point in this article from TechRepublic:
A health care executive wanted to give his staff some mission-critical information. In lieu of a long written report, he drew on a whiteboard pictures that represented the current state of the hospital. He then covered them up and had his staff come into the meeting room. He said, “I’m going to show you something for five minutes, and I want each of you to give me an assessment of the hospital afterwards.” He then showed them the drawings with a few brief explanatory comments.
Within three minutes, everyone in the room understood the situation and could identify areas that needed improvement. They were able to see things that they had not been able to see in the paper reports. It was so simple, it worked.
Project Managers Can Benefit
And this is the very nature of a dashboard, and it’s just as effective for project managers as it is for healthcare executives. As the article shares, a good dashboard has a standard format that anyone in the project can see and understand quickly, allowing for more time being spent on the project and less time on trying to understand what’s going right or wrong. That isn’t to say a dashboard is always the best thing for reporting status, but they are useful in showing “big picture” statuses.
Read the full article here: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/use-dashboards-to-define-and-communicate-project-status/