Project Management Consultants Can Build A Status Dashboard

Project management consultants need to communicate their status among a number of stakeholders. Building a status dashboard achieves that goal, and helps building your business at the same time.

Typically, there are several audiences a project manager needs to update with their status. So, stakeholder meetings tend to require a lot of preparation. Typically, these meetings are held once a month and offer up a large amount of information in a very brief format.

This is where the status dashboard is particularly useful. Once you define the format for presenting the information, it’s relatively simple to keep people up to date.

For example, if you keep all of a project’s data at a high level, it’ll help maintain the interest the stakeholders while minimizing the amount of space necessary to communicate details.

But…

But don’t start thinking you no longer need to hang onto the details behind your basic statements. You must be able to answer any and all questions that may come from reviewing the status document. The document is what actually takes the most amount of prep time — the details and knowing how to roll them up into manageable statements.

Whether you deliver this in person or a less personal way, it’s essential to provide as much information as you can. Your status document should follow the formatting of current expectations. If you can’t find a template that works for your project, then create one on your own.

In other words, take the time to review the expected data set, and be sure to deliver it forward.

Comments

  1. BY Karen says:

    Hi,

    I am not a PM but work with PM’s and am always looking for opportunities to increase collaboration. I was hoping for a sample document. Any possibility of providing an example?

    Thanks,

    Karen

    • BY Cathlynn Carman says:

      Hi Karen,
      What type of document are you looking for? Is it for communication with stakeholders or team communication? If you could provide a little more detail, I feel I could help bett.

  2. BY Gene says:

    I am a bit disappointed. The article says “How Project Management Consultants Can Build A Status Dashboard”. From that title I expected some details of formats, or types of information that are useful to convey ideas in a dashboard format. This just told me that a dashboard could be helpful.

    Will this post/discussion/blog get any more detailed or was the idea just to convey that dashboards can be useful? Which is not an uncommon thing.

  3. BY Jason says:

    From the title of the article, I thought you were going to present a tool or template. That would be helpful. I see in the comment above that you’d like to know what purpose it’d be used for, but I’m interested in just playing around with the idea, so I am just wondering if you know of any somewhat generic status dashboard tools/templates.

  4. Did I miss something? Where’s the beef?
    I thought this article was coin to show me how to create a status dashboard… Instead it talks more about why this is important.
    Please don’t mislead with article titles.

  5. BY Cathlynn Carman says:

    Hi All – To answer some of the questions briefly, I almost always leverage PowerPoint because of it’s ability to display this type of data well. I would include several things in my status updates – project title, summary/vision statement, status – color coded, budget information, milestones/timelines, key successes within the last period, upcoming milestones/ & events, risks & opportunities.

    I do plan on providing a generic template for anyone to leverage. Thanks for the feedback!
    Cathlynn

  6. BY Jodi Bloom says:

    Though I also expected a tool & more depth, I thought the concept was a good one to inspire & kickstart my own creativity in the area of project management status dashboard. We had a discussion recently in our HIMSS special interest group for consultants (SIC SIG). Some of the takeaways were to identify goals, benchmarks and checkpoints within the project expectations, and provide periodic (weekly or monthly) updates to those goals. I like the idea of having a consistent format so that people who have hired you will be able to see where you are at. Maybe project timeline, % of each major topic completed. A simple format is Achievements/Accomplishment and Outstanding Issues. But the overall thermometer is important to project stakeholders. Let’s see if we can find some good examples and post some links, maybe generate a good thread on this.

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