We all are familiar with the dashboards in cars. Dashboard collects information about speed of the car, RPM, temperature, pressure and other parameters of the car and presents in front of the driver to make the decision.
In Information Technology, a Dashboard has similar function. However, it has many variations. Depending upon the products or service(s) provided by the IT organization, the dashboard will show the specific information thatâ€™s important to them. For example â€“ A production support organization may be interested in monitoring the availability of the site while a performance team may be interested in the peak usage and number of hits per second.
An ideal Information Technology dashboard should include both goals and results. Results by itself have no meaning. For example 300 calls per day for a call center may sound too low for an organization which is primarily in support and generates revenue by charging for support. However, it may be too high for a company that sells its product online and may want to minimize the free support calls.
Therefore itâ€™s important to show the goals â€“ what do we aim for, and the results â€“ how are we doing so far in achieving the goal. The production support team may have a goal of 99% availability and a current result of average 98.5% showing that they are not meeting the goal â€“ hence red dashboard.
DMAIC and Dashboard
Dashboard falls into the last, but most important part of DMAIC, which is Control. Control is discussed last in the DMAIC, however, unlike other components of DMAIC, Control is exercised throughout all phases of DMAIC.
Here is how Control is applicable throughout the DMAIC process:
Define â€“ Control and monitor through the dashboard to show the goals and results of defining the current systems. Example â€“ schedule.
Goal of schedule â€“ A process team will complete 60% of the current state definition in 3 months.
Result â€“ The process team has completed only 25% of the definition and they will 2 more months (total of 5) to complete the definition.
Measure - Control and monitor through the dashboard to show the goals and results of measuring. Example â€“ scope. Goal â€“ Team will complete the collection of data in Europe, Asia and America in two months. Result â€“ Team has completed 60% work in Europe, completed 100% in America, not started in Asia.
Analyze - Control and monitor through the dashboard to show the goals and results of Analysis. Example â€“ similar to Define and Measure.
Implement - Control and monitor through the dashboard to show the goals and results of Implementation. A team could focus on scope, schedule and cost for a project implementation and create a dashboard. An Agile team could focus on the burn down chart as a dashboard.
Controlling and monitoring are also very important for IT Governances and compliance. IT teams need to keep evidence of the controls and audit. The best way to monitor it is via the visual dashboard.
Followings are some of the examples of the dashboards we encounter in our daily life.
Flights schedule â€“ flights taking off, flights arriving, on time, delayed, cancelled etc.
Stock market â€“ various financial indicators, estimated quarterly goals and results, sector performances etc. The stock market dashboard may be dependent on economic indicators such as unemployment, or the interest rates etc. and include those dependencies.
Weather channel dashboard may include temperature, chances of rain, humidity, sun, cloud, storm, pollen count. It may include current and future.
Football / soccer dashboard - current standings of all team, who is going to play whom and where. Games already played and results.
Some example dashboard - https://www.google.com/search?q=digital+dashboard&rlz=1C1TSNF_enUS443US443&biw=1049&bih=535&tbm=isch&source=lnms&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi55c2I_cfJAhVBeT4KHf8ECpYQ_AUIsgEoAQ#tbm=isch&q=digital+dashboard+corporate
Final paper requirements: Create a digital dashboard for IT organization or IT team. Provide following information. Please note that the dashboard should be for IT team or organization that conducts IT function. Dashboard for Healthcare or football teams will not be accepted.
Name of the company or team (real or fictitious)
Business of the company or team â€“ what do they do? (not more than three sentences)
Type of Dashboard (corporate â€“ IT specific, performance team, production support team etc)
Description of the dashboard â€“ what is it going to cover
Target Audience â€“ who would be your users to look at the dashboard? (list)
Frequency â€“ Is it a quarterly, or semiannual or annual or continuously monitored dashboard. (your data will change accordingly as I would read the dashboards as of current on December 16). If I am reading in December, should I expect it for the whole year, or from June to December or September to December? Please note that you donâ€™t have to provide any data, but dashboard should indicate the time frame itâ€™s applicable for.
Show 5 attributes. Describe them in 2 sentences each. Describe target goals for these 5 attributes (one line each â€“ no more or less). (example of attributes are â€“ number of defects, number of hits to the website, target revenue etc.
Show the dashboard with these 5 attributes (target goals and current state). You have the choice of selecting the chart/graph/dial/visual for these 5 attributes. You have choice to create separate chart/graph/dial/visual for goal and current state or show both in the same chart/graph/dial/visual.
Standard color coding â€“ red means â€˜missed goalsâ€™, yellow means â€˜currently missing but confident that we will make upâ€™, green means â€˜currently meeting the goalâ€™. Please provide the description if you are using different color code.
In the end, it should be one dashboard that fits into one page (page size can be up to 11â€x17â€) and description (narrative) on one page. Final submission will be only 2 pages.
Please make sure to add goals in the dials/graphs.
Goals are the target your company wants to archive for each attribute. What is the goal against which they are measured? Are they meeting the target (green), or not meeting but chances are that they will meet the target (yellow) or we know that target are not met (red).
You can just add a small circle or square in each graph with red, yellow or green for each attribute to show the status.
Q1. Can dashboard be in Excel?
Ans - Yes. Excel, Power Point, Microsoft Visio etc are some of the common applications used for Dashboard.
Q2. Are you lloking for any specific team or company?
Ans - No specific company. Any real or made up company is acceptable. It has to be IT company or team.