More on an Actionable Dashboard

Photo at blog from webmaster - 21/09/2010 - 13:17

Actionable dashboards live! Not only is my blog read more than 200 times in the last couple of weeks, and it is also subject to a LinkedIn discussion! Time to update you on what is going on.

In my blog I address the point that reporting KPI's in itself does not help you, because the reporting is not a goal in itself. You must create an actionable environment so an active feedback loop makes sure business processes and results can improve. You do this by creating a context, for instance by reporting historic values along with the actuals. The difference between reference values and actuals drives the improvement efforts.

In the LinkedIn discussion additional aspects have been addressed. My selection:

  • An actionable dashboard system should consist of a working combination of a process, tools and trained people.
  • Actual output needs a context in order to mean something.
  • Double loops: The fast inner control loop, and the slow system adoption loop
    The first is your dashboard, the second makes sure that your dashboard adopts itself to new situations over time.

An Actionable Dashboard System Is a Combination of a Process, Tools, and Trained People

An actionable dashboard is a tool. That is not enough. You also need a working process, including feedback loop, and competent, trained people to use the dashboard. Without that those the dashboard remains a good, but unfortunately not implemented idea.

Process Output: Actuals and Context

An actionable dashboard reports Key Performance Indicators (KPI's), or any other figures you choose. Unfortunately the figure means nothing, if you are not aware of the context it represents. 10,000 Euro is a lot for a small company, but peanuts for a larger one. So measurement is knowledge, but only if you know what you measure.

A Fast and a Slow Loop

In an real life situation you have permanent KPI's and temporary KPI's. Permanent KPI's deal with long term aspects, like the reason of existence of the organization. Short term KPI's deal for instance with projects.

This reflects the fact that our environment and our world continuously change, and the organization should adopt to the new situation. Adept or die! A slow control loop testing the actionable dashboard system every once in a while if it still reflects the actual world, can adopt it to changing environments.

And Your Dashboard?

We valuate your opinion! Please let me know what your experience is with your own dashboards. Do they work as expected?

This blog is written by Hans Lodder. Hans is a very experienced business process improvement consultant and architect. The ideas of Hans' blogs originate from questions from readers. You can contact Hans through his Results2Match email address.

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