Avoiding Dashboard Pitfalls

DashboardDashboards have become virtually indispensible to workers and managers. They provide graphical information in the form of charts and graphs as opposed to spreadsheets and reports, thereby enabling a big-picture view of an enterprise.

Despite the obvious benefits, dashboards can tend to become counterproductive if not properly deployed. There is a risk of information overload if care is not taken to select only the necessary indicators.  Privacy concerns and employee morale issues can also arise if details of individual worker performance are widely accessible.

Here are a few suggestions for successful dashboard implementation:

  1. Keep it Simple. Avoid overloading your dashboards with every conceivable metric related to your business.  Information overload will lead to distractions and keep the focus away from your organization’s vital stats. 
  2. Participate in the Development. The design and implementation of dashboards is often left to consultants and IT personnel. It is important to include the managers and employees who will be using the system in the development cycle. 
  3. Don't micromanage. One of the dangers of being able to instantly track every facet of a business’ operation is a tendency to micromanage.  Managers obsessed with the minutiae of their employees activities can be tempted into micromanagement which then reduces productivity and places unprecedented pressure on workers.

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