Where’s the accelerator? 5 business dashboard solution essentials.
Few would argue against the idea that business dashboard solutions are great resources for visualizing data. Today, you can choose from all kinds of options for integrating and analyzing data and then viewing it in intuitive, pretty formats. I would argue, however, that there is a big problem with most dashboard solutions: they don’t include an accelerator pedal, and a dashboard without an accelerator is effectively just art. In other words, if a dashboard is missing tools for taking action on the issues you see in the dashboard, then it’s value is mostly cosmetic.
Let’s explore why it’s important for any dashboard solution you choose to have an accelerator under the hood for it to make a difference in your day-to-day operations.
Getting more for your money than a future artifact
Nearly everyone accepts that managing for daily improvement using a management system, visual control system or some other solution can drive accountability and improvements. Yet, when I visit client locations, I frequently see what I call artifacts of defunct management systems. For example, dry erase performance boards with no data. Out-of-date trend charts on the shop floor that may or may not include analysis information. Action plans that haven’t been updated. And so on. It’s like walking through Egypt and seeing petroglyphs, pyramids and other resources that no one is using for their original purpose.
The reasons organizations stop using manual systems vary. It may be related to discipline, or the amount of effort that goes into constantly updating spreadsheets and boards and then figuring out reasons for misses, or other factors. However, a lot of it boils down to convenience. In other words, the more steps people must take to keep a process going, the greater the chance that the process and the tools used to manage it will become artifacts.
The same holds true for dashboards. Any decent dashboard solution can pull data from multiple systems and deliver it in understandable formats to stakeholders. But that’s only the first step to hitting targets and keeping goals on track.
Beyond data visualization: 5 business dashboard essentials for ongoing execution improvements
Once stakeholders have the consolidated information they need to see what’s happening in their department or across the organization, then the hard work begins. Knowing about problems is one thing, but understanding what is causing them, coming up with an action plan, and following it through to resolution is another. That’s why it’s best to look for a dashboard solution that enables you to easily:
- Perform root cause analysis
- Choose specific reason codes
- Determine countermeasures and assign action items to people
- Track progress
- Retain problem and resolution data for future reference
The combination of making it easier to find and fix issues, and hold people accountable, is the equivalent of that “accelerator” that most dashboard solutions are missing.
Figuring out what really matters
These deeper “accelerator” capabilities can also help your organization get to the bottom of which KPIs matter the most for your business. For example, I regularly see clients who are measuring all kinds of KPIs without a clear idea of which ones are most important to moving the needle of the business. The ability to monitor trends and then tweak processes while tracking specific action steps enables you to systematically narrow down your KPIs to the most important ones.
Put the pedal to the metal
If your company is struggling with a non-functioning management system, or you are considering dashboard solution options, be sure to check out our latest Dploy Solutions release. We offer KPI Management capabilities and Data Visualization features that are designed to keep an eye on what is happening in your business and performance on track on a daily basis. We also have the deep process expertise that is needed to help you automate and improve processes so you can accelerate your business.
Interested in learning how Dploy Solutions KPI Management is the accelerator to your daily operations? Contact us today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Pate is Managing Director of North American Business Development at TBM Consulting Group. He is a skilled business leader with experience in both process and discrete manufacturing, David Pate is recognized for his ability to deliver results and for his 25+ years’ experience driving lean transformations, facilitating culture change and developing lean leaders. In his role as Director of Lean Manufacturing, David led lean transformations for four large factories and implemented a program for lean supplier development. As plant manager, he utilized lean to drive and sustain significant reductions in defects and increased productivity.