I wrote yesterday about keeping project statuses up to date. I heard from a few people asking what I use for a dashboard. The short answer is that it varies a bit by project. So I thought I'd put a few up and talk about them.
In all cases I've redacted names and sensitive text.
Here's one where we basically have a project dashboard in Jira:
This is a late-stage project that is in bug fix and release mode. The people working on this are pretty much all technical - engineers and technical management.
- Quick access to project details
- Pretty graphs!
- This isn't a good way to handle development. It handles bugs really well but really gets you in the weeds of details.
- Some of the less technical people involved have some difficulties constructing filters, etc. There's a learning curve there.
Here's one where we're using Basecamp for overall project views:
This is a greenfield project that is accessed by the software builders and a client. Logins range from developers to the executive sponsoring the project.
- Good overview of a project that includes several different things - documentation, code, UI designs, etc.
- I love the "what's coming in the next 14 days" right at the top.
- Not intimidating for non-technical types.
- It emails you digests of what changed and/or specific changes as you request. Can't get away from email as a notification tool, so it's nice to embrace it.
- I don't know that I'd do bugs here. The general bug workflow (log, fix, verify, deploy) doesn't map well to the done/not done simplicity of Basecamp.
- This works better for smaller projects; a project with dozens of people involved tends to get very chatty and need different UI metaphors - the list view can get very long very quickly.
Here's a project home page on a wiki:
This is an internal project that is being worked on by sales, dev, marketing, exec management, and basically a smattering people across the whole company. It's a fast moving project that's in prototype phase, so it's got a lot of possibilities and not a lot of certainties yet.
- Everyone's used to a wiki, so it's a really friendly format
- Wiki watching lets email updates occur whenever the page changes
- It's really really flexible
- It grows well - as it gets larger you simply spawn things off to more and more pages and keep the "home page" light.
- Hand maintaining this is something of a pain
- Lack of a defined structure means consistency is difficult to maintain, and it can be hard to find things
So... have I found the perfect project dashboard? Nope. And I've certainly discovered (again) that different tools are useful for different contexts. So this is what I do, and I'm sure I'll change it as I discover new tricks.
What are your tricks?