Project management includes juggling multiple aspects at the same time- such as resources, project data, and expectations. And the project manager is the default go-to person to manage all these aspects. However, they’re not magicians. The task of tracking projects is difficult when you run several at once and have interlinked constraints and dependencies. From clashing timelines to overlapping resources, managing everything on time gets problematic.
If the above situation seems familiar, you should consider using a project management dashboard template for your projects. This helps you a lot when you are hard-pressed for time and want to efficiently track projects in an organized manner.
Today, there’s no dearth of project dashboards online. However, a good way to improve project outcomes is to use a template that highlights the benefits and concerns of the project and displays information in a simple, graphical way.
A project management dashboard in Excel offers multiple opportunities to incorporate charts and important information at the same time. Read on to know more about the varying components of an ideal project management dashboard template.
Project Management Dashboard in Excel
The key performance metrics of a project are the timeline and their details. It should also include the task status, project cost estimates, and pending items for the projects. This would help get the exact status of the project and the bottlenecks that are holding it back.
Let’s take a look at the different components of the Excel-based Project Management Dashboard template, and how information can be inserted into it to generate results.
1. Project information
This is the information that gives the basic details of the project. The project name reporting date, project status and the percentage completed gives a clear overview of the level of completion of the project.
2. Project task details
This encapsulates the main tasks which are to be carried out under the project. It is also important to note here who would be working or leading these particular tasks. The start and end dates highlight the duration of each of these tasks. In the end, you can also highlight the status of the tasks, and mark them as Completed, In Progress, Overdue, or Not Started. You can also highlight the tasks on priority, and make sure that they are completed first.
Filling in these details would give a generic idea of whether the project is on track or not. A Gantt chart would offer a great visual representation of the task detail status.
3. Percentage of tasks completed
Based on the information filled in the earlier section, you can figure out the percentage of tasks completed and tasks which are yet to be completed. The latter would include overdue tasks, in-progress tasks, and tasks not started. Ideally, you would want most of the tasks to be a part of the completed tasks. For tasks yet to be completed, the details would help figure out the potential bottlenecks in the project.
A pie chart would provide an easy representation of the percentage of the tasks completed as a part of the project status dashboard.
4. Budget details
This is where you enter the planned and actual budget for the project. With the help of a stacked bar graph, you can figure out whether you are going over or under-budget.
5. Pending item details
This is to delve a little more into the tasks that have not yet been completed. From the tasks that are yet to be completed, categorize them into those where decisions are pending, actions are required and change requests have been made.
A bar graph for this along with the priority level would help get more focus into the tasks which need immediate attention. A work breakdown structure can additionally be developed for more targeted action.
With the help of this project management dashboard template, you can start using this Excel-based guide for different projects. However, it would become more difficult once projects become more and more complex. This is where subscribing to a resource management tool can be more useful. Customizing the various project details, and the different business intelligence dashboards are not only under your control but also offers deeper analysis on resource utilization. Therefore, not only do you make better decisions in your current project, but also make project management decisions in the long run.