What information should your dashboard of performance indicators display?

You’ve done your strategic planning, defined your objectives, and selected indicators and the goals they will help you achieve. Now it is time to develop a “dashboard” of indicators, so that results can be monitored monthly at your critical performance analysis meetings, or CPAMs.

Indicators are essential for monitoring a company’s objectives. After defining the strategy to be followed, the indicators function as signals to management that results are in line with what was agreed. An indicator is an indispensable tool for evaluating the company’s strategic plan, and thus the effectiveness of the strategies adopted.

But what, after all, is a “dashboard?”

A dashboard is a panel of indicators, with the main indicators and graphics integrated into a single panel for easy access, handling and, above all, visualization.

The dashboard will better present and organize information about results, vis-à-vis established goals, and provide managers with a more professional, interactive design. All results will be displayed in spreadsheets and graph form for easier analysis, which will improve decision-making, as well as the investigation of facts, causes and actions to be taken to boost performance that has fallen below established goals.

Among the information that a panel must include are:

– Indicator names

– Units of measurement

– Periodicity

– Calculation formula

– What has been accomplished

– Goals

– Cumulative performance

– Traffic lights, indicating whether cumulative performance is red, yellow or green

– Month-to-month performance

– Bar charts with month-to-month performance

With this information it will be possible to analyze monthly the performance of each of the company’s indicators and determine the actions that must be taken to reverse sub-par results.

Familiarity with Excel will help in the development of a simple dashboard to monitor company results, as well as the discipline necessary to look at and discuss results in monthly meetings reserved for this purpose.

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