We all know what a dashboard for a car is. It tells us important activities about driving our car. Our dashboard gives us constant feedback about our speed, amount of gas we have and sometimes outside temperature.
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A dashboard for a private business is similar. The business dashboard provides us with a few key indicators about the health of our company. A business dashboard provides constant feedback because it’s put together at least once a week. If you’re business is going through a crisis, your dashboard should be done even more frequently. When I was in my vending business, we had a daily dashboard we called our daily flash report. The report had the following information:
As you can see the above list is not long, nor is it difficult to put together. It did provide crucial information I wanted to see on a daily basis.
Some of the reasons you might want to have a dashboard are:
A dashboard allows you to let go. If you know you are getting critical information on a regular basis you are likely to let go a little bit. Business owners need to eventually become operationally irrelevant in their business. A dashboard will allow you to start moving down this path.
A dashboard provides an early warning system. One of the complaints I regularly hear from private business owners is they are often working behind the eight ball. Having a well-designed dashboard will give you an early warning system for any problems you might have.
A dashboard helps communicate important things to your team. If you share your dashboard with your team (hopefully in the form of a graph) you will communicate the important things you follow. Your team will know what’s important and whether they are making things better or worse.
A dashboard allows you to focus on continuous improvement. We don’t go from OK to great in one day. Having a dashboard with graphs allows you to have conversations in your company about the specifics that must be done to improve your company’s performance.
A dashboard helps you focus on KPI’s (key performance indicators). Your dashboard is an easy way to keep kpi’s in the forefront of your teams mind. If you have developed a shared your kpi’s, your dashboard will communicate the drivers behind those key numbers. It’s improvement in the drivers that will help your company achieve better performance.
What are your thoughts about using a dashboard in your company? If you had a dashboard what would be the five to eight things that you would want to measure and watch on a weekly basis?
As always, I’m interested in your thoughts. Please let me know what you think about dashboards and how you could use them in your business.