Dashboards are an attempt to go to paperless project management and yet convey the most critical information to the stakeholders the fastest way. Dashboards are communication tools for providing data to viewers. If the goal is to communicate the big picture quickly, perhaps in summary format, dashboards are the way to go. Other project management tools, such as written reports, may be necessary to provide supporting information and details.

Designing the dashboard is not always easy, however. Multiple dashboards may be required on the same project. There are rules that can be followed to make the design effort easier. Included in this chapter are white papers from companies that assist clients in dashboard design efforts.


  • To understand the characteristics of a dashboard
  • To understand the differences between dashboards and scorecards
  • To understand the different types of dashboards
  • To understand the benefits of using dashboards
  • To understand and be able to apply the dashboard rules


  • Business intelligence (BI)
  • Dashboards
  • Rules for dashboard design
  • Scorecards
  • Traffic light reporting


The idea behind digital dashboards was an outgrowth of decision support systems in the 1970s. With the surge of the web in the late 1990s, business-related digital dashboards began to appear. Some dashboards were laid out to track the flows inherent in business processes while others were used to track how well the business ...

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