Which skill is important, to create Impactful Department Dashboard.
Last week, incidentally, I got couple of calls from professionals wanting to know, how they can improve on their department dashboards or monthly reporting.
This gives a view, that leadership energy is getting further focussed
· On Improving the way they view work.
· On having Clear formal defined ways of reporting, not restricted, but available to all concerned, as and when needed. Shift in the willingness to be more transparent
· Most importantly, leadership is keen and open for an outside-in approach. Are focussing on what the stake holders want.
I have always felt, the quality of your reports is not as much a function of excel sheets, graphs or formats, but is a function of one leadership behaviour – “ Desire to Listen with Care”.
So before you design on “How” of reporting, “What” of reporting is important.
How much of the time, do we really spend on “listening to your stake holders with care“. The effective dashboard is one which will add value to your stakeholders. You can add value, only when you take interest in what they have to say. Develop the skill of listening
For the reports to be more, comprehensive and yet sharp and valuable, have an ear for all the stakeholders. The most common mistake which happens, is considering the top leadership or the owners / CEO as the ONLY end users or stake holders of the dashboard. The second mistake is to consider the matrices as your evaluation. Instead, if the matrices are prepared, thinking yourself as a value provider, that changes the whole prospective of your professional existence in the organization.
How can you pick up the identify the important focus areas of our different stake holders, in your daily operations?
– Listen to your customers –
o What do your end customers / clients feel about your service. This gives you your improvement areas, the progress of which you can track in your matrices.
o What as per customer, should be added in your services, to make this number 1 in the market. This will tell you what initiatives you should propose
– Listen to your Top leadership –
o What questions do they ask in day to day operations. This will give you a view to their unspecified focus areas.
o Your department’s goals.
o Feedback received from CEO/ Business Owner.
o What are the areas specified by top leaders for other departments, which includes feedback, new initiatives etc. Proactively incorporate these in your department as well.
– Other departments & Colleagues-
o their complaints
o suggestions on process improvements
o Support needed by other departments.
– Employees –
o Employee feedback on the services of your department or manager
· What do the employees talk in informal gatherings
– Investors– The main focus of investors is return on their financial investment
o Check how you can reduce cost of operation, increase productivity. (You could refer to my earlier article on “Time Wastage, as the biggest organizational wastage. Ping me if you need that article.
o What is your department doing to increase the brand image of the organization
Having this keen ear with a 360 degree approach will give you insight into how your department can add value to the organization. The only purpose of the dashboard is to add value and to check if you are on track to serve your purpose. How this should be projected, can then be detailed to the “How of the matrices” later.
And there are other leadership behaviours as- acceptance, curiosity which help you create good department matrices/ reports / dashboard.