Tag Archives: timecontrol project

Dashing Dashboards

We’re about to release a major update to TimeControl Dashboards in a couple of weeks as part of TimeControl, TimeControl Online, TimeControl Industrial and TimeControl Industrial Online version 8.4.  Before you get concerned, all your existing dashboard definitions are fine.  While you don’t have to make any new changes, a whole range of new dashboard functionality will become available to you including adding new dashboard types to the page and adding more dashboard items to the page than is currently allowed.

All of that being said, we thought it would be an opportune moment to talk about the pitfalls of dashboards.  The dashboard concept is hardly new.  Back when we got started in project software systems in the 1980s we were asked continuously for 1-page summary reports that would presumably show “everything” to management.

Everything is, of course, a tall order and it remains so with dashboards.  We’ve had very senior staff ask us “Can we see all current project and TimeControl timesheet data in real time?”  You can, of course.  But… do you want to?

When we are designing dashboards for clients we ask a few questions:

First, how often are the management personnel who look at these dashboards expecting to make decisions?  If the answer is every five to ten minutes, then real time dashboards might make sense but we’ve yet to meet that manager.

Second, when someone looks at data in a chart or a list on a dashboard view, do they have certain assumptions about the data?  We’ve never met someone who didn’t.  Managers think that when they’re looking at data synthesized on the screen that a) It is accurate and that the manager, project manager or supervisor is prepared to stand by that data.  If this data has gone through no approval at all, that’s unlikely to be the case.  So, our standard recommendation is to show dashboards on posted data.  Data is posted in TimeControl nightly or weekly or even bi-weekly.  If that’s the case, that’s the decision window.  To what should be no one’s surprise, weekly decisions seems to be the most frequently that managers want to make decisions about such data.  Monthly is the second most popular.

Third, is all the data there?  Before I look at a chart of, say, actual-vs-budget, am I looking at 100% of the actuals?  Have all timesheets been collected?  Making a decision on a dashboard view only to find out that only half the supervisors have posted their data would be a problem.

Fourth, is the data timely?  Am I looking at data that all belongs together?  We’ve seen dashboards of project performance showing actuals where half the projects were updated this week and the other have only had updates until last week.

None of this says that dashboards are bad.  We love dashboards and we think you’re going to love the new dashboard views in TimeControl 8.4.  But, as you create your own dashboard views, take a moment to make sure that what others will see on the screen is both complete and useful.

Updates to the TimeControl.com website for TimeControl Project

We’ve made numerous updates on the TimeControl.com site to accommodate our exciting new premium version of TimeControl Online.  TimeControl Project.  The main area TimeControl Project is at Project.TimeControl.com. You’ll find links there to the updates of many different kinds of collateral including:

TimeControl Project Webcast
This 15 minute video shows TimeControl Project in action and explains the basic concepts and advantages of this remarkable evolution in project management systems.

TimeControl Slides and screenshots
This PowerPoint presentation is what we use to showcase TimeControl Project and includes numerous screenshots and explanations of the TimeControl Project concepts.

TimeControl Factsheet
This 4-page factsheet is an overview of TimeControl project that is suitable for sharing with anyone who is interested in the system.

TimeControl Project Online Training
We have added a new section to our online training guides specifically for TimeControl Project and we are adding to it constantly. You’ll find here short 3-5 minute videos showing how to use basic functions in TimeControl Project.

This is, of course, only a fraction of the resources for all of TimeControl of which TimeControl Project is a part. See the Resources area of the website or the TimeControl Blog for even more collateral or, contact HMS with any questions.

TimeControl Project Launches!

We’re very excited to announce the release of TimeControl Project.  TimeControl Project is a premium version of TimeControl Online and TimeControl Industrial Online that delivers a unique set of Views, Analysis and Data to enable Project Management and Project Execution.

Now the power and flexibility that TimeControl is known around the world for extends its functionality from project actuals to project planning and execution.  We have taken a unique approach to providing project management functionality within TimeControl.  Instead of thinking of project management as a big bucket of tasks that automatically roll up from level to level from the most detailed task in the organization to the portfolio selection at the executive, we have created data, analysis and displays that are appropriate to each level.  Data can be integrated or it can be distinct depending on what you need.  It doesn’t seem to make sense that every task that changes at the most tactical level will be instantly displayed in summary charts and projections.

Sometimes it’s better to look integrated than be integrated.

TimeControl includes tools at the Strategic Level for executives that might include Sheets Spreadsheet Views and summary GANTT barcharts.  At the Operational Level, project managers and resource managers might prefer GANTT Views and decision making Board Views.  At the Tactical Level, team leaders, team members and, scrum masters might prefer Board Views for an Agile approach.  TimeControl Project keeps these distinct when needed and integrated when that makes more sense.

TimeControl Project is available only as a premium edition of TimeControl Online and TimeControl Industrial Online subscriptions in the Cloud.

For more information about TimeControl Project, visit project.timecontrol.com or contact your HMS account manager.