Assembling a Project Status Dashboard is a powerful way to use the capabilities of SharePoint. Instead of having to create a weekly status report manually, SharePoint can do it for you using information you are already updating on the site. This can be a big time saver. The page is updated in real-time as you update the component parts that are shown on the page so the sponsor or other stakeholders can always see the latest status instead of having to wait for you to send it.
Another advantage of the dashboard is that it acts like “mission control” for the project manager. I would always start my day on the dashboard to help determine on what I need to focus. In one place you have your upcoming milestones, high impact issues and risks, and action items due in the next 7 days. You can drill into the details of each item right from that page. This beats looking for each piece individually in documents on a network drive.
I use the SharePoint “web part page” to set up the Project Status Dashboard. A “web part page” allows you to assemble a page from existing lists, libraries and other SharePoint components you have already built on your project site. I like the 3-column format for fitting all of the important information.
Here is the information I include and how I format it:
First Row, across all 3 columns:
The Project Information Announcement – contains basic project information such as the name, number, description and benefits, sponsor name and project manager name.
Second Row, across all 3 columns:
The Project Status Announcement – contains a few sentences from the Project Manager and Lead Business Analyst on the state of the project. I like to update this weekly or whenever an important milestone is reached.
Column 1: The Project Health Scorecard
Column 2: A view on the Issues list containing only high impact Issues, and under that, a view on the risks list containing only high exposure Risks
Column 3: Upcoming Milestones (current month and next month)
Fourth Row, across all columns:
Time Off Calendar for key project team members and stakeholders
Fifth and Sixth Rows, across all columns:
Action Items Due in the next 7 Days – I use a view over the Action Items List.
Action Items Completed in the last 7 Days – I use a view over the Action Items List.
Seventh Row, across all columns:
Key project documents from the document libraries.
You may need to educate and train your users to come here first for information but it will be well worth your time to do so.