Project Excel Dashboards – What should we include?

I’ve been working on the Project Workbook as we finished the release of Financials.

This new project workbook will follow much of the flow of the service workbook ( Metrics That Matter, Trending and Explore Screens. I’ll be be adding the new Gauges as well.

Here are some of the sections:

Project Activity Trends

Similar to the Service Workbook, it’s helpful to see the trend of activity. A trend of the “New. Completed and Opening Backlog” of tasks is a good indication of volume. But unlike service tickets, the backlog of the of tasks can be less important than the estimated work involved over specified timeframe.

That’s why a trend chart like the “Estimated Hours” chart (above) for tasks due in the next 7, 14, 30 and over 30 days can help. In the below chart, we see that on the week of 1/12 there was a massive increase in the estimated hours for tasks due over 30 days.

The “New, Completed and Opening Estimated Hours” shows us changes in the amount of outstanding work remaining on active projects.

These are a few examples of the ways to monitor activity.

Project On-time and On-budget Trends

Every project should be completed on-time and within budget. It doesn’t always happen but it’s good practice to monitor how your trending. Over the past 10 weeks, are you completing a larger percentage of tasks on-time? under-budget?

For the tasks completed, what is the average variance between the actual hours and the estimate? Of the tasks that missed estimate, what was the range of variances ( less than an hours, over 4 hours)?

These are a few examples of how you might track the trend of on-time and on-budget metrics.

Project Explore Screen

The project explore screen will allow you to determine why you are missing deadlines or going over budget. Which projects are running late? Which resources are behind or ahead of schedule?

Other Insights

I’m about to dig into what other answers or insights that project managers are looking for behind projects/tasks being on schedule and on time.

How about Utilization and Forecasting?

Are there insights that you are looking for?

I would love to hear from you.

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5 thoughts on “Project Excel Dashboards – What should we include?

  1. how about a overview of open projects as a whole an not just focusing on the tasks. It would be helpful to see at a glance all the projects that are open, their status, % complete, Next Task Due, actual hrs vs est hrs…that sort of thing.

    • Sounds good. I’ll work on both the ability to explore on a task or on a project level. Maybe even a Project status page that includes rollup table of info plus graphically analysis. Thanks Scott.

  2. Would be great if the Project dashboard also had the information about:
    – Expenses
    – Baseline planning versus Real planning
    – Workload
    – Critical Path (is missing in Autotask) but could be calculated in Excel?

  3. Where can we download the EXCEL Project Dashboard.
    I am using now for the first the project module and it would be great if i can communicate the results of the project with Excel, because not every one has an Autotask login.