Close the loop

On our path to dashboarding the world, we spend a lot of time thinking about process.  How will the dashboard be used?  How often should we update it?  How do we keep it up to date?  Who should see it?

Oftentimes, the answer to this question revolves around some form of a quarterly business review (QBR).  In a QBR, top leaders come together to discuss things like financial performance, the state of the business, and action plans.  A dashboard helps to provide context for these discussions.

The challenge is that while the dashboard will measure results, it won’t drive the rest of the business review process.  This has me thinking about closed-loop busienss review and improvement.  Here’s my take on closing the loop: 

  1. Measure results with dashboards (loop open)
  2. Determine root-cause of any unsatisfactory results
  3. Put in place an action plan to improve these results
  4. Measure the impact of the action plan with the dashboards (loop closed)

When done well, the above steps will improve results.  You will diagnose and solve issues quickly.  Where we all struggle, is communicating our findings, recommendations, and action plans.  Emails with attachments is about as good as we get (side note: I’d love to know what percentage of attachments actually get opened).

The process is human.  And like any human, things get missed.  Loops stay open.  What we need is a platform to drive this process and to close the loop.

Stay tuned.  We’re on the case.


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