CIO Dashboards – 4 Types — CIO Dashboard

Read Part I of the Building a CIO Dashboard Series I think the biggest challenge in building a meaningful CIO dashboard lies in the question of what to measure. As my partner Jim Quick says it’s either feast or famine when it comes to measuring IT. You either have so much data you don’t know where to focus or you are paralyzed by the idea of figuring this out. In keeping with the best iterative design practices, I’ve altered the structure of this series of posts about building a CIO dashboard. The design topic actually deserves two posts, so this one (part 2) will center on what to measure and the next one will look at different display techniques.

Audience Matters
Given the range of questions that can be addressed, maybe the most important way to narrow down your measurement choices is by considering your audience. I don’t think there will be much argument that there are some things important to IT that the non-IT audience won’t care about or understand. So let’s define two broad audiences that way. When I think of a dashboard, I think of a broad set of gauges that tell me how my car is performing, how it’s using its resources, the status of the interior and exterior environment and if there are any issues. Today’s car dashboard is actually a great metaphor for the CIO dashboard because of the degree of abstraction required to summarize all of the on-board computers and sensors. But since there are so many things to measure, creating a meaningful AND broad dashboard is a significant, but doable challenge. So, a second way to discuss the choices of metrics is to determine the scope to be measured – broad across all of IT or more specific to a program, business area or set of business objectives. With audience and scope as our two dimensions in the ubiquitous 2×2, we can discuss the 4 types of CIO dashboards.

Portfolio Dashboard
For those organizations who have adopted the portfolio management philosophy, a portfolio dashboard can make a lot of sense. In fact, the country’s new CIO, Vivek Kundra, is planning a portfolio dashboard for the government’s

etc). This is from a presentation by Peter Weill at MIT CISR. each with a separate benefits (return) profile. Project Type. measuring an email upgrade using an ROI metric doesn’t make much sense. Project Type. There are two real challenges in this kind of dashboard – actually they are challenges with IT portfolio management in general: 1. You must have the discipline to measure actual benefits regularly after the project has finished. The challenge with this is to credibly link the business objective to the IT metric. Rely on academic or industry research to prove a causal link between a business objective (eg. Sample Measures Throughput: Business (not tech) . Sample Measures Planned Projects: Projected Spend ($. but here is an example of the linkage to give you an idea of how this could look. %) by Project. Project Type In-flight Projects: Projected Return by Project. CRM system performance) and then just measure the IT performance metric as a direct impact to the business objective. This is easier but less projects. Service Dashboard Even though the service dashboard is oriented toward an IT audience. Sample Measures The measures will depend on the business objectives. it if focused on organizing and presenting metrics that impact service to IT’s internal constituents. but as an example. It is critical to embrace the philosophy that there are different types of IT projects (asset classes). improve customer service) and an IT capability (eg. There are two ways to do this: 1. I would guess that 20% of IT organizations do this sufficiently well. Baseline vs Estimated Budget by Project Completed Projects: Projected vs Actual Return by Project. A portfolio with one asset class defeats the purpose of portfolio management. architecture. One technique for this is using Diamond’s Business Architecture approach. MIT’s Center for Information Systems Research has done the best job I have seen in linking business performance to various IT practices (governance. Develop the explicit linkage yourself. Risk/return by Project. Project Type Linkage Dashboard Probably my favorite way to think about and communicate IT metrics is to explicitly link them to some business metric that is important and well-known across the company. I will write a separate post on this subject. but other approaches exist too – Balanced Scorecard? Others? 2. 2.

transactions per hour/week/month and peak times Quality: Number and severity of feature/bug fix requests Satisfaction: average time to close helpdesk tickets. Popular improvements IT shops seem to be focusing on these days include KTLO cost reduction. Desktop or Dead Tree? shareshareshare Related posts: 1. a broad IT dashboard should be oriented around IT’s 3-5 improvement goals. whatever they may be. qualitative customer sat measures Improvement Dashboard I’m not a fan of a general purpose IT dashboard because it will lead directly to the “metrics feast” and a lack of focus. So. 10 CIO Dashboard Tips Did you enjoy this article? Please subscribe to CIO Dashboard to receive the latest posts! . Does the Federal IT Dashboard Come With a Decoder Ring? 4. The next post will look at some actual examples of CIO dashboards. A Resurgence of Portfolio Management? 3. Service + Improvement). Sample Measures Projects: earned value metrics Processes: # exceptions in governance processes Maintenance: size and severity of backlog Skills: % of staff trained in core skills I wouldn’t be offended if your dashboard mixed and matched types and metrics in the columns (Portfolio + Linkage. Read Part 3 – Device. I look forward to your feedback and comments. applications TCO and software reuse. Desktop or Dead Tree? 2. Device. 5 Characteristics of a CIO Dashboard 5. But I think it’s pretty important to keep things clean within each audience type.