Make Better Decisions Faster with Portfolio Dashboards (+Smartsheet)

5 min read

What Is Portfolio Management Dashboard?

Portfolio managers have the responsibility of managing asset allocations. Portfolio management supports the executive level and general management of an organization in monitoring and controlling multiple projects. In contrast to the project management dashboard of an individual project, it summarizes key performance indicators of virtually all projects the organization is undertaking. In doing so, it empowers portfolio managers to take charge of asset allocations and rebalance them on a discretionary basis.

The portfolio management dashboard keeps track of and measures your project progress, health indicators, and project budget spending through various performance indicators. A dashboard is also a reporting tool via which portfolio managers can share helpful insights with the owners.

Color coding is an important part of the portfolio management dashboard. It reveals critical information based on the colors used. For instance, green would inform that all is progressing well, while red can show that you are headed in an unlikely direction.

Why Create Portfolio Dashboards?

#1: To see important milestones and dates

Your portfolios will always have certain vital milestones and dates you do not want to miss. Keeping track of these ensures you are in the know of what is supposed to happen at a certain date and the milestone to achieve then. Thus, you will be motivated to do all it takes to achieve the deliverables.

Implementing Smartsheet dashboard widgets helps dashboard owners or administrators add live data from sheets and reports. Whereas your dashboard may have begun as a blank canvas, adding the interactive widgets helps it to take shape. There are eight different types of widgets that you can customize and arrange as desired. In particular, the chart-type widget creates a real-time chart showing you these milestones and dates.

#2: To guide you in managing your budget

Budgeting in any given undertaking is important because it saves time and money. Through proper planning, it is expected that you would take steps that ensure you remain within budget. It guides you not to spend money in a meaningless way that does not consider future income.

Creating a budget and managing are two different elements. Managing your budget means authorizing how money is used. It entails monitoring the amount of spending so that your spending does not go above the budget.

The best Smartsheet dashboards can help you manage your budget effectively. These dashboards can be viewed as tools for planning and analyzing so that you can review proposed budgets once users are done with data entry. The visualizations can be broken down into different categories: liquidity, revenues, and profitability.

#3: To reveal risk exposure

Any project-based organization has a certain level of exposure to risks. Therefore, you must conduct a risk analysis during the early planning stages. Doing so can help identify possible risks and additional work that needs to be managed and mitigated. A point worth noting is that the risks do not just present themselves at the start of the project. On the contrary, more can emerge with ongoing work.

A portfolio dashboard helps you to see at first glance your risk exposure. It aggregates data across your portfolios that collect projects, programs, and processes to give a comprehensive picture of the risks faced. Adopting Smartsheet dashboard automation can greatly help expose ongoing risk as the project progresses.

#4: Strategic alignment

Well-aligned individual portfolios have a high chance of success compared to those that operate in isolation without a common goal. When everything is over the place, you will have a situation where projects or initiatives perform duplicate roles. Therefore, you end up wasting a lot of time and resources.

Portfolio dashboards assist one in aligning initiatives in a way that they comply with the overall business goals. Implementing brilliant Smartsheet dashboard tricks can further take your compliance efforts to the next level.

How to Set up a Visual Dashboard with PPM Express in Smartsheet?

Portfolio Dashboard in PPM Express allows you to effectively organize Smartsheet sheets into Portfolios and Programs. You can also track project statuses, project dates and descriptions, project budget and costs, risks, issues, and change requests on the portfolio level and have all important information related to Smartsheet sheets on one page.

Let’s review how to organize your Portfolio Dashboard in PPM Express.

By default, this page includes four sections: StatusesProjects and ProgramsKey Dates, and Details. Optionally the Budget, Action Items, Risks, Strategic Alignment, and Key Decisions sections can be added.

Step 1: Review Summary section – Summary section is represented by a progress bar that shows the overall progress of the projects/programs included in a specific portfolio. It also shows general information about the number of Projects/Programs (if any) by status, progress, and key dates. 

Review Summary Section PPM Express

Step 2: Configure the sections that you need for your Portfolio Dashboard.

Step 3: Using the Portfolio View option, you can configure different views for your users with a different set of data within them (different sections, fields).

Step 4: Using the Portfolio View option, you can share only the required information about the portfolio dashboard portfolio with the users. This functionality can help limit portfolio dashboard information for certain users.

Portfolio View Option PPM Express

Step 5: Create templates to standardize portfolio management in your organization – It is possible to configure portfolio sections, create a layout and apply this layout to other portfolios.

Advantages of Building Dashboards for Smartsheet.com

The main benefit of the Portfolio Dashboard in PPM Express is that:

1) It shows a high-level picture of projects imported from Smartsheet in one place.

2) It allows the organizing of projects into a portfolio and adding some information about that portfolio, such as key dates, risks, issues, etc. (all sections of Portfolio in PPM Express)

3) It allows to also bring projects from other systems (Jira, Azure DevOps, Monday.com) and combine them with Smartsheet projects into a single portfolio in PPM Express.

Here are some more benefits you can expect:

#1: Saves on time

Reading data in your Smartsheet can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially as it grows over time or when you have multiple data sources. Creating dashboards can help save time as you get to track multiple data sources simultaneously. Since you have pulled everything under one place, you can save time and energy.

#2: Better transparency

Dashboards for Smartsheet.com reveal important metrics that help you measure inefficiencies or note negative trends. Furthermore, you can create a mechanism for drawing attention to specific metrics so that you know what to act on when necessary. Focusing on what matters the most to your organization not only creates transparency, but also brings about efficiency. You no longer have to get bogged down by too many potentially irrelevant numbers.

#3: Real-time updates

Building a Smartsheet dashboard for multiple projects can give you real-time updates on what is going on across your organization. The live data empowers you to make data-driven, intelligent decisions at any time. Furthermore, these updates are critical in simplifying reporting. Instead of getting daily reports, you could spread them quarterly, monthly, or annually.

#4: Creates accountability

As you adopt dashboards for your Smartsheet.com, you create a culture of accountability. That’s because the parties involved are now forced to ensure data is available for all. In the long run, everyone gets motivated to generate honest progress reports, which creates trust among team members.

Make Better Decisions Faster with Portfolio Dashboards (+Smartsheet)
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