Dashboard Implementation Process Improvement

Over at the main Dashboard Spy site, we featured a look at the topic of performance improvement in general and the role of performance dashboards in particular. Among other things, we looked at the following diagram from the process improvement and operational performance gurus over at mydials.com.

Diagram showing the three dimensions of process improvement

In this dashboarding forum, I wanted to show how one particular organization is striving to move along that third axis and improve their dashboard implementation process. I will point you to a series of project artifacts from the HR department of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system that are quite instructive. The idea is to leverage this group’s process for incorporating dashboard user feedback and improving the next dashboard release.

The dashboard we will use as the case study is known as the Human Resources Dashboard. It is an initiative sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor and that office really stressed the importance of using classical process improvement techniques to iterate through releases of the dashboard until users were satisfied.

Here is a screenshot of their page listing some key artifacts. You can visit the page at their HR Dashboards page. Take a look through the plans and worksheets. Also visit this HR Communications page for access to some great HR team newsletters.

For more information on using dashboards to measure internal communications, see the Klipfolio product.

HR Departmental Dashboard

Now let’s take a look at how they cultivated the continuous process improvement mindset throughout the lifecycle of the dashboard project: 

Here is how they announced the Dashboard project in one of the newsletters and set the stage right away for an improvement mindset:

Dashboard Implementation Plan: Ready to Hit the Road

The Administrative Systems Review Process made up
of campus HR representatives at all levels and
Office of the Chancellor Personnel staff has
concluded Burst 3 – their 3rd set of meetings. During
this set of meetings the group finalized the HR/
payroll and demographic dashboards and the
dashboard implementation plan.

These initial dashboards will be released for
implementation on February 1, 2006. The
metaphor of the dashboard refers to the dashboard
of a vehicle where you can get a concise, measured
picture of how your vehicle is functioning.

The establishment of these dashboards and their
implementation will serve to communicate systemwide
standards. It will provide the tools for campus
HR departments to evaluate and make decisions
based on their own data integrity, and will also
provide an ongoing system-wide evaluation of HR
data integrity.

The year-long implementation plan will include
three evaluation periods in which HR departments
will note the number of data errors in specific
areas. Each evaluation period is three pay periods
long, which will allow for an average score. At the
end of each evaluation period, the scores will be
turned in to the Office of the Chancellor personnel
division in order to gauge progress. Scores for your
department will not be shared with other campuses.
They will be shared only with the CHRO. Following
the third evaluation, during fall semester, they will
also be shared with the Vice Chancellor for Human
Resources and the President of your institution.
The implementation plan and dashboards will be
available for review and comment during the month
of January. An e-mail will be sent out in the next
week via HR-All with the final drafts for your

Take a look at this document regarding the feedback survey for the HR Dashboard. This group really believes in using Process Improvement Surveys. You can tell a lot when the entire group of 13 all signs their name to the survey report!
1. How much time does it take your department to prepare the dashboard worksheet for submission?


Responded with time between 0-3 hours


Responded with time between 3-6 hours


Responded with time between 6-9 hours


Responded with time over 9 hours


unknown or no specific time listed

2. How would you rate the level of difficulty of gathering the information for the dashboard on a scale of 1=simple to 5=difficult?


Responded with 1


Responded with 2


Responded with 3


Responded with 4


Responded with 5

3. How have you made use of the information provided to you in the dashboard (ex: process improvement, reorganization or duties)?

15 Have not made use of the information
8 The information has raised their awareness
4 The information has been positive
1 did not answer

4. Has the Dashboard had an effect on communications between your HR department and others on your campus (Payroll, Deans, President’s, others in administration)? How?

21 Responded no effect on communication
4 Responded wtting a positive effect on communications
2 Responded that dashboard information is not used
1 responded a negative effect on communication

Based on the above feedback and other improvement suggestions, the group came up with the following recommendations:

  • Use Hyperion BRIO reports outside of dashboard evaluation periods for periodic reconciliations.
  • Be aware that there are other reconciliation reports that are available that are not part of the
  • Open a dialog with the person on your campus who uses the 8030 report to improve
    communications between HR and payroll.
  • Open a dialog to improve campus communications concerning budget controls.
  • Initiate more discussions within HR about whether an online entry is warranted.
  • Explore how your department is communicating with other campuses regarding shared data.
  • If there is no time for reconciliation, look at how responsibilities are distributed within HR and
    Payroll and between the two. Discuss cross training.  

Tags: Continuous Process Improvement for Executive Dashboard Projects, HR Dashboards

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