The next time you log in to your Intervals account you’ll notice the new Dashboard tab at the top of the screen. After brainstorming and researching several new feature ideas with our customers, we kept circling back to the same basic need. Customers want visual tools that can give them answers quickly and accurately.
The visual project dashboard is a fresh start in this new direction, and the first of several visual tools we’ll be adding to help our customers better manage and track their projects, tasks, and time.
Think of the dashboard like a report. But, instead of simply churning out numbers, the visual project dashboard organizes and interprets your data using meaningful graphs, and answers two important questions…
How healthy are my projects?
The upper portion of the dashboard consolidates all of the project data returned by the filters and distills the data into three sections — tasks, time, and budget. The pie charts show the percentage of work completed in each section. There are a few additional stats that provide a few more details. For example, the number of overdue tasks, and the number and value of unbillable hours.
Filter the dashboard by client to see the overall health of their current projects. Or, run it by project manager to see how well they are managing their current project load. Either one will result in a beautifully rendered dashboard that will quickly tell you how those projects are doing collectively.
For more detailed information, scroll down to the lower portion of the dashboard. Here you will find the percentage of tasks, time, and budget consumed by each project. And more details, such as which projects have overdue tasks and unbillable time. This section enables you to quickly deduce which projects are doing well, and which are not.
If the project is current, a vertical black line will be positioned relative to today. For example, if you are ten days in on a 20 day project, the vertical black line will appear at the halfway point. This indicator is designed to help with project pacing by visually alerting you to projects that might be trending toward going over budget or past their deadline.
What should we be working on next?
The lower portion of the dashboard breaks down the numbers for each project to help steer you in the right direction when trying to figure out what to work on next. For example, if a project has a lot of overdue tasks, it obviously requires immediate attention. Click on the number below the project graph and Intervals will pull up the listing of overdue tasks. Need to know which tasks haven’t started? Click that number to retrieve the list of unstarted tasks.
The stats that appear under the time and budget graphs are also helpful in steering a project in the right direction. If a project has only a few hours of estimated time left, click that stat to pull up a detailed report of estimated and actual time for the project to decide where to focus your remaining time.
What do you think?
Now that we’ve launched the visual project dashboard we’ll be iterating on it next. We want to hear your feedback. Does it effectively communicate project health? And does it help project managers focus their team’s efforts more precisely? Let us know what you think.