maandag 30 mei 2011

Strategic, tactical and operational dashboards

In my former post i already described the different needs of the different users of dashboards. For these users we can develop operational, tactical and strategic dashboards. Operational dashboards focusses on the operational users, tactical dashboards focusses on the tactical users and strategic dashboards focusses on the strategic users. Logical.

In the book of Wayne Eckerson "Performance dashboards", Wayne speaks about building a management summary on a operational dashboard (for example) and that started me thinking. Isn't building a management summary on a operational dashboard a tactical dashboard (and building a strategic dashboard on a tactical dashboard)? In an ideal world this would be true. Yes, operational, tactical and strategic dashboard should be in line which each other. KPI's needs to be operationalized to lower levels....or lower level indicators needs to be gathered and summarized to higher levels. Otherwise said: you have a top down approach or bottom up approach.

When applying the top down method, you'll be focussed on a balanced scorecard and strategymaps at strategic levels, the tactical dashboards metrics are derived from the KPI's and operational dashboard uses further detailed metrics. Off course it's also possible to use diagnostric metrics at the different levels.

In case of a bottom up approach the relevant operational metrics are summarized to higher aggregated levels for tactical analysis and again tactical metrics are collected into KPI's at strategic levels. In my opinion, with the bottom up approach is difficult to build a aligned organization. The probability that all measures are available for building a higher level dashboard is small. So aligning the dashboards will always have some top down initiatives.

In my opinion there is always a need in the bottom up approach for top down initiatives because at some certain point on a certain level more information is needed than is available. It's much harder building a dashboard with a bottom up method. To get an aligned organization the best way to start is building a strategic dashboard, initially. When this is succesful start implementing tactical and operational dashboards.


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