When beginning the process of designing an effective set of dashboards for your users (using HP PPM or any other dashboard tool), there are almost limitless directions in which you can go. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- If you have different target audience types (you most likely will), try to design different templates for each types. They can be very similar to start with, but the natural evolution of dashboards will probably take each template in its own direction. Plan for this as much as you can.
- The landing page (first page a person sees) should be quick loading and very effective. If this page is cluttered with more than a half dozen portlets and/or forces the user to scroll, you probably want to look tochange the layout of your pages.
- Keep in mind that a portlet is best suited to target summary data or at least an "actionable" set of data. Portlets that return more than 20-30 records may start to lose their effectiveness and you might consider moving them to reports or separate dashboard pages.
- Use graphical metrics where applicable but refrain from using them without reason. Sometimes the data conveys the message as well or better. As always, consider the consumer of the information and design to that level.
- You will only have one chance to make a first impression! When you finally roll the dashboard(s) out, if your users aren't ready or it doesn't bring them value clarity ("why am I using this?"), you could lose them forever. Consider beta testers from your target user groups.
- Drilldowns are your friend! While the dashboard needs to convey the overall message; having the ability to "drill down" from a graphical/summary portlet into the details (either specific requests or maybe a report) can go a long way toward building value in a dashboard.
- Pick the right tool. Features and capabilities vary greatly.
Thanks and good luck...