The Very Important Dashboard: Exception, Execution, Contemplation

The Very Important Dashboard: Exception, Execution, Contemplation - Forbes Article

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Gabriel Tupula,

 

Every business operator needs important information to make the right decisions. We often prepare reports and dashboards for our customers (and our team internally) to work from in real or near-real-time. Our days are impacted by what is important, urgent and required. But rather than waiting for problems to arise, the best way is to proactively search for these situations. Whenever possible, I always set up a dashboard or insight report in the following order: exception, execution, contemplation.

First The Exceptions

The exceptions are what you should do, but did not do. If you are properly structured and mechanized, you should first look at and tackle the exceptions. These can be leftover tasks from yesterday, issues that arose overnight or even what was not important yesterday but became so today.

Some examples include:

• Scheduled tasks, meetings or phone calls not completed

• Late invoices or bills not paid

• Deals, projects or other records that have not been updated or have been inactive for a while

• Scheduled go-lives past due

• Deals supposed to close still not signed

• Busted budget deliverables

These should be handled proactively in regularly scheduled all-hands meetings, in quick ad-hoc meetings (phone calls, too) or, when required, with crisis management.

Then The Execution

The execution is what you normally do. This is the core of your and your team’s job and how you create value, eventually leading to revenue.

Some examples include:

• Ongoing tasks

• Phone calls or meetings

• Records to update

• Deals to close

These should be handled proactively with daily meetings and weekly meetings with the right issues being flagged to managers and stakeholders.

Finish With Contemplation

You should invest in contemplation only when you have the time, which is why it is last. Sometimes something will remain in contemplation until it is urgent, and in that case, it might even become an exception. We dedicate time to contemplate when the normal framework has been completed. With this, we never lose sight of the importance in favor of a flavor of the month, or what someone prefers to work on.

Some examples include:

• Trends analysis, including competition and prediction

• Upsell and cross-sell opportunities

• Online stats recap and adjustments

• Sales by customer, time by customer, revenue by customer and gross margin by customer

These should be handled proactively with town hall meetings, quarterly meetings, yearly meetings and punctual strategy meetings with the decision-makers.

Final Thoughts

The next time you look at your daily dashboard ask yourself, “Am I doing this in the right order?” and “Is my dashboard supporting reality?” If both are true, you will find ease in getting work done and a new alignment for your team members.

I suggest you set up a working session at the end of this quarter or the beginning of the next to identify your business’s exceptions, execution and contemplation. What triggers can you monitor? What meetings can you schedule? What reports can you leverage? Understanding the challenge is the first step to finding the solution.

Gabriel Tupula

Chief Executive Officer
Gabriel’s cumulative experience is in information systems, software development and internet marketing allowing him to be a creative problem solver and a results-oriented project manager. As an analytical thinker, Gabriel is uniquely able to see the big picture and create a roadmap to tangible results – plus he has the drive and ability to cross the finish line. He can reconcile the gaps between advanced technological concepts and practical applications, even filling in for employees or full departments when needed…

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