It's never been easier than now to create a simple management dashboard using the free Google Application Suite. After setting up some objectives, strategies, and action plans for our fictious company in a Google Doc, I'll show you how to use Google Sites to tie it all together. Finally, I'll use a Google Spreadsheet to keep track of the data and formulas for all the calculations. Let's get started.
Go to www.google.com and login. If you do not have a login, create one using your an email address, and you'll have access to all the tools I using for the article.
Go to docs.google.com and create new spreadsheet. It will open by default. First thing is to set a goal. For our fictious company, XYZ Corporation, I've set a sales goal of $1.2 million, which is 16.7% higher than last year. I enter this value in one of the cells in the Google Docs - Spreadsheet.
Now we've setup a sales goal, let's add our sales plan to a Google Site. During your first visit, you'll be asked by Google Sites to setup a site so you'll need to provide a name and template. I just picked a basic one from the list that was offered at the time this article was written. I called it Company XYZ Corporation and create a new page called CEO Plan.
The mission, objectives, strategies, and actions plans for acheiving 16.7% growth must be added now. You might be asking yourself, why am I just now developing the mission, objectives, strategies, and action plans for the current year? The mission, objectives, strategies, and actions plans must be determined and strategized in the previous year by the decision makers way before the new starts. If this cannot be acheived in your business, there are greater issues you must deal with.
Here is the mission and the objectives, strategies, and action plans for XYZ Corporation in a Google docs that I am going to cut and paste to the CEO plan page.
Next step is to setup a spreadsheet to track sales. Go back to the spreadsheet you used to set the sales goal, open it, go to a new tab. Here's a very basic, scaled-down version of my sales spreadsheet. I'm tracking the instore and online sales separately and adding one line per date and a total column.
Now, I need a spreadsheet to track customers.
Now that we have the goal I going to transfer the mission, objectives, strategies, and action plans to the new Google Sites page. Next to the objectives, I've added color-coded bullet points that I can click on to see the detailed spreadsheet graph of what's going on with each strategy and action plan.
I've setup a new page for Objective 1 and Objective 2 and linked to yellow and red bullet points to these pages. Clicking on the yellow ball takes me to the first objective page. I've created a chart in Google Docs Spreadsheets, and published the chart which produces an image tag that I can embed into the html of the Google Sites objective one page.
The final page appears like this.
As the Google Docs Spreadsheets continue to update, so does this image, dynamically.
Now that's a management dashboard that works. All built using open tools and ideas easily found on the Internet.