Originally published in GovCon Wire on March 22, 2023
I began my career by serving in the U.S. Air Force and this cultivated what has become a lifelong passion for aviation. I love to fly and enjoy time up in a Cirrus SR22 as often as possible. My fellow aviators know that the flight instruments in the cockpit (i.e., your plane’s “dashboard”) are vital to safe flight, providing the pilot with crucial data about the aircraft’s heading, attitude, altitude, airspeed, vertical speed and more. There is a saying that without this dashboard, pilots can only survive for less than a minute in the clouds. I am finding this imperative for metrics to be the case for almost any management position, especially those responsible for contracts.
While I was cutting my teeth at Lockheed Martin, there was a saying that “only that which gets measured gets managed.” What this meant—which has proven to be true, by the way—is that if you really care about something, you measure it, you monitor it, you report on it and you manage it. If you don’t, that process and its outputs become an afterthought and aren’t taken as seriously by you or your team.
Modern software solutions typically offer dashboard reporting, which consolidates crucial metrics onto a single screen—often using data visualizations like charts and graphs—so the user can see essential information about their business at a glance. The best dashboards are role-based, meaning the metrics and reports that are included are tailored to an individual user’s role within the organization and their corresponding information priorities.