Rhythm Blog | Dashboards

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

How to Use Dashboards for Flawless Execution

Patrick Thean Sun, Jun 4, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Every quarter has thirteen weeks. It goes by fast. Before you know it, the quarter is over. And then the year is over. You are left with the question, “Did we accomplish what we set out to achieve?”

Read this blog post about how to design and visualize your quarter like a 13-week race. You can also find this in chapter 7 of my book Rhythm.

Now that you have your 13-week race, how do you run it and achieve success? Unfortunately, nothing happens unless you do the work. To be successful, you need to do the work, inspect what you expect, and help yourself or your team makes the right adjustments to succeed.

KPIs: We Know WHAT to Measure…Now, HOW Do We Measure It?

Tiffany Chepul Thu, Apr 20, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Lately, I've been working with clients who are just getting started on their KPIs. They are deciding what to measure and who owns the results. They are also making sure they have a good mix of leading indicators and results indicators across all 4 categories (employees, customers, revenue, and processes). That's the easy part. The "how" to measure is where it gets tricky and where lots of teams get stuck. As they set out to figure out how they will measure these areas, there are a few principles that everyone has to agree to for consistency.

Cash Flow Runway Dashboard – How many months before you run out of cash?

Melissa Perna Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Have you ever wondered “Can we cover payroll this month” or “What if that big deal doesn’t come in? Will we be ok to make payroll?” How many months cash do you have in time of crisis or seasonally slow sales times? To put together a Cash Flow Runway is an easy way to predict these answers. We look at this weekly, it is a regular KPI in our weekly meetings and everyone on the Executive Team knows the answer to all the above questions. Here I will show you how to put together a Cash Flow Runway so that you will know the answers as well for all your planning needs.

Keeping Projects on Schedule Using Special KPIs

Jessica Wishart Sun, Jun 14, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

If you have ever downloaded any tools or other resources on our site, you know that we usually ask you about your Biggest Business Challenge in our forms. In response to your feedback, we are featuring a blog series on your biggest business challenges! This post is a response to the challenge “Keeping projects on schedule."

Working on projects, especially ones that are dependent on cross-functional teams to get done on time, can be a real challenge for many organizations. Many companies have a “project graveyard” or a list of things that were started and never completely got off the ground. Worse, some companies miss important delivery deadlines on products or services that end up costing the company significantly. Often, we have a great plan for our project at the beginning of the quarter, but when it gets down to the day-to-day execution, things can fall apart.

How to Create and Use a Stop Signs Dashboard to Avoid Train Wrecks

Patrick Thean Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Several years ago, I created the Stop Signs Dashboard to help one of my clients keep a pulse on the health of his company. For confidentiality, we will call him Jack CEO. Jack was running his business with very little capital, yet growing very fast. His investors were concerned with the level of spending since Jack did not have that much capital left. Would Jack be able to being in the new sales and revenues in time before the cash ran out? Or, will he end up slamming his company into the impending cash wall? In this situation, running a business is very much like playing Monopoly. You’ve got to make it past all these properties with houses and hotels without spending all your cash, pass “go” and collect $200 to stay in the game. If you run out of cash, game over!  

Forecasting & Prediction: Execute with Confidence

Jessica Wishart Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

If you have ever downloaded any tools or other resources on our site, you know that we usually ask you about your Biggest Business Challenge in our forms. In response to your feedback, we are featuring a series of blogs on your biggest business challenges! This post is a response to the challenge “Forecasting and prediction."

How many times have we been disappointed by an inaccurate weather forecast? The local news meteorologist smiles and says in a cheesy voice, “Get out your golf clubs and dust off the barbecue pit; Saturday will be sunny and 70 degrees. A perfect day…” Then, we wake up to thundershowers that bring in a cold front.

Spreadsheets vs. Dashboards: How You Know You’ve Outgrown Excel

Tiffany Chepul Sun, Mar 8, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Since the release of Patrick Thean's book Rhythm, it has been so exciting to speak with people who are implementing Rhythm in all types and sizes of organizations.  It truly works for any business - regardless of revenue size or number of employees!

Many smaller organizations using the Rhythm methodology are using Excel spreadsheets to track their progress.  And, for many that works.  But for those who are now experiencing rapid growth, there comes a time when old systems no longer work.  You hit a ceiling of complexity, and I'm reminded of Marshall Goldsmith's What Got You Here Won't Get You There.

Frustrated From Your Balanced Scorecard Implementation?

Ryan Walcott Thu, Oct 16, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

The Balanced Scorecard is a popular strategic management system proposed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton and documented in their books and articles on the subject.

We sometimes have clients who come to us who have implemented the Balanced Scorecard approach to management and are looking for ways to improve their ability to execute and achieve their strategic plans.

They have implemented scorecards for Customer, Financial, Learning & Growth, and Internal Business Processes, but are frustrated with their ability to bring consistent improvement to these areas.

5 Steps to Overcome Dashboard Hangover

Barry Pruitt Sun, Sep 7, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

I’ve seen hundreds of business dashboards in my career. Everywhere I look there are dashboards. Social media, businesses, my car, you name it – there are dashboards everywhere on everything. We track everything from global warming to Airline on-time-flight arrival, customer service to customer satisfaction, our children's height/weight against age, and more.

And when I’m online, even my social media has dashboards to shame me into getting new friends, and everywhere you click you see advertisements for dashboard and business intelligence (BI) software.

In the last decade there has been an explosion of data and now we sit front seat to the explosion of analytics. What a great innovation to improve our ability to drive business growth and efficiencies. However, like all good things, there is a tendency to believe that this is the silver bullet, the magic elixir, a cure for all ills in business. The advertisements promise data from all platforms and entries on one dashboard at your fingertips – easy! While it’s intoxicating to have high expectations of your new technology tools and terabytes of data diligently waiting on hard drives… wake up before you experience a hangover.

When is the Last Time You Audited Your KPI Dashboard?

Alan Gehringer Mon, May 5, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Have you performed a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) audit in the past quarter or two?  This is something I recommend to clients on a routine basis.  Quarterly planning is a good time to review your KPI’s and see if there are indicators that have outlived their usefulness because the project is complete, the process is under control or they relate to a quarterly or annual theme that is no longer relevant. 

As a rule, most dashboards consist of leading and lagging/results indicators.  While both types of indicators are necessary, leading indicators are much more powerful and give you the opportunity to make adjustments that will produce the results you desire.  Results indicators tell us if we hit our targets, but are historical in nature.   The goal is to balance results indicators with leading indicators.