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In this Atlassian Confluence tutorial, you’ll learn how to build a project status dashboard in 3 easy steps
Atlassian’s Confluence product is an amazingly powerful and flexible collaboration tool that enables distributed teams to build better software products. Confluence is a single collaboration tool where teams can organize, create documents and discuss project work in one single place. Using Confluence, project teams can develop product documentation, track meeting minutes, draw process flow diagrams, mind maps and even create technical architecture documents. In this article, I’ll show you how to build a project portfolio dashboard to manage your projects or programs in a portfolio.
Below is a sample snapshot of a small program with 3 projects. With one glance, I can assess each project’s heath in terms of status, schedule, budget, issues and risks using Confluence’s graphical indicators.
If I click on the project title, I can also drill down to the specific status report for further analysis. The benefit of this solution is program managers can roll up individual status reports into summary level report. If the underlying status report changes, the dashboard is automatically updated. To create a project portfolio dashboard, follow these steps:
The table can mimic the fields on your company’s current status report template. Confluence is flexible so feel free to modify the format as necessary. Status can be entered just by typing text or content in the cells. If you want to tag someone simply use the @ sign short cut and tag them. If you want to specify a date, use the // shortcut key.
Below is the sample status report.
Format the macro with the desired text and colors.
Below the status report, you’ll insert a Page Properties macro. It is ok if it appear below the status report since you’ll be cutting and pasting the table into the container in the next step.
Adding a label is easy. Assuming you’re in edit mode, just click on the tag icon after the page title.
If you’re not in edit mode, you can always press “L” and the same label dialogue will appear.
Congratulations you’ve created your first status report template. If you think you’ll be rolling out this template throughout the organization, you’ll want create a global page template in Confluence so others can benefit from your hard work.
It quickly becomes a copy and paste exercise!
With the individual project status report pages created, you want to create a portfolio page that will display the summary view of individual status reports. I prefer to keep all status reports in a single page hierarchy, but you could distribute this template across Confluence pages and Confluence spaces and still develop a portfolio view across multiple pages.
The Page Properties macro displays a table of pages that contain the Page Properties macro and a specific label. The table will link to each individual page and display specific columns from the status report.
Now the report needs to be tailored to only include specific columns on the portfolio status page.
If you have a lot of reports, you can limit the number of items to display by providing a numeric value. I also like to sort by Launch Date. Click the Preview icon to refresh the report summary.
With a few clicks, you’ve generated a complete portfolio dashboard with the key traffic light indicators. Remember any row in the status report can be pulled into the summary view by simply typing the field name in the Page Properties report.
It may not seem like much but getting real-time visibility into a portfolio instead of consolidating PowerPoint driven status reports or having to resend a new status report with a last minute change is a time saver. Imagine the time saved if you were running a PMO and had to review 60 projects each week?
In my next Confluence tutorial, I’ll show you how to track a list of action items for painless meeting minutes!
I read through all the comments and added this section to address the majority of the questions on the technique.
In this example, I had each workstream make an update to their underlying page.
If you create new pages each week for historical reporting, you will need to remove the label from the older status reports or change the setting so it only looks at pages in the hierarchy and move the older staus reports to an Archive page that sits at a parallel level.
Using the status macro, I chose to represent the typical "traffic light" Red, Yellow or Green color to represent Off Track, At Risk or On Track. Blue can be used to indicate a completed workstream, project or major milestone.
After the response to these tutorials, I published my eBook on How to Manage Projects and Programs with Atlassian Confluence.
The ebook goes into greater detail and provides step by step instructions to:
Feel free to check it out at https://www.tacticalprojectmanagement.com/shop/manage-projects-with-atlassian-confluence/