A few weeks back, Peter Coffee over at eWeek was lamenting the lack of attention to dashboards in the various enterprise application monitoring solutions out there. Truth be told, there are a number of vendors out there trying to deliver just that - dashboards into broadly deployed systems.
Which just got me thinking about the importance of dashboards to the enterprise. Here I am, leading a team of Project Managers and Business Analysts, and the loudest request I have from my management team is to provide some kind of real-time dashboard for every single project running through IT. Yes, its easy enough to throw up some kind of (static) website on the intranet that lamely provides a snapshot of projects, but needs to be constantly updated. The problem with this approach is that the system needs to be integrated with my team, and standardized across the company.
My vision is to implement SharePoint (in progress), use existing web parts (for MS Project Server) and custom web parts (to link Mercury's TestDirector) to present real-time links to critical project data, and create some simple workflow capability to help automate how projects are tracked and presented. Further down the road, I'd like to simplify the LiveMeeting event creation process and integrate that into both our intranet (which we're rebuilding in SharePoint) and into the Project Management Office (PMO) front page, which will become the primary front door for my organization.
As part of this effort, I am also researching best practices from within other organizations. If anyone out there has extended SharePoint in a similar fashion, I'd love to hear about it.