Empowering Steering Committees with Real-Time Insights

by Suzany Araujo // Last updated on February 14, 2024  

Apwide Steering Committees Article

Have you ever wondered how real-time insights can enhance the decision-making processes of steering committees? Well, you're in for a treat because that's exactly what we'll explore in this article. We'll delve into the concept of steering committees, their significance, and how Release Dashboards can be a valuable tool in this context. So, let's embark on this journey together.

Why should steering committee and real-time insights be on your radar?

The answer is straightforward: Steering committees are the guiding force behind your organization's projects. They provide direction, allocate resources, and ensure alignment with your company's mission. Real-time insights simplify this process by turning data into actionable information.

What is a Steering Committee?

If you're in the world of IT, you've probably heard of steering committees or "steerco."

In essence, a steering committee is an advisory group comprised of experts, senior stakeholders, and authority figures who influence project direction, scope, and budget. They serve as the guardians of your organization's goals. Importantly, steering committees don't handle day-to-day project work; instead, they make significant decisions.

The Dream Team: Steering Committee Members

The strength of steering committees lies in their composition. You want diversity, expertise, and a touch of impartiality. Picture this: executives, external stakeholders, project managers, department heads – all under one roof. The committee should resemble a well-balanced recipe, with each member bringing a unique perspective. A chairperson, elected by the committee and not directly tied to the project, ensures impartial decision-making. It's all about having clear goals, open discussions, and diverse perspectives. 

The Role of a Steering Committee

Now, let's explore what steering committees actually do:

Advocates for Initiatives

Champion projects and initiatives across the organization

Sets Strategic Direction

The North Star for project strategies

Provides Budgeting Expertise

Valuable input on financial and HR allocation

Assesses Project Plans

Give the green light or raise concerns

Prioritizes Deliverables

Decide which tasks take precedence

Brainstorms Strategic Solutions

Help find solutions aligned with the strategy

Manages Risk

Identifying and mitigating project and business risks.

Defines Project Goals

Shape project goals and success criteria

Select the A-Team

Handpick project managers and experts

Resolves Conflict

Mediate in project disputes

Offers Expert Guidance

Give insights on project and business-related concerns

Controls Quality

Keep an eye on project quality

Best Decisions thanks to Real-Time Insights

How real-time insights can enhance the work of steering committees?

It's all about data, and data is crucial. Steering committees can add more value when they have access to the right data. Real-time insights offer a clear picture of project/release progress and potential issues. With this data, you can make informed decisions efficiently.

Let's illustrate this with a practical example. Imagine you're on a steering committee, reviewing your Release Roadmap. It's visually intuitive – you see the timeline with different phases, the current status of each task, as well as progress bars.

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With that information, you can make swift decisions. No more searching for data in multiple places; it's all right there. You can dig deeper to find the root causes of delays, adjust resources, and ensure projects stay on track. It's like having a reliable GPS for your projects, guiding you towards success.

To emphasize the practical benefits of Release Dashboards, we strongly recommend you read our latest article about SwissRe’s Success Story to discover how they managed to reduce their Release Management Team support time by 50%.

The Role of Release Dashboards

Release Dashboards are at the heart of harnessing real-time insights for steering committees. These dashboards are customizable and offer a real-time view of critical project metrics. Here are some key features and benefits of Release Dashboards:

Customization

Release Dashboards can be tailored to the specific needs of a steering committee. Each committee can choose which metrics and KPIs are most relevant to their projects

Real-Time Updates

This means that committee members are always working with the latest data, ensuring accuracy and relevance

User-Friendly Interface

Release Dashboards are designed with user-friendliness in mind. Committee members, even those without extensive technical knowledge, can easily navigate and understand the data presented

Alerts and Notifications

Release Dashboards can be configured to send alerts and notifications when specific thresholds or milestones are reached. This keeps committee members informed about critical developments

Collaboration Features

Many Release Dashboards offer collaboration features, allowing committee members to discuss data and decisions within the dashboard itself. This promotes efficient communication and decision-making

Data Integration

These dashboards can integrate data from various sources, providing a comprehensive view of project performance. This includes data from project management tools, financial systems, and more

Historical Data Comparison

In addition to real-time data, Release Dashboards often allow for historical data comparison. This enables committees to track trends and assess how projects have evolved over time

Accessibility

Release Dashboards can be shared online, giving committee members access to always updated information from anywhere and at any time

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How to incorporate Release Dashboards into Steering Committee Processes

Let's outline how steering committees can integrate them effectively.

  1. Initial Assessment
    Start by assessing the requirements. Identify the metrics and data points crucial to your projects and adapt the Release Dashboard accordingly.
  2. Data Integration
    Choose your data sources wisely. Whether from project management tools or customer feedback, ensure smooth (and if possible real-time!) integration into the Release Dashboard.
  3. Design & Usability
    Design matters. Collaborate with designers to craft an intuitive and appealing interface that aligns with your committee's proficiency.
  4. Training
    Organize training sessions to help your members master the dashboard's features and data interpretation.
  5. Stay Updated
    If it’s not updated in real time, regularly refresh your Release Dashboard's data, keeping members informed with notifications in their favorite collaboration tool (MS Teams, Slack, etc.)
  6. Dashboard as a Reference
    Make the dashboard central in meetings. Encourage its use for data presentation and discussions. Data should inspire action.
  7. Feedback & Evolution
    Feedback is gold. Set up channels for members to share their thoughts on the dashboard's effectiveness and areas of improvement.
  8. Security
    Bolster the Release Dashboard with a robust authentication mechanism.
  9. Scalability
    As your organization expands, ensure the dashboard scales to handle increased data complexity.

Final Thoughts:

Utilizing real-time insights from Release Dashboards is crucial for making well-informed decisions. These dashboards grant immediate access to vital project data, thereby enhancing transparency among steering committees. The advantages are evident: proactive resolution of issues, efficient allocation of resources, and a consistent alignment with project objectives.

For teams already making use of Atlassian Jira, integrating the Golive Jira App offers an additional benefit. It serves as a unified, real-time source of truth for your Environments and Deployments. With just a few simple steps, you can configure Release Dashboards to provide these real-time insights directly to your Steering Committees.

However, the true value lies in bridging any potential disconnect. By furnishing these instantaneous insights, strategic discussions become more synchronized with the realities on the ground. This empowers Steering Committees, ensuring that decisions are both timely and pertinent.

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