Build a ResultsManager Dashboard Template

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The blog entry on Creating a ResultsManager Dashboard Template lists the seven key steps needed to build a ResultsManager Dashboard. The content is reproduced below so that it can be improved upon:

Create a new Map

You can customize the central topic text with Dashboard Report Keywords such as the name of the map central used (%toptext%), the date the map was generated (%date%), etc ,if desired.

Set the File Properties

Click on "File", "Properties" and set the Keyword to "Dashboard" and set the "Subject" to the text you want as the dashboard template menu title(e.g. "Relationship Central Dashboard"). If you don't fill in these two fields, ResultsManager will not recognize the map as a dashboard template and tell you it is invalid.

Build your filter(s)

The Dashboard filter capabilities of ResultsManager are covered in Appendix E of the manual. The filter is just a normal branch of subtopics in a map, but with icons, topic text, and notes that follow a syntax that ResultsManager uses to generate dashboards.

The filters have magnifying glass icons that identify them as filters. The topic text defines the filter used (e.g. area, priority, context, activityowner, etc). The Notes contain the parameters used by the filter if any (e.g. "1" for a Priority 1 filter). The "#" symbol determines whether a particular filter visibly enumerates all the types it passes (e.g. all the areas) or just acts to filter and sort items without showing them. Filters in series act as "And" statements. Filters in parallel act like "Or" statements. By default, the dashboard will show "Topic Information" and parent project "Call-outs". If you don't want that information displayed, you need to turn them off by choosing "View", "Show/Hide".

If your dashboard has multiple branches, try to combine common filters "upstream" as this saves time and memory. For a given branch, try to sequence the filters so that as many potential entries are excluded as in early filters.

If you want a branch heading to "disappear" if it doesn't have any entries, add a space in front of the topic text.

Save your dashboard template

Once you have completed your template, save it in your "My Dashboards" directory or in another directory of your choice. Sometimes it is better to keep your templates separate from the ResultsManager "My Dashboards" folder just to be able to quickly find your own templates later.

Choose Tools, Install ResultsManager Template

If you have correctly added the "Dashboard" to the File Properties keywords, and added a subject, your dashboard will now be added to the dashboard template menu.

Save and close your dashboard template

You can not test the template until you have closed it.

Open a simple project map and test the template

Choose "File", "Generate ResultsManager Dashboard" to generate your new dashboard. It is best to test new templates on a single map that contains examples of what you are trying to extract. If you make mistake in building a template, and run it from your map central on a large number of projects, you can end up with a huge dashboard and have difficulty figuring out what went wrong.