Self-proclaimed “Geekdoctor” John Halamka has written about an IT dashboard his team has created to help forecast some of the costs associated with operating a data center. I had a quick look at it. It’s a nice web application. I left John a comment to see if it is open source. I expect many IT types could benefit from learning about it.

What I would urge John to do is to go a bit further. Identify the critical success factors for his department as a future reality tree and then provide a color-coding of each entity that shows the degree to which that entity is satisfied.

For example, assume that there is an entity that says “Our department is highly effective in meeting our cost targets.” To what degree is that entity valid? If it’s clearly valid based on observable data then color it solid green. On the other hand, if the entity is in dispute, color it yellow while you go look for data. If it’s clearly false, color it red.

When I can make the time I will craft an example of this. It won’t be a web app though. While I have a lot of experience in software engineering I just don’t have the time to knock something like this out right now.  I might also look at the tools from Flying Logic Software.  I think their tool may already provide something along these lines.

What would you have if you actually did this? I claim you’d have a useful tool for focusing on the issues that are blocking you from achieving your top level objectives. Then share it as a web app so that the entire organization can see not only what you see as logically necessary to succeed but also how well you are doing.

So where are the CIOs that have the courage to do something like this?