A brand-new install of EAM comes with a Start Center, also called a dashboard, that looks like this:
We have seen many clients introduce new users to a blank Start Center expecting them to select any existing Inbox Items, Charts or KPIs to add to their screen. This is an absolute don’t do when introducing users to EAM.
One day I witnessed a really good EAM system administrator, who cared about his end users, logging on as the new users and selecting the items for their Start Center that was appropriate for their job function. This administrator had hundreds of users but was determined that they have a pleasant experience with their introduction to EAM.
From that experience we developed a Flex Business Rule and a Data Collection Prompt that enabled system administrators to copy Start Center Items from one to many users.
It is now a standard for DigitalThinker consultants to install this Flex in all customers EAM environments to help gain user buy in.
Here is a sample of our Infor EAM Demo environment:
Inbox items most commonly provide a count of records in a certain status, type or other condition. These Inbox items can have color coded ranges for good, okay or bad indicators thus prompting users when a favorable or unfavorable condition exists. What makes Inbox Items really cool is they can be configured to hyperlink to a screen or report that provides details about what records are contributing to the Inbox score.
User can simply double click on the Inbox item and they are carried to the detail information without having to apply filters to see the results.
Although there are three folders available for Inbox Items, Operations, Management and Maintenance, best practice is to use only one. Too many Inbox Items and KPIs can slow the loading of the Start Center screen.
The Inbox Items shown below are our standard set of items for new customers.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are like Inbox Items, but can be more complex, and they can have a variety of fancy icons to display results. KPIs also have the capability to store the history of the results so that administrators can monitor trends.
KPIs can also have children. If you’re measuring work by department the parent KPI could hold Normalized Values (Weighted Average), Actual Values (Weighted Average) or Actual Values (Summed) for all departments, then users can click to see the child KPI scores.
Charts are bright shiny objects you give to Managers to keep them occupied. Just kidding. Not really. Charts can show progress or decline on a monthly basis over two years. This can be valuable to see trends over time.
Although not part of the Start Center, there are tabs at the bottom of the Start Center that are present on any other screen the user navigates to. These Tabs are put there as the result of users while on any screen right mouse clicking a selecting Add Screen Cache.
I argued with my systems analyst about what these items are called and she promptly corrected me by saying users understand the word tab better that any other word by the nature of what they do.
Not only are they a shortcut to get to a particular screen in a hurry, but they behave like tabs by holding your place or remembering what you were doing when you return to the screen from navigating anywhere else.