The current techniques in teaching or representing project management have limited visual representation. This project aims to study effective ways of visualization of information and data especially in management of large projects. While this project uses many ideas and theories from all class sessions, it mainly incorporates the topic of information and data visualization from week 4.
Artifacts – PM in Visual Format:
1) Sketches modeling challenges in project management (see attachment).
The development of this project will begin with the modeling of the challenges in project management. Our final artifact will take the form of few models and few sketches. It will explore the comparison of workforce management vs. project management. In addition to this some geometrical shapes will also be used to represent the critical aspects, for instance; project's success, project manager's competencies etc.
The first image illustrates that a project is basically a team work. It is impossible to deliver a successfull project without a good and defined co-ordination of the group of people working on the project.
The second image illustrates the measuring parameters of the a project's success. The sides of triangle reprensent cost, performance and schedule. It is very easy to deliver a successfull project by keep these factors in control.
The third image represents all the phases involved in a project and their interrelationship from initiating to closing.
The final image illustrates the project manager's competencies like leadership, bussiness and technical.
2): A well-designed graphics made from a set of complex data in project management (the graphics is not yet produced)
Well designed data graphics are the simplest and most powerful method for communicating and analyzing statistical information. But how can we effectively communicate information through the simultaneous presentation of words, numbers and pictures? What makes a good design? Why some graphics are better than others? How can we improve data graphics design? Those are a few questions this project tries to explore.
The project also tries to investigate some bias and stereotypes in the field of project management:
1) Graphics are for unsophisticated reader. Many believe graphical displays are used to divert and entertain readers who find the words in the text too difficult. Graphics are intended more to lure readers’ attention away from the advertising, etc. Many argue that a clearly outlined report in text format is the best way to present ideas, as a well-written text avoids ambiguity. Project managers should thus spend more time solving real problems rather than learning complex graphical design though software tools such as Adobe Illustrator or Primavera Project Planner.
2) How to best present large amount of data solely depend on who your audience is. Some people relate well with text, others relates well with graphics. If your client is a lay person, a table, simple chart and detailed description would be more valuable to convey your message. If your client is a project management specialist, a fancy Gantt chart may sound more professional.
3) If you have to explain graphics, don’t use it. As written text is more creditable and professional, visual images are only used to help illustrate information but not to replace written text. A graphics usually has to be followed by detailed description of what message the graphics tries to convey in plain text. For example, when read Google Chrome Comics, many readers mainly read the comment in text format. It is hard to understand any ideas by just looking at the graphic. Therefore, many people are not keen at producing complex graphics.