Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Project graphics

In my previous post on this question, I suggested that the quest for an all encompassing project graphic representation was probably misplaced. Projects, at least large ones, but even smaller ones, are too complex and have too many information flows to lend themselves to comprehensive graphic summaries.

But, that said, a useful summary of progress vs plan at the 'whole project level' (that is, not at the more detailed level of WBS responsibility, resourcing and completion progress) could be as follows.

An actual vs. planned, per month, usually, of:

  • expenditure
  • earned value
  • commitments (that is $ committed via contract, or work package commencement)
looking ahead, commitments vs planned is the best indicator of expected production. EV, of course, is the best rear vision indicator.

and tracking of numbers of
  • unresolved issues
  • activities commenced vs.plan
  • activities delayed
  • activities completed vs. plan
Getting closer to the action, the project manager needs a 'look ahead' schedule at the work package level, or whatever is meaningful in the project, showing work planned, preparation (lead times for materials and resources), and execution, including resources. This descends to daily calendars for actions to be taken: particularly for lead times on work package preparation.

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