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Visual project management 2.0: A decision-making tool

The pace of decision-making in business has accelerated. Decision-makers, managers, executive need an uncluttered and clear overview of available information to analyze it at-a-glance and make the right decision immediately. Visual Management encompasses several concepts that use visualization as a means of simplifying the communication of information and its context. With visual management, decision-making becomes easier and operations more fluid.

Visual management in a nutshell

Generally speaking, visual management is about access to relevant information without having to search for it, think about it or rework the underlying data. This requires being able to understand information at-a-glance.

When applied to software, visual management paradigms are generally applied to the selection and organization of information on a computer screen in a way that removes clutter and other cognitive barriers to analysis. While most UX designer and software vendors claim to address this fundamental requirement, a new form of visual management is emerging that is based on two additional principles:

  • Access to detailed information that can be understood quickly and at-a-glance;
  • Ability for users to generate views of the data according to the indicators and parameters of their choosing.

Visual project management 2.0: Benefits

Visual management requires addressing the implicit tension between two opposite concepts i.e. summary vs. detail. Generally, in software applications, this is made possible by using tools and features that enable “drill-downs” - an IT paradigm that involves going from the general to the specific, when searching for information in a multi-dimensional database - to delve into layers of detail in order to make sense of the available data. With the ability to drill-down, users gain access to both an overview-level understanding, as well as in-depth views of the information.

The application of the second principle gives the user more freedom to analyze data. Traditionally, dual visualization - summary vs. detail - required tools that implement some form of setting and tuning to get to the right level of synthesis and, at the same time, the right amount of details. This requires that end users strictly follow frameworks that are baked into software by IT and business analysts. Indeed, the majority of information analysis tools first analyze the data before providing users with a summary. Should users wish to change the analysis indicators and parameters, they mostly must go through an analyst and several cycles of requirements gathering and implementation. 

By providing raw data to end users, coupled with smart, contextual and intuitive filters, visual management 2.0 tools introduce an unprecedented level of freedom to analyze data as they please. This is the true innovation of visual management 2.0.

Visual management and One2Team

The approach taken to visual management by One2Team gives users the ability to manipulate ALL of the data so that they can create their own presentation and generate their own summaries instead of the software mandating how to present data. 

For this approach to work, One2Team is conceived as a tool that does not require users to have any specific IT knowledge. The intuitive nature of the tool is expressed through colors, masses and flows, which are commonly understood cognitive "code" and easy to assimilate. Users familiarize themselves with the dynamic presentation of data in very little time and with virtually no training. 

By changing the way in which the data is presented, users are able to understand how data flows through the system as they see the information shape into a new structure. DataViz and Slideboard are two practical examples of visual management applied to project management.

Visual management for everyone

In practical terms, thanks to new developments brought about by the emergence of big data platforms and tools and by new ways to think about information analysis, this approach adapts well to many different levels of analysis

One2Team provides retail operations managers, executives and staff involved in strategic aspects of the business with a reliable and exhaustive overview of information that is updated directly in real time by field and operations teams. For example: 

  • A map showing the progress status of deployment projects on geographically distributed job sites;
  • Budget KPI indicators for outstanding, paid and overdue invoices, forecasted and actual income and accurate estimates of funds to set aside;
  • The rate of completion of deliverables and the pace of operations;
  • Performance indicators for vendors and service providers (e.g. number of sites allocated, compliance with deadlines, status of deliverables and more);

For a technical director responsible to coordinate their deployment projects for a new concept in the stores network, One2Team provides easy access to, for example:

  • Progress status of projects, allowing project managers to take proactive action based on current data;
  • The project portfolio as a whole in terms of priorities, budgets, time and resources;
  • A simplified view of projects led by each project manager with Slideboard, making it possible to check that workload has been effectively distributed;
  • An overview of projects in the pipeline and their estimated impact.

On a more operational level, an operations or job site manager can use Slideboard to get, for example: 

  • Information on which vendors are currently working on which site or store; 
  • Detailed punch lists and progress status of tasks to be performed on site;
  • Materials, supplies and resources that need to be available and when they need to be.

Visual project management can be used by all stakeholders, decision-makers and operators involved in a project. Everyone has access to the same information in real time. The intuitive interfaces of One2Team display the indicators and metrics that are most relevant and with the level of details that is most appropriate in each context. Management cockpits for decision-makers and lists for the rest of on-site teams are now a thing of the past. Schedule a demo of One2Team and experience the benefits for yourself.

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