Nancy Childress is one such Van Gogh, and a 39-year veteran of the aviation industry.
When Nancy began using OnePager, her role required her to create high-level schedules for executive consumption, across four major programs.
Like most industries with heavy oversight, aircraft design and manufacturing requires a rigorous certification program that must be carefully managed and tracked, according to regulation.
"OnePager helps everyone see their work in the context of the project’s big picture."
- Nancy Childress, Aviation Industry Veteran
Visio, PowerPoint, and Excel Don't Make Reporting Easy
Nancy’s team had been managing their programs using Visio, Excel, and eventually PowerPoint. However, with fourteen subject matter experts at the table, absorbing change was difficult.
The sheer volume of data and detail is what led them to initially abandon Visio due to the persistent crashing it caused.
“Excel allowed us to add data and create swimlanes, but it was very time consuming.”
“When using PowerPoint, we’d create boxes to represent a draft plan, and then take it to a director for them to red line. Inevitably, modifications would be requested. But to see the impact of those modifications, it would take days due to the manual nature of the plan.”
Nancy even became accustomed to her executive team apologizing for requesting new activities or milestones into the plan, based on the workload that it would take to complete the update and analysis of impacts of those requested changes. Everyone was pretty familiar with how arduous is was.
A Better Way
There had to be a better way, so Nancy went looking for solutions that visualize data out of Microsoft Project, and came upon OnePager:
“Our team gained the ability to iterate after adopting OnePager,” Nancy says. They could put the chart on a screen in the room, ask “What if we did this?,” make the change in Project, update OnePager, and see the results in real-time. OnePager’s unique snapshot capability also allowed them to get more context of what had changed from one iteration to the next.
Nancy describes a “shift in audience understanding and data consumption” as the team acclimated to seeing Project and OnePager work together. In time, her colleagues began to use OnePager for their initiatives as well.
The efficiency of the programs was greatly improved by not having to spend days absorbing requests to make updates. Meanwhile, her team was able to communicate more effectively by not having to get what Nancy describes as “mired in the detail of the plan.”
“OnePager helps everyone see their work in the context of the project’s big picture. It also lets people know when work upstream in the plan is coming due, giving them more time to prepare.”
The Van Gogh
Nancy says that she’s always had an “artsy side,” and that her visual abilities really shined when using OnePager. She was recognized for both her natural artistic talent and her studied expertise with data visualization.
Nancy’s colleagues asked her to use her eye for design to critique their work as they were creating their own project visuals.
The experts at OnePager always recommend to teams that they find the Van Gogh amongst them, and allow that person to help create their OnePager templates, and Nancy’s colleagues did just that.
Developed and sold by Colorado-based Chronicle Graphics, OnePager is the timeline presentation software solution that empowers project managers to turn project files and spreadsheets into beautiful summary graphics in seconds. No matter the size of a project or the application used to create the original plan, OnePager turns real data into concise, instantly understandable visual project plans, suitable for PowerPoint presentations, emails, web pages, wall charts and more. Want to be a project management superhero? OnePager makes it possible. Click here to start your free 15-day trial today.15-Day