Animated Gantt Charts

In last week’s post on project cost tracking, we happened to use an animated GIF of a OnePager Gantt chart to illustrate how project costs changed over time. Since then, several customers have reached out asking how to do the same thing.

These animated .gif files can be inserted into a SharePoint Image Web Part, PowerPoint documents, and other office documents, to be included in your reporting.

This week’s post will show you step-by-step instructions on how to animate your OnePager Gantt chart, like this:

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Exploratory vs. Explanatory Visuals in Planning

I love this topic because it elicits a higher level of thought around designing the data visualizations we need in planning, in a way that my simple mind can consume.

In her book “Storytelling with Data,” Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic points out very early on that there are really two kinds of data visualizations: exploratory and explanatory. Exploratory visuals are created to help us figure out what the important things are within the data…they have an analytical purpose. Explanatory visuals are meant only to show us the important things…there should be little to no intended analytical value. Continue reading

Size Matters

…Well, in plan communications and Gantt charts, it does.

Size, when used as an attribute to denote meaning in data visualization, will likely force our brain to look at the largest items first. In her book “Storytelling with Data,” Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic tells us that “Relative size denotes relative importance.”

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Gift Idea: Another Great Book for Project Managers

It probably won’t be a surprise to those who read last week’s blog post that I just finished Storytelling with Data – A data visualization guide for business professionals, by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. I’m excited to say that there were hundreds of pages of new information that related directly to data visualization in planning (plan communications).

Knaflic doesn’t call just upon her research, but her own experience, in helping us to become better communicators, most recently as a manager at Google.

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Storytelling With Your Gantt Chart In OnePager

The marketing industry has played a large role in figuring out how to best get information across to audiences. I realize we’re in the planning-world here…so bear with me, folks.

storytime-600x400“Storytelling” is something marketing experts have been talking about for years, as a better way to communicate brands, products, and what sets businesses apart. It’s now a recognized, tried and true approach, and one that has taken a firm foothold due to its effectiveness. Our customer experiences online are, in large part, shaped by “stories” that marketers have set up for us to more easily get to know what they’re selling, and eventually buy it.

Because of this success, storytelling is now quickly making its way into business vernacular, specifically with respect to data. With so much data being collected over the course of doing normal business, we need better ways to communicate that data (the stuff we’re “selling”), in such a way that it can be easily consumed (“buying it”). Continue reading

MPUG Webinar – Cognitive Psychology + Project Management

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san-francisco-174Our COO, Safford Black, who holds a BA in Psychology and Management from Rice University, is conducting a webinar this Wednesday, 11/17 for MPUG.  In it, he will discuss Cognitive Psychology and Plan Communications, and the importance of these two things in project management. You’re welcome to sign up here.

Safford’s recent article on this subject was already shared by MPUG earlier this month, and is well worth the read.

As always, we appreciate any comments, suggestions, or requests for topics!

“Simplicity is courageous” …is BRILLIANT

confusing-road-signWe’re going to continue gushing about Scott Berinato’s book “Good Charts” in this article (it probably won’t be the last time).

Berinato references Braess’s Paradox – “a principle of traffic management…which states that adding route options (new roads, new lanes) to congested roadways can decrease traffic performance.” Relating this to visuals, “the thing about having options is that it slows us down.” We love this analogy because being presented with data visualizations in business is very much the same. Someone hands you a chart, and you are immediately looking for only what you need.

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