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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Create OnePager Gantt Charts Directly from Project Online or Server!

We posted a video about this feature back in January, but wanted to make sure everyone clearly understands what this means: OnePager users no longer need Microsoft Project on their desktop in order to create OnePager visuals using their data on Project Server or Project Online!

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How Standardization Can Help Set The Brain’s Expectations

We recently discovered a smart psychiatrist named Jon Leiff, during our reading of “Good Charts” by Scott Berinato. (Good Charts is a treasure trove of information, if you’re interested in learning more about making better charts…a must read for any business professional).

Dr. Lieff inked a blog post back in April of 2015 titled “How Does Expectation Affect Perception.” In it, he digs into how our brains are programmed to take information in, and how that programming impacts our interpretation of that information (a gross oversimplification).

In presenting Gantt charts and other plan communications, setting expectations is very important in ensuring that our audience can absorb the information they require as quickly and easily as possible.

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How the OnePager Community is Defining Plan Communications

From the outset of anyone’s career in project management they will hear that good communications are critical to success…your own, in your role as a project manager, and to the initiative itself. This makes inherent sense, right? So why hasn’t there been any significant work to help us understand how to communicate better when it comes to the world of planning?

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The Research Behind Cognitive Psychology and Plan Communications

At OnePager, we’re doing research into how people best absorb visual information, and working to translate that into best practices for plan communications. Our hope is that our work on this subject and the knowledge we’re passing along will help our OnePager users make better Gantt charts, and be the best communicators they can be.

Visual Plan Communications for the Pharmaceutical Industry

If you lead a team of project managers or schedulers in the pharmaceutical industry, you know how critical effective plan communications can be. Delivering just the right amount of data to the right stakeholders at the right time is a winning recipe for hitting deadlines and building credibility for your PMO – especially when you’re responsible for the delivery of myriad projects across multiple clinical areas. Continue reading