Tracking Date Line

FIGURE 13-6. Cost and performance tracking schedule.

plotting the total program costs against the same time axis (as shown in Figure 13-6), a comparison between cost and performance can be made. From the upper section of Figure 13-6 it is impossible to tell the current program cost position. From the lower section, however, it becomes evident that the program is heading for a cost overrun, possibly due to project 1. It is generally acceptable to have the same shading technique represent different situations, provided that clear separation between the shaded regions appears, as in Figure 13-6.

Another common means for comparing activities or projects is through the use of step arrangement bar charts. Figure 13-7 shows a step arrangement bar chart for a cost percentage breakdown of the five projects included within a program. Figure 13-7 can also be used for tracking, by shading certain portions of the steps that identify each project. This is not normally done, however, since this type of step arrangement tends to indicate that each step must be completed before the next step can begin.

Bar charts need not be represented horizontally. Figure 13-8 indicates the comparison between the 2000 and 2002 costs for the total program and raw materials. Three-dimensional vertical bar charts are often beautiful to behold. Figure 13-9 shows a typical three-dimensional bar chart for direct and indirect labor and material cost breakdowns.

Bar charts can be made colorful and appealing by combining them with other graphic techniques. Figure 13-10 shows a quantitative-pictorial bar chart for the distribution of total program costs. Figure 13-11 shows the same cost distribution as in Figure 13-10, but represented with the commonly used pie technique. Figure 13-12 illustrates how two quantitative bar charts can be used side by side to create a quick comparison. The right-hand side shows the labor hour percentages. Figure 13-12 works best if the scale of each axis is the same; otherwise the comparisons may appear distorted when, in fact, they are not.

The figures shown in this section do not, by any means, represent the only methods of presenting data in bar chart format. Several other methods are shown in the sections that follow.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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