Visualizing progress

Having collected data about project progress, a manager needs some way of presenting that data to greatest effect. In this section, we look at some methods of presenting a picture of the project and its future. Some of these methods (such as Gantt charts) provide a static picture, a single snap-shot, whereas others (such as time-line charts) try to show how the project has progressed and changed through time.

The Gantt chart

One of the simplest and oldest techniques for tracking project progress is the Gantt chart. This is essentially an activity bar chart indicating scheduled activity dates

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Henry Gann (1861-1919) was an industrial engineer interested in the efficient organization of work.

and durations frequently augmented with activity floats. Reported progress is recorded on the chart (normally by shading activity bars) and a 'today cursor' provides an immediate visual indication of which activities are ahead or behind schedule. Figure 9.5 shows part of Amanda's (iantt chart as at the end of Tuesday of week 17. Code & test module D has been completed ahead of schedule and code & test module A appears also to be ahead of schedule. The coding and testing of the other two modules are behind schedule.

Planned tme (week numbers'

Planned tme (week numbers'

Figure 9.5 Part of Amanda \s Gantt chart with the 'today cursor* in week 17. The slip chart

A slip chart (Figure 9.6) is a very similar alternative favoured by some project managers who believe it provides a more striking visual indication of those activities that are not progressing to schedule - the more the slip line bends, the greater the variation from the plan. Additional slip lines arc added at intervals and, as they build up, the project manager will gain an idea as to whether the project is improving (subsequent slip lines bend less) or not. A very jagged slip line indicates a need for rescheduling.

Gavin

Code 4 test module A

Purdy

Code 4 test moduie B

Justin

Code 4 test module C

Spencer

Code 4 test module D

Amanda

Specify overall system

Check specifications Check module C spec

Review meetings

Figure 9.5 Part of Amanda \s Gantt chart with the 'today cursor* in week 17. The slip chart

A slip chart (Figure 9.6) is a very similar alternative favoured by some project managers who believe it provides a more striking visual indication of those activities that are not progressing to schedule - the more the slip line bends, the greater the variation from the plan. Additional slip lines arc added at intervals and, as they build up, the project manager will gain an idea as to whether the project is improving (subsequent slip lines bend less) or not. A very jagged slip line indicates a need for rescheduling.

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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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