1000 Words: Illustrating Project Challenges with Visuals


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Project teams typically track a lot of data related to throughput, quality, scope, cost, etc. You probably already use some of this data for project dashboards and information radiators like burn-ups, burn-downs, defect distribution charts, etc. When specific challenges come up however, more creative use of the data may be called for. Simple, hand-crafted visuals can often help you effectively tell your stakeholders the story of what's going on, possible causes, and potential next steps. We introduce some simple visual thinking techniques like Look-See-Imagine-Show and the <6><6> Rule, and then let you apply them in a project simulation, so that you can practice hand-rolling simple visuals that speak volumes (no fancy tools needed!). Note: These slides accompany a hands-on workshop in which participants work through the exercises in here in groups.

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1000 Words: Illustrating Project Challenges with Visuals

  1. 1. 1000 Words:Illustrating Project Challenges with Visuals Tarang Baxi Chirag Doshi @gnarat @chiragsdoshi
  2. 2. Inspiration
  3. 3. Quick PollWhat type of Pen are you?
  4. 4. The Visual Thinking Process
  5. 5. Let’s get our feet wet!
  6. 6. Story # Estimated Size (points) Cycle Time (days)US003 1 1US006 1 6.5US010 1 2US015 1 2.5US016 1 1.5US020 1 3US004 2 2.5US005 2 3US009 2 1.5US012 2 3US014 2 3US017 2 2US002 3 3.5US008 3 8US013 3 3US018 3 5.5US001 5 12US007 5 15US011 5 9US019 5 6
  7. 7. Size v/s Avg Cycle Time
  8. 8. Size v/s Cycle Time
  9. 9. Lets practice some drawing
  10. 10. The 6 Ways to SeeThe 6 Ways to Show
  11. 11. Now we really get our hands dirty!
  12. 12. The Project•  Building a new product for an early-stage startup in the medical sciences field•  Product expected to be redefine the patient health record space with its visually rich UX•  Will be launched 8 months after project start at the industry’s biggest trade show
  13. 13. Trade-off Sliders Most  Negotiable Least  Negotiable Extensibility 5UX  Richness 2Time 1Cost 3Scope  –  Internal  users 6Scope  –  External  users 4
  14. 14. The Situation•  3 months since project start – things not going well•  Scope is growing rapidly o  Most of the scope allowance built into the plan is already used up•  Release date likely to slip by 6-8 weeks
  15. 15. Your Task•  Create a set of compelling visuals that you can take to a critical discussion with client stakeholders•  Highlight: o  Reasons for the risk to the release date o  Available trade-offs to bring the project back on track
  16. 16. Exercise 1Iteration Scope Added (points) It-1 0 It-2 1 It-3 3 It-4 4 It-5 6 It-6 3 It-7 8
  17. 17. Scope Growth Trend
  18. 18. Additional inputs from the team•  A couple of high value features are undergoing most scope churn as the CEO and CMO see working versions of those features•  On several features, the effort needed to implement a rich UI is turning out to be much higher than expected.•  Also some new features are being added to release backlog on a weekly basis, as thinking about the product evolves
  19. 19. Some sample visuals