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Visual Project Management

Critical Chain

Mark Woeppel - August 6, 2012

We’ve been playing with a new concept in project management.  This new approach blends lean concepts, visual management, and theory of constraints.  It’s a visual project management process, with a display of all the projects in the portfolio.  We’re calling it ViewPoint.

What’s interesting about this approach to project management is that it involves the project managers and senior decision makers.  It becomes a strategic tool for identifying bottlenecks and blocked project process.  It’s not the same-old thing that CCPM practitioners have been doing or even what PMI guys have been doing with the same thing in a different wrapper: to-do lists, some kind of messaging capability, shared document-editing, and a calendar of some sort.

It gives our customers the ability to easily manage a portfolio of projects, so everyone is truly on the same page – all the time.  And “easy to use” is the main point!  We’re learning that complex solutions doing matter that much.  Most of the benefits are pretty easy to get with simple tools.  This simplicity has really helped in adoption, too.  Simple language, simple technology leads to easy adoption.

Our ViewPoint customers say they rapidly start seeing benefits:

  • More projects completed – up to 40% faster
  • Improved due-date performance
  • Increased team collaboration
  • Fewer meetings that are shorter and more effective
  • Improved productivity increases up to FIVE TIMES (I was shocked at this number)
  • Better morale

Here’s a link to the video describing the ViewPoint product and Visual Portfolio Board.

Some people look at this and think, “We can put up a board with swim lanes, too!”  Of course they can.  But we’re finding the board is the “prop” – the enabler – of  good project management behaviors; collaboration and teamwork, controlling work in process, reducing multitasking, priority setting, and resource allocation.  The board doesn’t do all that, but it allows it to be done!  It becomes the dashboard of the project management process.

I’m very excited about this new development.  Excited about the results our customers are seeing and about the speed at which they’re seeing it.  Stay tuned.

visual project portfolio board

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