Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dashboards for Project Management

by Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D. & Wallace Tait

Sitting in any vehicle; what’s the center of visual control? It’s the instrument panel, better known as the “dashboard”. Every vehicle has one, we require them and they give us an accurate measurement of performance and capability. Consider the vehicle analogy while using information mapping software. It makes perfect sense for the information manager to use a dashboard to measure key process variables (KPV”s) within business.

Have you considered a dashboard approach as a “single point of access” to all of your KPV”s while using the tools, methods and mindset of visual mapping? Another pertinent question may be asked of the developers of visual mapping software. Why is a dashboard approach unavailable in most of the applications that utilize a mind mapping approaches to information management?

A visual map can, when used effectively, be an ideal tool for graphically communicating ideas and gaining team buy in right at the genesis of a project; and as a dashboard, an excellent way to graphically track the progress of any project. While a visual map is extremely effective as a communication tool, it’s much more effective and powerful when used as, or synchronized with a dashboard.

ConceptDraw Office is a product suite that, in our opinion, has a very unique and powerful dashboard function that enables tracking and reporting of critical KPV’s within a business management project. Analysing CD Office through the eyes of a busy project manager; the power of the dashboard function is evident. For those of you who may not be familiar with ConceptDraw Office; it consists of three distinct applications:

All of this is supported by the CS ODESSA InGyre technology; the tool that seamlessly synchronises the information exchanges between the three products within CD Office. In any business there are many shift points where data is transformed to meet particular audience requirements. InGyre Technology Adds Value at any Stage of a Business Process. InGyre Technology supports delivery of information in an optimal visual manner for specific audiences.

CD Office provides a turnkey approach to creating, managing and exchanging information and knowledge, while easily generating reports and utilizing the graphical power of the product. Using the “Generate Reports” function, the project manager can generate an impressive report of KPV’s within seconds.



The process from mind mapping your project in CD MindMap and sending it to CD Project is processed with ease while using CD MindMap. Making it easy to communicate ideas and brainstorm project paths before moving into project management is what CD Office does well. You can determine which branches of your mind map are moved over to CD Project which gives you lots of control. Once you have synchronised the mapped information with CD Project you are in the full featured project management function and ready to go.

CD Project has several different views which are useful in planning your project. Most users of project management software will spend most of their time in the Gantt Chart as they set up the dependencies, schedule, and track the tasks. You can also view the Resource Sheet, Network Diagram, as well as Resource Usage from within CD Project.

The absolute power of ConceptDraw Office is the generation of the business system reports. Simply chose the “Generate Reports” function, and you can create highly visual reports to keep you and your team up to date with project status, capabilities and performance measures. Communicating project information in a clear and succinct manner ready enables the elimination of ambiguity for stakeholders and shareholders alike. So we encourage you to take a closer look at ConceptDraw Office, use the dashboard approach and manage your projects, while keeping them on time and within budget.


 
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