The Benefits of Visual Management in Projects

July 28, 2020

The  increasing time and cost pressures on complex large programmes and projects, whether they cover routine governance activities, discovery tasks as part of design thinking or process optimisations, means that accurate tracking of progress against contractually agreed milestones, product or scrum backlogs and deliverables becomes ever more challenging. While there are many new sophisticated software applications on the market, there is still a need for simple, visual progress information to provide timely updates to the Board and Steering Committees and most importantly, the programme, project or product development teams. They are part of the key stakeholder group that need to know about key milestones; the interdependencies between work streams; the deliverables; the associated risks and issues, often on an ad hoc basis.

Visual Management (as discussed in SCL’s recent Tech Law Essentials on Programme & Project Management) is one of those key controls and should be a fundamental element of any Tool Suite. Such tools can not only demonstrate progress in an intelligent, user-friendly, simple and comprehensible manner but also communicate across the work stream, project and scrum teams, helping them strive for an excellent outcome through consistency, rigour, judgement and creativity. With Visual Management, Programme/Project Managers, can track a real time status of each milestone or backlog item and its deliverable(s) in an unambiguous way by graphically linking individual work streams and key target dates. This almost “physical” execution of the programme and its constituent projects/sprints helps reveal the inter-linkages of end goals, to spot issues early and to apply corrective actions.

Below are three examples of visual management covering different types of project: design thinking, process optimisation and programme and project management.

1: Visual Management in Design Thinking Projects

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