Generally speaking site offices have a bland decor but in every site office around the country you can put your money on a gantt chart being stuck to the wall.
Programmes are a plan, they are a tool to assist in the operational delivery of a project. If they aren’t briefed and understood then you really cant expect them to be followed. Programmes are updated regularly but how often have you attended a programme briefing? These don’t happen often enough, instead we seem to expect people to read the gantt chart.
Not everyone can read a programme. Some may not want to admit it but its a problem that can be easily solved. Its just a matter of presenting the information in a different manner. Programme information doesn’t have to be in gantt chart form. One good way to show a soft term plan is with a marked up general arrangement. This can have the areas worked highlighted and text mark up to show where each activity is going to be undertaken and when.
Another form that most software will print out is a calendar view just like your outlook calendar but with the activities. If you filtered per gang and and gave them this calendar view do you think they would find it easier to follow than a gantt chart?
Its all worth thinking about. I’ve even added screenshots with area highlights on a programme to show the areas the programme is describing. This was because access was so fragmented areas were broken into very small sections and needed to be described better. What better way than to show a small image on the plan.
Dashboards are another thing you will find plastered around the project. These gather multiple sources of information and turn it into easy to view graphs and graphics for quick and easy understanding of the information. These can be tracking any and everything.
They are a great tool when used properly but for this to happen the information needs to be un-tampered (i.e. not manipulated to hit your targets) but also then need to be relevant. Irrelevant information will only take focus away from the important key performance indicators.
Just in the same way with the programme update, these dashboards will be updated and plastered on the wall for people to read at their convenience. Now that’s fine if the information is being utilised by someone and its great to share the information. Something I’m a firm believer of.
Dashboards and programmes need to be understood to be useful. Quite often the same information in a different format will improve understanding. They ideally need to be briefed so people are aware of the information they are detailing. They are no good as fancy wallpaper that gets pinned to the wall once printed and nobody knows they’ve been updated.
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