Project management isn’t a new concept. As long as there have been tasks to handle and groups of people to organise for those tasks, projects have been managed. In the past and with less advanced technology, drawings, charts, and maps have still always helped us organise information and communicate it in a mutually useful way. However in 2021, we are constantly using tools to more effectively visualise our working lives. We colour code calendars, visualise performance in graphs, and use digital whiteboards to brainstorm together.
As technology is constantly evolving, we’re looking for new ways to automate that visual experience, to visualise data more profoundly, and to draw better insights from our data thanks to the visual landscape we’ve built.
Greater data visualisation is an all-around win for companies but Project Managers may benefit most. Here’s why:
Three Benefits of Visual Project Management Tools
1. Clarity in Numbers
Project Management is partially a numbers game. The object is to move projects forward as needed by assigning them proportionately and estimating their completion with relative and regular success. There are set quantitative metrics to watch, such as the amount of hours accrued by each worker, days until a project is due, or issues pending for a particular client or department. Your company also has unique numbers that you’re paying attention to and hoping to track as efficiently as possible. It may get more complicated for Project Managers who also handle payroll, reporting, or other more complex data.
Time could be spent loading spreadsheets, mining them for information, and glazing over obvious patterns or red flags. With dashboard-friendly, at-a-glance data visualisation, you can skip that entire headache. With progress bars that visualise any quantity and benchmarks you set yourself, it’s easy to unpack the numbers.
2. An Effective Multiview
A pilot in the cockpit of an airplane needs a visually effective motherboard of information to take action on. In the same way, Project Managers require a clear picture of everything happening at once in order to make swift, smooth decisions mid-flight. While there are many tools on the market that enable assignment and tracking for tasks, few offer a robust visual summary of everything going on.
By the way: Visual add-ons for Jira make your project multiview more effective. I will be covering this further in my next blog post.
3. Smarter Data Usage
Visuals not only organise information, but enhance and optimise our experience with that information. When project information is visible and accessible at a glance, it’s easier and faster to see how one item might affect another, make split decisions, or make important changes to get more accomplished.
Your weekly trek through 100 projects is not only more compelling when they are visually arranged, but that deep well of information is easy to understand and take action on. A visually empowered Project Manager is able to make quicker and more agile decisions, find patterns more easily, measure one quantity against another, and know more, quickly.
Visualisation isn’t a Project Management trend
Visual project management isn’t a trend or even a negotiable option; it is the definitive best way forward for Project Managers to be supported, stay informed, and remain agile. To stay at the forefront of the Project Management evolution and lead your organisation to more effective productivity, consider a more visual approach. Look for ways to power up the visualisers in your existing project management tool or consider Jira, with power-ups made to help you customise your experience.
Thanks for reading! Do leave comments, and connect with me on Linkedin if you would like to have a chat about anything related to project management in Jira.
For more tips on project management subscribe to my LinkedIn Newsletter.
I’m building a newsletter to provide Project Managers and Jira leaders with new strategies and tactics to make Atlassian project management more effective and efficient. Join me as I share lessons from my experience working as a developer, project manager and now product manager of Jira tools.