Friday, 15 November 2013

Picture on the box

I have recently been party to issues around problems where a word has meant one thing to one person and another thing to another person. Both then plow on doing what they each believe the 'word' was an instruction only to discover at a later stage they were working to slightly different scopes of work. Resulting in a bit of a gap in what was expected. Which has started me thinking, is there a better way?

A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes.

You think - yep I agree with that - and move on. However, can you actually communicate serious concepts across a range if individuals simple using pictures? What a great idea, no more reports, more importantly no more reports to format - what font size was that again!

Taking a project as an example, what would you need to do?

1 you would certainly need an organisation chart - that's OK that's a picture - tick.
2 you would need a project plan - high level, summary can be produced in a bullet milestone format for management, the workers can make do with a Gantt chart - they are pictures- tick.
3 you then need to convey what you actually want doing on the project - tough one this one - but then again how many meeting have you been to where when the going gets tough someone gets up and draws a picture? you could capture these somehow and 'Scoop' them - OK you would need a bit of commentary - but essentially a storybook format could be produced - picture based - tick.
4 you would also need to have a way of identifying all the various touch-points on the project - all those interfaces with the project that need managing - probably best done through a diagram anyway - tick.
5 you also need to manage risks - OK may need a spreadsheet at the back - but a heat-map type diagram is the norm - picture - tick.
6 how will the project management office function - process diagrams - pictures - tick.

you get the idea - for us dyslexics this is Nirvana - plus I believe it would go a long way to accelerating communication across a project team.

Prince 3 anyone?