A Picture Is Worth a Million Meetings

By MaryGrace Allenchey, PMP

Project and Program Managers are continuously seeking comprehensive yet expedient tools and techniques to successfully manage their enterprise’s portfolio of projects and programs.

Project and Program Management (PM) processes, methods and procedures must SIMULTANEOUSLY comply with PM best practices, maximize PM Vitamin C6® for all stakeholders and minimize time and cost!

The typical array of PM textual tools and techniques, frequently result in misunderstanding of the documents, by the various project or program stakeholders: the client, the customer, the end-user, management, vendors and even the implementation team.

And throughout the project or program lifecycle, the project or program manager may be continuously challenged by stakeholders exasperated statements:… “My understanding was…”, “I thought it meant…”, “I assumed it would…”, “My expectations are…”… and the list of goes on!

Responding to these statements at best takes time to just clarify the information, and at worst requires performing significant rework… both adding unnecessary time and cost to the project or program.

An effective technique, for optimizing stakeholders’ PM Vitamin C6®: communication, collaboration, cooperation, commitment, consensus and celebration throughout the lifecycle of the project or program, is providing PICTURES!

A PICTURE is frequently believed to be worth a thousand words, but in project and program management, a PICTURE IS WORTH A MILLION MEETINGS!

Providing succinct and unambiguous communication, fostering and facilitating collaboration and cooperation, and promoting commitment and consensus, a PICTURE clearly presents information, and eliminates all the meetings to continuously explain or clarify textual documents…and gives project and program stakeholders reason to celebrate!

Throughout the project and program lifecycle, producing PICTURES is an effective leadership and management technique and tool, to provide stakeholders with the critical PM Vitamin C6® for effective and efficient project and program management (PM).

PICTORIAL deliverables or outputs are easily produced for each of the PM best practices Process Groups… Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing.

The following matrix presents the PICTURES that optimize stakeholders’ PM Vitamin C6® , and ultimately optimize project and program performance and success.

PM Process Picture Benefit
Initiating Deliverables Diagram (DD)
  • As the what and why of the project or program, the DD is a hierarchical structure that succinctly, clearly and unambiguously defines the Business Management deliverables, the PM deliverables and the Products and Services to be produced
  • The DD pictorially presents critical Project/Program components:
    • Objectives and Mission
    • Scope with specific Outputs/ Deliverables
    • Required internal and external organizations or groups responsible for the specific deliverables
  • The DD is actually a pictorial Charter
Planning Bodacious  Work Breakdown Structure
  • Using the DD as its source, this WBS provides the who, when, where, how and how-much for the project or program
  • This WBS thoroughly defines all the required and expected deliverables and the associated tasks that must be performed, for the project’s or program’s three critical processes:
    • Product Delivery(D5) Process ,
    • Business Management Processes, and
    • Project/Program Management Processes
Executing Updated/Revised

Bodacious  WBS

  • Documenting completed, as well as added or deleted deliverables and/or tasks, this WBS clearly and comprehensively presents project and/or program status.
Monitoring & Controlling Earned Value Technique Graph and

Earned Value Analysis Spreadsheet

  • Objective, succinct, effective and efficient performance reports, EVT-graphs and EVA-spreadsheets unambiguously provide project and/or program progress or performance; as well as documented justification for required changes to the project and/or program Plan.
Closing Continuous Process Improvement Matrix
  • Providing quality assurance, the CPI-matrix facilitates process validation and verification for the Product Delivery(D5), Business Management and Project/Program Management Processes to:
    • Validate processes are consistent with current best practices of the industry,
    • Verify successful process deployment and implementation throughout the organization,
    • Sustain effective processes, methods and procedures,
    • Eliminate unnecessary/obsolete processes, methods and/or procedures, and
    • Enhance ineffective processes, methods and/or procedures

Produce pictorial PM-deliverables, and experience the reward that in project and program management… A PICTURE IS TRULY WORTH A MILLION MEETINGS !


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