What IS Visual Project management?
Visual Project Management is the combination of two disciplines, or methodologies: Visual Thinking and Project Management, to create overview, engagement and ownership from all that are involved on a project.
It is a way of communicating and connecting on a project.
Visual project Management is all about making the invisible visible, the intangible tangible, and the unsaid easy to say.
It is about getting project documents OUT of the computer, and up on a wall or a whiteboard.
I have tried to come up with my own definition of visual thinking, but, it doesn't really make any sense, when others have done a really good job of doing just that, before me.
When I want to explain what visual thinking is, I use this quote by Dave Gray:
To me, this says it all.
You can read more about Dave Gray, and his Visual Thinking School on his website.
Another big inspiration for me, is Brandy Agerbeck. She has made a 30 minute video, explaining how she defines visual thinking. If you are interested in knowing more about visual thinking, I really encourage you to watch the video, and get inspired by her passion.
Project Management to me, is about using tools and methods that have developed over time, and proven to work... WHEN they are used.
Many projects never reaches the successes they define from the beginning. They go over time, over budget, deliver less - or something different - than defines in the beginning... or never deliver anything at all.
Studies show different numbers, but many have settled on 70... 70% of all projects started, fail. That to me is just SO CRAZY.
And I believe by using visual thinking in combination with project management, you can make things more visible, create more engagement and ownership, and thereby increase your chances of success.
The best of both worlds
Visual tools are everything from post-it notes and colored cardboard cards to simple drawings, which all help to create a common image of the project.
What do the words and concepts we surround ourselves with really mean?
And how do we ensure that we are all working towards the same goal?
The use of visual tools, such as visual templates, drawings, and visible to do lists, can all help make this clear.
From the project management, we take the traditional tools that have been tested over many years and that we know work - IF they are used, and if we get everyone on the project engaged, so that they take responsibility and ownership for their own tasks and for the project as a whole.
By using the best from both areas, you can create visibility, commitment and ownership of your projects to a greater extent - and thus increase the chance of success.