This guest post is by Tim Stumbles CEO of Office Timeline.
Every journey begins with the first steps. Every project should have a plan. Project managers (PMs) need to create a compelling overview that covers all aspects of the project, including objectives, resources, tasks and milestones.
We are mainly dealing with estimates and educated guesses based upon previous similar projects at this stage. Therefore, it is important to keep the plan as simple as possible and not get into details.
Project visuals can help you see clearly
The good news? It’s exactly what stakeholders need: A clear work breakdown schedule that clearly defines the critical path of the project without getting into the complicated, incomprehensible bits.
Data visualization techniques are key to the equation because they allow the audience, even if they’re not tech-savvy, to understand the numbers and their significance.
Project visuals: There are many options
There are many ways to convert numbers into visuals such as Kanban boards and flowcharts. When it comes to project planning however, nothing beats the old-fashioned roadmaps, timelines, and Gantt charts.
Simply put, one Gantt chart can show your audience the following information:
Start and end dates for the project
Milestones and deadlines
Project lifecycle phases
The tasks that must be completed, and their order
Each subset of tasks is assigned to a team.
They provide context to your audience and help you understand the details better.
The Office Timeline value proposition
Office Timeline is more than a Gantt chart or timeline maker. It’s a PowerPoint add-in designed to create, update, and showcase project visuals using the same interface.
The application’s ability to quickly and easily create stunning graphic representations using fully customizable PowerPoint timeline template templates is what defines it.
Is Office Timeline really user-friendly?
You might think, “Yes, but there is a learning curve.” You should feel right at home if you are familiar with Office Timeline’s drag-and-drop control scheme.
Users don’t have to spend hours learning how to use the app, or go through extensive tutorials. This is a major advantage over many other project management software. It’s easy to create a timeline in PowerPoint.
Next: My review of Office Timeline. Real-world examples
We’ve already discussed how easy it is to integrate Office Timeline into your daily routine. Let’s now see how this timeline adapts for five areas where planning is critical for the success and provide an example project timeline for each.
These are the categories:
Let’s take a look at them.
1. Example of a timeline for clinical trials
Only a few of the thousands or thousands of medical devices, dietary supplement, and pharmaceutical drugs that are submitted for approval make it to market each year. To secure the funding needed for drug research, the creators of these devices must convince backers that their work is on the right path.
A great way to impress non-technical audiences is to map the stages of clinical trials and show the progress against a timeband.
Instead, show them that you have a plan for all phases of your clinical trials with an easy-to-read timeline.
Download the Clinical Trial Roadmap template. Product development timeline example