I’m a bit of a novice, but what do you folks recommend for an effective executive presentation, where you have to provide monthly project timing updates to executives? I like the idea of a simplified Gantt chart, but not sure how to make that happen. For example, my task names are full of jargon that the team needs, but that same jargon would be confusing to the executives. Further, it is tempting to only include key summary tasks in this simplified Gantt, however they sometimes roll-up tasks that I’d prefer to ignore for the purposes of the presentation. I could just manually create a shadow MS Project file to craft the Gantt I’m looking for, but the project is so huge, I don’t think that is feasible when I consider how often I will have to make this presentation.
So, what do you all use to communicate high-level timing? Any tips or tricks? Do you use software add-ons like “Milestones Professional” or “OnePager Pro”?
disclaimer first: I work for a company which develops Gantt chart software. Typically, we sell our software as Gantt chart controls to other software developers so that they can enhance their scheduling applications with interactive Gantt chart functionality.
Recently, we published a free Ebook in which we provide 13 tips how to empower Gantt charts with intelligent colors. Some of the tips are also centered around the level of information you provide to the respective users. One of the tips had been published as separate blog post and deals with combining both top-down and bottom-up visual alerts. In that way, both people who need a high-level view and people who need to work on all details will get focused on the crucial tasks.
Another way is to use one of the general purpose fields, like Number 1. Add that field to your view and put a 1 in front of all the tasks you want the executive to see, leaving the rest blank. Then filter that column to show only tasks with a 1 in this field. Then hide the field.