The question of visualization of project progress arises very quickly, especially with complex transformations. For historical reasons, a Gantt Chart, for example, is quickly in demand. For demanding and complex projects, however, this form of presentation is only conditionally suitable. Most of the time, changes are so serious that the initial chart is quickly outdated and after a short time only dusts in the project folder.
Better: The Burn Up Chart
The Burn Up Chart is a line or area chart that shows you how much work has already been completed and how much work has to be done in total. Because this chart takes into account the variability of the scope, the Burn Up Chart is very useful for controlling the entire project.
Experience has shown that the objectives of strategic projects change very often in the course of the project. Requirements must be adapted more or less constantly. Especially when the project is still in abeyance and things change, the Burn Up Chart is a good choice for visualizing the project progress ... because it takes this into account effortlessly!
How does the Burn Up Chart work in Falcon?
Let us now transfer the basic idea of the Burn Up Chart to the Falcon Report. The report shows you several key figures for the respective element for all aggregation levels (projects and packages) or for individual measures - including some information on the activities.
Let us take a look at the overall activities in the report of the "Condor" project.
In this case, a total of 69 activities are created. Of these 67 activities are "Planned". This means that, in addition to the name of the activity, a concrete planned date for its due date has been stored in Falcon.
In addition, you can view the number of "completed" or ticked off activities - in this case 40.
It is worthwhile to actually provide all activities with plan data for start and end time. Only then meaningful visualizations can be displayed via the traffic light evaluation or you can interpret the course of your project and generate the corresponding learning for your project success!
These two key figures can now be better viewed and analyzed over time in the "finished activities" chart. Activities with stored plan values for their completion are displayed cumulatively in dark blue, activities that have actually been completed are visualized in green. The periodicity always corresponds to your selected Falcon settings - in this example we see a planning on a monthly basis, in your project it could also be a weekly, quarterly or annual planning.
How to read the chart?
Basically, the activities, including their due date, are displayed cumulatively over the course of your selected period. In this example, according to August, for example, a total of 33 activities are to be completed in February, 37 in March, and further activities in the following months. In addition to this, activities that have actually been completed are also tracked. In February a total of 30 activities were completed, in March 35, and so on.
How to interpret this information?
Some conclusions can now be drawn from the key figures and the course of the chart:
Relevant is first of all the current month. Assuming it is May. Now you know immediately that actually 52 activities should already be completed. But only 36 have been completed. So you are lagging behind.
The timetable is delayed, and the trend is upwards! While in February only 3 activities were behind schedule, in contrast to July there are already 18 activities that are delayed and not yet completed.
This high-level representation therefore allows you to quickly recognize the fundamental development in your project without getting lost in details. Action is required here!
What can you take with you for your projects?
Plan activities with plan values for both start and end time. This is easiest to do bottom up.
Encourage your project participants to mark activities in Falcon as completed when they are finished. Delays and critical developments can be communicated via status reports - including Red Flag! Adjustments can easily be made in Falcon by an admin, so that the planning is in line with the actual project progress.
Define a project cycle in which regular monitoring of the project progress is an integral part. This enables you to identify critical developments promptly and to take effective countermeasures. You can find our best practice here.