Visualization and interaction tools for more agility in project management
Vizamp is a research project on agility in project management and was conducted by the Chair of Media Design (TUD) and the agency queo. The objective of the project was to develop visualization and interaction techniques in order to support collaboration and communication processes and consequently reduce planning conflicts. One guiding idea was the middle-out approach. It incorporated the in-depth knowledge of the team members (bottom-up) into the project planning of the project managers (top-down) and combined the advantages of both worlds, agile and conventional project management.
The investigations were based on the three central use cases team meeting, project scheduling, and conflict resolution.
In the team meeting, attendees identified and discussed tasks. Vizamp used the potential of tabletop displays to allow face-to-face interaction and support collaborative project planning. It consisted of creating, estimating, and assigning tasks to team members. The application provided access to planning information and stored the results of the discussion.
The information from the team meeting was applied to the application views for project scheduling, which was subsequently done by the whole team. The project managers could use the information to evaluate the effects of the meeting on the middle-term scheduling. Team members could adjust their weekly schedule in regard to new tasks they had got.
Vizamp identified different types of potential planning conflicts, informed the affected team members, and provided possible solutions. In case of not being able to solve a problem, conflicts could be sent to the project manager.
The Vizamp project addressed small and middle-sized companies of our knowledge society that have to cope with varying project requirements and high uncertainty. From the initial conception to the completion, project management nowadays involves a lot of different software tools. Vizamp tackled this heterogeneity with specific views on the planning data. Depending on the use case, it supported typical project management tasks as well as creative processes such as brainstorming. In addition, it reduced the need to transfer information between tools.