We’ve all heard it 1,000 times, the aphorism: “A picture paints a thousand words.” The modern use of the phrase is attributed to Fred. R. Barnard who wrote it (or something closely resembling it) in a December 1921 issue of the advertising trade journal Printer’s Ink, promoting the use of images in advertisements that appeared on the sides of streetcars. Essentially, Barnard was commenting that graphics could tell a story as effectively as a large amount of descriptive text.
That same idea can come into play when any team uses visualization to identify who’s doing what in a project. It’s a quick and easy way to identify team members’ roles, responsibilities, and what’s expected of them without having to wade through lots of documentation. Using a visual map or chart of each person’s roles not only boosts accountability among members, but it also sets the stage for strengthening member relationships.
When, for example, it’s clear that some members are carrying heavier loads, the members with lighter duties should reach out and offer whatever support is needed. Maps and charts of project workloads make this possible.
Visuals are an effective way to show team members where the stress points are in the current workload. An overall map of the workload situation enables members to proactively help each other.
- Use visual tools where possible to provide a roadmap of how to get from A to Z
- Track team progress by using a dashboard that clearly reflects what is still left to be done
- Map individual team members’ responsibilities to the roles that they will be tasked to perform