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I am trying to provide a way to present progress over several months for a large number of items. Essentially, these items can either have:

  • no certification
  • an expired certification
  • 'lite' temporary certification
  • full certification

in ascending order of completeness. As you can infer, things can 'slip' down the list as the certification expires. It is my job to show to the higher-ups that we have been working on getting everything as 'certified' as we can. Unfortunately, the rate at which certifications are expiring matches the amount of certifications we are gaining, and so a 'snapshot' of the status at each point in time will show little improvement across time. (We have been doing our jobs by the way - it's justw e've tacked the harder ones first, with the assumptions that the easier ones will be much easier and routine later on!)

So essentially what I am looking for is some graphic which will show this, hopefully with an amount of information on there as well. Any ideas?

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1 Answer 1

You are experiencing a classic problem in project management. Your trying to keep ahead of a monster hairball rolling towards you and it is growing all the time. It's hard to keep track of 'progress' because in terms of total scope, the % complete is not an accurate reflection of the work to date. Have I characterized the problem? If not let me know.

I have had good luck using burn down charts for detailed progress.

burndown chart

For summary status I sometimes use the product backlog - I can break product section into categories or otherwise hide / sort to show what I want. I also have a cheezy bar graph showing % complete on each task graphically. Maybe you can modify the excel template I use to suit you.

product backlog

I would also strongly suggest you have a chart showing the total number of prducts or things your creating. On the burndown chart, this increase in scope is often shown by increasing the goal line. This shows in one simple graph how you are making progress against a goal and how the goal (project scope) keeps increasing.

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