In my previous blog i have mentioned some key principles that have to be used in successful Project Management Information system. Let us focus today on Visual.
On of the issues with any PM system is the enormous amount of information team members usually have to go thru. So what's usually happening, is that team members, for example, Developer would create a link to the page showing assigned tasks and will never even attempt to navigate anywhere else by that building a silo. This is kind off defeats the purpose of the PMIS. On one hand, you as a Project Manager, wants them to get to the information they want or need to work with, but on the other hand, you want to keep this team alive and abreast with the Project - its Issues, Challenges and Concerns, Scope Changes, Lessons Learned, Risks, etc.
There are probably multiple ways to do that. I prefer using the following approach (i would use SharePoint here as an example of PMIS hosting platform):
1. Have main project page containing only high level generic information. I will talk about it in details later but in a nutshell - Mission, Objectives, RACI Matrix, Milestones, Overall Project Health Status, Document Library with Detailed Project Schedule and Meeting Minutes and possibly - acute and urgent open Issues and useful Links. Team Members are asked to provide any feedback on any on of those Main-Page artifacts during the regular Stand Up Review Meetings (in case you are using SCRUM)
2. Left side navigation area (Quick Launch) would have Role or Phase or Deliver-based headers with links to dedicated pages with the relevant (time-based) content that you want team to use to view and report on personal tasks, for example, or anything else you would like your team members to work on; or Phase Delivery Checklists
Tip: you, as a PM, might want to change URLs once in a while at the first phase of building the team culture to assure that people are not necessarily saving the direct link to the "personal" page but using PMIS navigation. This is very important when working with large and geographically dispersed teams or multiple organizations with different cultures