How To Track Project Progress Visually with Enhanced PFD

The Enhanced Software Development process can be visualized in terms of the Process Flow Diagram (PFD) as presented in our previous blog post. In this article, we show how one can use this PFD to track the progress of a project along this process. We also give you the template that you may use with your project(s).

Example of a Project in Initial Stages

We show below an example of a live project:

Software Project Status
Software Project Status

With the legend in the bottom right corner, the visual is self-explanatory. It is the snapshot of the project activities on a given date. It shows that:

  • 3 activities — namely requirements analysis, wireframe design and the UI/UX design — are marked complete by the person assigned to them. However, the output of only the requirement analysis activity (namely, the use cases) is deemed accepted. The outputs are other two are under evaluation.
  • 5 activities — namely the UI development, data modeling, Xsemble design, test case design and the Xsemble project management — are in progress.
  • 2 activities — namely the Deployment and Understanding flow diagram — are excluded. Mind you: this does not mean that the project will not have any deployment. It just means that the deployment could be quite trivial and therefore not worth tracking as an individual activity.
  • The activities that are not annotated have not been started.

Isn’t this a great way to track your project status? You can also use it as a visual aid to report the status to the project stakeholders.

Example of a Project in a Development Stage

One can imagine annotating the diagram further with useful information. Especially, when the project advances to the development stage, then more information about how much is the development complete is helpful. One way to add such information is by using a callout. Here is an example of the same project as it would progress further.

Project status - annotated
Project Status – annotated

That packs a lot of information in the visual, isn’t it?

In case you are wondering where the percent progress and total figures are coming from, those can be read from the Progress Summary dialog box of Xsemble. It is the factual information, not a guesswork.

Use it on Your Projects: Get The Template

We provide below a LibreOffice template. LibreOffice is a free software that works across various operating systems, and included with the distribution on many Linux systems.

In LibreOffice, working with the template is super-easy. You can just copy/paste and move the icons at appropriate places. Same thing with respect to the ovals too, but you will also need to use Arrange > Send to back so that it does not cover the artefact. The callout we have used above is also provided there by default. Feel free to experiment and be creative.

Use the Download button below to download the template. We provide it under CC BY 4.0 license which lets you use it and create derivative works, even commercially. You just need to provide attribution. Do not take out the copyright notice.

Final Words

Project tracking and reporting is typically done with Gantt charts and their siblings like Pert charts. The way presented in this article can be seen as an alternative to those. We hope that people may find it

  • More intuitive to understand
  • More elaborate (as it shows the acceptance status of the artifacts)

It’s up to you how you like it. Let us know if you like it and use it on your projects. If you make any creative additions to it, feel free

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