What are the "basic functions" a graphic planning table for use in manufacturing companies need to offer to convey meaningful information and support the decision maker and production planner in the best possible way? In our previous blog post you learned about three key features: Switching views for different planning perspectives, flexible resolution of timescale and multi-level grouping visualization. Here comes blog post #2, presenting three further functions an effective production planning table should offer.
When it comes to production planning, graphical planning tables provide valuable assistance as to visualizing complex contexts and bringing transparency to production planning data.
What are the "basic functions" a graphic planning table for use in manufacturing companies needs to offer to convey meaningful information and support the decision maker and production planner in the best possible way?
In this blog post, which is post #1 of a series of three, I discuss three key features that a visual planning table should have.
When discussing requirements for a scheduling or planning application our customers typically adress issues like: performance, grouping, sorting and filtering, data binding, drag & drop interactions, linking of tasks, and printing. What is often overlooked is the impact that colors can have for a such an application. Colors seem so trivial, that they are only rarely discussed. However, our experience from dealing with Gantt diagrams for more than 20 years tells us that colors are the spices for your Gantt charts. In this blog post you can learn how colors can help establishing visual intelligence.
We have been developing Gantt chart software for more than 20 years. When working with customers, we often discuss issues like performance, grouping, sorting and filtering, data binding, drag & drop interactions, linking of tasks, printing and other typical Gantt diagram features with them. What is often overlooked is the impact that colors can have for a scheduling application. Colors seem so trivial, that they are only rarely discussed. With this blog post we share five best practices how to use colors to define the semantics of your planning diagram.
Gantt chart software is commonly used to visualize production, project, personnell, logistics or resources information. One of the key values is that it provides a quick and intuitive overview of time-related planning and scheduling data that have dependencies. As such users can quickly identify scheduling issues. We call this the information value. The other key value of a proper Gantt chart software comes from the fact that it enables interactive drag & drop changes to the schedule. This allows the user to quickly take corrective actions, and not only analyze the data, but change it. This generates an agility value. This blog post discusses some fundamental concepts how to improve the drag & drop user experience when working with a Gantt diagram.
You may have noticed our analogy between spices and colors: Spices can play a hidden, a dominant or a complementary role in a meal. Similarly, there are also different functions that colors can take in a Gantt chart. Typically, we started differentiating between (a) the role of colors to determine the look and feel of a Gantt chart, (b) the role of colors to define the semantics and (c) the role of colors to provide intelligence to a Gantt chart. With this blog post, we want to shed some light on (a) by giving you four concrete tips.
When using a Gantt chart in any kind of scheduling application, users typically are not interested in seeing all data. They want to focus only on the relevant data. That means they want to focus on those jobs, production orders or tasks which are crucial and which require corrective actions. Hence, software developers creating Gantt chart applications should look out for Gantt chart software components which provide capabilities to create visual alerts.
While Gantt charts are commonly used for production scheduling and project management, they still offer some unleashed potential for field service-savvy organizations. These organizations typically need to manage installs, service or repairs of systems or equipment. Hence, they send their teams of qualified service technicians into the field, i.e. to their customers. This blog post deals with the challenges to appropriately schedule all these valuable service engineers. It provides ideas how interactive Gantt charts can add value to this scheduling challenge.