A dependencies plot is an interactive visualization toolused to construct a holistic representation of system or program elements. It gives decision makers a top-to-bottom visual understanding of the processes while also helping members of an organization understand how their work contributes to organizational success and accomplishing project goals. As a result, both the decision-making and contribution framework are made synergistic.
In the most useful versions of the plot, the viewer can highlight related dependencies and links by hovering over a square in the dependencies plot – representing a project element, tasks, or stage. The path can also be highlighted to identify gaps. At each level, the effort or percentage of resources required are noted as a percentage of the whole, so resource allocation is clearly illustrated. Each box can be flexibly assigned to one or more roles or teams, allowing the user to see cross-functional tasks and a rough project narrative. Customized tags may also be used to show regions, priorities, or any other set of classifications.
The visual also can be used as an effective communication tool, allowing the creator to embed information that makes the output more illustrative. When embedded hyperlinks are incorporated, reports, dashboards, and analytics stored elsewhere become part of the analysis, leveraging a large amount of data to make decisions. Resource numbers can be used to aggregate upward or be divided based on specified ratios downward, adapting to the evolving needs of a project for simplified decision making and metrics tracking.
The situations plot further empowers leadership by providing high-level insights into the work practices under various situations and can be used to discuss implications of multiple “what if” scenarios. As any project is limited by time, resourcing, and cost constraints, it is crucial for management to have clear and actionable information when considering options. Having a structured framework to examine the decision-making process also expands workflow optics to avoid blind spots when introducing changes. The decision analysis aims to enable more effective knowledge generation and sharing by articulating how decisions are made, highlighting common work practices in different situations, and showing relations to each other across the organization.
In an interactive situations plot diagram, the overall project steps, resources, and dependencies can be programmed into the plot. By selecting customizable situations and scenarios from the drop-down menu, the viewer can see the process steps and consequences of a decision for a particular situation. The high-level decision-making archetype includes the main steps, substeps, options, and outcomes of each substep connected to other items. Hyperlinks can be inserted to the corresponding element to extend use and add context to the knowledge, whether for onboarding new resources or to capture lessons learned. By comparing different versions of the analyses (by adding interviewees, document reviews, observations, or scope of the analyses), changes can then be proposed and discussed.