Project in a Box – new edition

planningImage5We have long been admirers of the Community Edition of Project in a Box.

This great, free resource is one we always recommend to our charity clients – being a great way think about, plan and deliver projects using the bones of the recognised Prince 2 methodology.

PIAB have just released a new version of the free Community Edition which offers more project planning templates for those less demanding, less layered projects.

You can use the three step template (or the five step for more detailed project planning) in the new system to clearly map your thinking about project formulation, inception and delivery.

If your Third Sector organisation has previously felt rather pale when reviewing project planning methodologies or software like MsProject, then this new Community Edition is just for you.

The new version is also bundled with Planner, another great free resource from PIAB. Check out the PIAB web site for more details.

If you can get, as a beginner, past some of the language – then this free download is a great resource for helping you think clearly about projects, how they are delivered and how they are reported about when finished. If you are expert, this is still a great resource too.

PIAB – we recommend it.

(Planning symbol: Marine Institute Ireland – Creative Commons)

Are you a MOOC candidate?

Informed visually by infographics...We love MOOCs. Using a Massive Open Online Course allows you to log-in from anywhere in the world and take part in some of the best tutorial and learning opportunities available from major centres of excellence.

The Knight Centre for Journalism, at the University of Texas in Austin, U.S. is launching a six week course in January 2013 to foster a better understanding of Infographics.

Although primarily targeted at journalists, the course would enable anyone with an interest in project management, social research, evaluative assessment or needs analysis to develop skills in the area of making data more visually compelling.

Ideal for improving reports to funders, clients or helping to pitch that ‘argument’ for your upcoming project.

You can find out more about this on-line course and how to register on the Knight Centre web pages here.

For a very modest fee, over and above the free participation in the course, your can also get a certificate…mapping your Continuous Professional development trajectory?

If you do, the best of luck with your web participation.

(Image: Creative Commons 
Jess3, geo-social networks visualised)

A picture, a crowd,
a forest of data!

We were recently thinking about the outputs of our projects and the types of document, web site or data CD we needed to compile for our client evaluations, research reports, market analysis or evidence based recommendations.

Basic principles of number analysis were reasonably clear to frame verbally, but what about visual design in terms of  improving understanding for our clients. The dreaded phrase ‘…let’s do an info-graphic’  heaved itself over the horizon.

Blanching, we pressed ahead with trying to lay out some basic principles of how the data should not only be interpreted, but stylised and presented for consumption appropriate to the intended audience.

Never keen to re-invent the electric light all over again, in our research we came across a great  Speaker Deck  presentation which beautifully enunciated our thinking around how to present data in interesting and clear ways. (Great work by the author – zakiwarfel )

You can see the presentation on our data design page on the Collected Works main web site here. The author has laid out our forthcoming design template thinking perfectly. If we can use our principles to present your data, just let us know here.

Speaker Deck is a free pdf conversion app from Github – you can see more here