How Heat Map Visual Analysis Works
Heat map visual analysis for project portfolio management
enables you to:
Rapidly identify troubled projects, before they're out of control
Discover resource allocation problems and opportunities
Reveal patterns and relationships that indicate critical trends
Heat maps allow you to view an entire portfolio of hundreds or more projects and to
grasp in seconds which projects are at risk, how important they are, and how they compare
to other, related projects. Heat maps use size, color and grouping to visually convey
quantitative and other information so that even complex relationships and large volumes
of information can be understood rapidly.
Keying size and color to critical measures like total budgeted cost and earned value,
and grouping projects according to categories like project type, location, or manager,
heat maps offer a powerful tool that enables more people to answer unanticipated questions
far more effectively than they ever could using only standard dashboards, reports and graphs.
In the heat map at right, each box represents a single project, with size tied to
budgeted cost, and color keyed to a performance index ranging from green (on-track)
to red (problematic performance).
Simple reports can tell you what projects are in trouble, but lack the broader
context. Yet even a simple heat map visual analysis, like that at right, allows you
to rapidly identify hot spot problems and to see how those problems relate to the
rest of the context - to see the big picture and vital details all at once in a single
Heat maps let you easily interact with data to push beyond simplistic
on-track/off-track information and to discover the underlying issues and trends that
have business impact.
For example, a wealth of information is revealed by grouping project status data by
key categories, such as the responsible project manager and location of the
project. Even a brief review of the heat map at right clearly reveals three critical
The manager in the lower right is in trouble;
The top left manager is overloaded, with some projects approaching critical
There is a pattern of trouble with Atlanta-based projects for the manager
at lower left.