Pictures are useful in many areas of project management, from showcasing improvements to documenting problems. But now and then, project management consulting teams completely flub photos. I’m not talking about taking poor quality images. Instead, a somewhat greater concern is where PMOs either miss the benefits of project management pictures or stumble into procedural problems (or worse) because of a photo.
First, let’s look at an administrative mistake with the potential to give you serious trouble.
You aren’t treating photos as data. PMOs sometimes forget to apply relevant information retention practices to project photos, or they don’t protect pictures against unauthorized access. Photos should typically be treated like a project write-up or other piece of documentation. They may need to be scheduled for review and/or destruction per the organization’s guidelines, or encrypted for safe storage.
Now we’ll talk about why your pictures aren’t as effective as they could be.
You’re relying on pictures to tell the story. Photos convey a ton of info, but use them as visual aids rather than standalone narratives. Viewers might easily misunderstand what your pictures show, and your project could suffer as a result. You may be trying to highlight a new piece of equipment, but what if folks only notice the snazzy tile flooring? Opt to include a bit of text with each photo so viewers know exactly what they’re looking at (or for).
You aren’t including enough candid photos. Glamour shots—of newly installed equipment or screenshots from the latest software program—look great to those involved in the project, but human nature is a funny thing. Instead of focusing on posed (read: sterile) pictures, people will almost always gravitate toward the unstaged photos. If you really want folks to pay attention to your pictures, give them a selection of informal, engaging, and even funny images.