The big picture

The Big Picture


What is “the big picture”? It can mean many things, but in a project a key element of “big picture thinking” is having a clear and specific idea about where you are headed and clarity about how you are going to get there. Swiftlight provides three views which can help you with this:


The Objectives and Scope view

This provides a series of pages in which to display information related to the project’s scope. Seven categories of information can be displayed:

  • Objectives;
  • Key Questions (i.e. questions or issues the project needs to address);
  • Deliverables;
  • Success Metrics;
  • Budget;
  • Scope In / Scope Out;
  • Comments.

The Timeline view

This is an intuitive and highly configurable view that allows you to set out or review high level project plans and get a "big picture view" of what needs to get done quickly and simply. For many projects, it can give you a great "one page plan", for others it may be that you need two pages or more

The Activity Group Summary

This view provides a summary table of information about the Activity Groups. This information can include Activity Group objectives, deliverables; success metrics etc (see Getting Familiar with Each View for more details), and can also display information on the project objectives, deliverables etc in the header section (taking information from the Objectives and Scope View).


How to use these views?

These views can be used alone or in combination to help you and others think through and define a high level plan, and then give you the right set of materials for a variety of occasions (e.g. for a project charter document or project proposal, for use in a kick-off or review meeting, or simply for use by you or your team). For example:

  • For many projects, the timeline in standard mode gives you a great “one page plan” and you won’t need the other views.
  • For a more formal project charter, you may want to use the Timeline view along with one or more pages from the Objectives and Scope view.
  • For a project proposal, you may add in the Activity Group Summary to create clarity about what the individual activities will deliver and contribute to the overall project.
  • For a kick-off meeting, you may use the Objectives and Scope view to discuss the project direction, the Timeline to discuss “how you are going to get there” and the Activity Summary to focus the team on the specific deliverables from the key activities.
  • For a project review meeting you may use the Timeline in review mode to illustrate where you are relative to your baseline plan, and the Activity Group Summary to communicate progress and next steps relative to the key activities.

Note: once you have set up the high level plan to your satisfaction, we recommend setting a project baseline (use the menus: Reporting > Set baseline dates > All items) against which you can subsequently review progress.

All of these “big picture” views help you summarise and communicate what you want to achieve and/or where you are at a high level – creating the clarity which will help you, and the others who are involved, to drive the project forward.


More ways to use Swiftlight in the Project Lifecycle