Nintendo Game Consoles Timeline

Nintento Game Consoles Timeline

A giant in the gaming industry that has revolutionized video game play, Nintendo has recently launched its latest development, the Switch, in a bid to continue its tradition of innovation. Released worldwide on March 3, 2017, Nintendo Switch is a hybrid that can be used both as a home console and as a portable device. Although it has enjoyed strong sales in its first few weeks, it remains to be seen whether the new device will be another milestone in the history of gaming or it will soon be forgotten. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the history of Nintendo consoles.

The Nintendo Timeline is a chronological illustration of all major gaming devices released by the company, whether they quietly marked a meaningful stage in Nintendo’s history or they took the world by storm. The image includes both home systems and portable devices, from Color TV Game 6 (the company’s first home console), the famous Nintendo Entertainment System, and Game Boy, to N64, Nintendo DS, Wii, and the latest release, the Switch.

The illustration was created using the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in and can be copied or reproduced for personal or public use. The free add-in can be used to edit the Nintendo Timeline PowerPoint slide or to quickly build similar visuals either for personal reference or for academic, business and legal presentations. While the free version of the software is fully functional and enables fast timeline creation, the Plus edition comes with more powerful features and customization options.



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How to Use Colors to Create More Powerful Gantt Charts


Project managers often work hours on end to build accurate, thorough Gantt charts, only to notice that stakeholders have difficulties digesting this level of detail or that the team members are unclear about their roles and responsibilities. The problem in such situations may not necessarily be the message, but the way it is presented.

Gantt charts are useful tools for project planning, tracking and reporting, but they can often be overly complex, making them difficult for audiences to understand. This is why, when putting together Gantt chart presentations, paying attention to design and aesthetics is equally important as ensuring data accuracy. A simple, well-designed layout can help project managers successfully communicate essential information to teams, clients and execs.

Red and black colors

          1. Add meaning to project visuals using color semantics

Marketing and graphic design professionals rely massively on aesthetics to influence brand perception and consumer behavior. Similarly, project managers can use color semantics to add further meaning to Gantt chart data, inspire desired reactions, and transmit important messages instantly, without overcrowding the visual.

Although color perception largely depends on personal experience, there are certain hues that have a universal significance. For instance:

  • Red is an attention-grabbing color that usually indicates excitement, action, or danger and can be used to flag urgent, high-priority or problematic tasks.
  • Green inspires optimism and typically suggests the idea of “Safe”, “OK” or “Go ahead”. As an example, tasks that have been completed successfully or planned activities approved by upper management could be marked with this color.
  • Yellow stands for caution or warning and can be used to illustrate potential challenges.
  • Black suggests mystery and makes a good choice for tasks that require further clarification.
  • Blue is a calming color and can be used for tasks that are close to completion.

The following image illustrates just one of the ways the above color semantics can be used to make Gantt charts more meaningful:

Mix of colors

While this example is a good starting point, project managers can create their own systems of color meanings, as long as they are applied consistently throughout project visuals and are easily recognizable by all stakeholders.

          2. Use colors to depict hierarchies and correspondences

An effective Gantt chart should enable audiences to understand any data dependencies or correspondences at a glance. One of the best ways to achieve this is using colors to group objects. For instance, color-coding team members who have similar responsibilities will allow viewers to instantly see the connection between them.

Hierarchy and correspondence colors

Similarly, PMs can use colors to group together related tasks, for a faster comprehension of project processes and dependencies:

Color Dependencies

Aesthetics also play an important role in highlighting data priority. A color ranking that doesn’t represent the information hierarchy may steer the audience’s attention to less important project details. To avoid this, PMs can accentuate priority data - such as main project tasks - using bold hues, while secondary details, such as subtasks, can be marked with lighter, more subtle shades of the same color.

Color Ranking Aestethics

          3. Add contrast to enhance visibility

Of course, we are all trying to create elegant Gantt charts, but these efforts may prove pointless if data is not presented clearly, in an easy-to-understand way. Good color contrast will help audiences to discern important texts or visual elements. For instance, adding a standard black text over a dark blue task bar will most likely make the writing barely legible. Changing the text to white, on the other hand, will make the data easily stand out - as seen in the image below.

Low High Contrast

Last but not least, context and communication channels are also important aspects PMs should keep in mind when creating Gantt charts and other project visuals. For instance, while certain color combinations may seem just right on a certain computer screen, they may not look the same on others, on projectors or in print. Also, some viewers may suffer from vision impairments, and bad lighting and glare can make a chart’s details even more difficult to read. A high color contrast within project visuals will prevent these issues and ensure important data can be easily seen by the audience, regardless of circumstances.

Seemingly minor details can play a major role in ensuring effective project communication. Using colors to define semantics, highlight information hierarchy or dependencies, and improve visibility can help PMs build more powerful Gantt charts and present important data in a convincing, straightforward manner.


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How to Identify and Manage Project Dependencies


English poet John Donne said “no man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main" – these words capture the realities of project management. No project, task or activity exists in isolation. One way or another, every activity relies on the output of others and contributes to the outcome of a project. The relationships between individual tasks or processes are called “dependencies”.

Keeping a record of all these linked activities and managing them effectively is essential for project planning, scheduling, tracking and execution. In the following article, we will take a brief look at project dependencies to help new PMs identify and tackle them more easily.

The Main Types of Project Dependencies

Dependencies can be classified in a number of ways based on criteria such as the causes behind them, predecessor-successor relationships, and whether the dependency exists between activities within the project or outside of it.

          1. Logical, resource-driven and preferential dependencies
Logical resource-driven and preferential dependencies


Based on what is causing them, dependencies can fall in one of the following three groups:

  • Logical or causal dependencies are those driven by the nature of the project or of the tasks themselves. For instance, a construction team cannot possibly build the first floor of a building without finishing the foundation first. Identifying these dependencies is essential for creating accurate project plans and schedules.

  • Resource-based dependencies occur between tasks that would be accomplished faster or simultaneously if there were more resources available. Where resource constraints are present, there usually are no logical dependencies to dictate the order of activities within a project. As an example, with enough manpower, it is logically possible to paint multiple rooms in a building simultaneously. If there’s only one painter available, however, the rooms will need to be completed one at a time.

  • Preferential or discretionary dependencies refer to tasks that could be completed differently, but their implementation is decided by the team or PM based on convenience or guided by best practices. In our construction example, a room’s ceiling and walls can be painted in any order, but the painter prefers to finish the ceiling first because it's more difficult to work on and he wants to get it out of the way.

While discretionary decisions may not seem that significant, it will make sense to document them, so that the logic behind them is known in future reports and reviews. Otherwise, this logic might be forgotten over time or questioned by clients, executives or any other stakeholders who weren’t initially involved in the task-scheduling process.

          2. Predecessor-successor dependencies
 
Predecesor-successor dependencies

Based on the relationship between the initiation and completion of individual tasks, dependencies can be classified into four major types:

  • FS (Finish to Start) – The predecessor task must be completed before the successor can start.
  • FF (Finish to Finish) – The successor cannot finish before the predecessor task is completed.
  • SS (Start to Start) – The first task must start before the second task can be initiated.
  • SF (Start to Finish) – One task cannot be completed before another one has started.

The most common and logical predecessor-successor relationship is the Finish-to-Start dependency, while Start-to-Finish is the most rarely encountered and may be puzzling to envision. To get a better grasp of SF relationships, it may be useful to think of how shift work is sequenced. If, for instance, a construction site requires 24/7 security services and there are a few guards working in shifts, the current shift cannot end before the relief security officers arrive, as the site would be left unattended.

          3. Internal vs. external dependencies

Internal vs external dependencies

Dependencies can also be classified based on the tasks’ relationship to the project, as follows:

Internal dependencies describe the relationship between two tasks or activities within the same project. The PM and the project team usually have complete control over these activities, and there is no involvement of any external parties. To manage these tasks effectively, discussing them with the project team is essential in order for each member to know exactly how their activities may impact other people’s work. This way, they will be more likely to notify the PM about potential problems, so that the necessary measures can be taken to manage the consequences.

External dependencies define those tasks that are dependent on outside influences, such as vendors, regulatory agencies, or even other projects. PMs and project teams don’t usually have much control (if any) over these dependencies. For instance, before construction workers can start building, renovating or demolishing, it is first necessary to obtain approvals from local authorities. The construction company cannot influence how long it will take the authorities to grant said approvals.

Although external dependencies are outside of a PM’s control, it is important to keep a thorough record of them, as they present risk to the project schedule. Also, it would be a good idea to notify any relevant third parties that the project team depends on them to be able to complete their own work. Explaining to non-project people how any late deliveries on their end can impact the project and encouraging them to provide timely progress updates can help PMs prevent possible issues and make any necessary schedule adjustments.

Tips for More Effective Dependency Management

Managing task dependencies can seem overwhelming for a novice PM, especially considering that any slip may endanger the project. While it is impossible to prevent all potential issues, with good organization, planning and communication, even the most complex projects can be kept under control. Here are a few tips to help beginning project managers handle task dependencies more effectively:

          1. Proper identification

The first step for effective dependency management is brainstorming all possible project dependencies and classifying them accordingly based on the criteria presented earlier. This can be done through a workshop or scheduled team meeting, where all team members - and, if possible, any other relevant parties involved - are brought together to discuss how their activities relate to one another, as well as how they may be affected by outside influences.

A common mistake that should be avoided at this stage is creating dependencies even when there aren’t any. Questioning and challenging the sequence of every step can produce forced or artificial dependencies, which may lead to unnecessary complications and delays.

          2. Recording dependencies

Once all dependent tasks are identified, experienced project managers usually create a comprehensive dependency log for the project, which should include:

  • an ID for each dependency
  • description
  • date
  • the activities or people impacted by the dependency.

Also, it may be a good idea to calculate the probability of something going wrong with the linked tasks and to include an assessment of what would happen if the dependency is not delivered as planned. Alternatively, this data can be added to the risk log.

In addition, it is also worth nominating “owners” for each dependency by naming the person or people who will be responsible for how the linked tasks progress. When it comes to internal project activities, the task owner will usually be the natural dependency owner as well. In the case of external dependencies, such as a reliance on suppliers, someone within the project should be assigned to monitor the relationship with the supplier and ensure everything is on track.

Having a log of all the details mentioned above will prove to be helpful during the project planning and scheduling process, allowing PMs to effectively sequence tasks and develop strategies to minimize and mitigate risks.

          3. Continuous monitoring and control

While identifying and documenting dependencies is important, it is their constant monitoring and control that will ensure the successful delivery of a project. Having a single session at the start of the project to examine dependencies is usually not enough. Therefore, experienced PMs schedule regular meetings to discuss how the linked tasks are progressing, if there are any changes in schedules or requirements, and whether those changes impact the connection between project tasks.

          4. Efficient communication

There is no substitute for good communication when it comes to effective dependency management, and there are two key elements experienced PMs pay attention to:

  • The project team. Ensuring all team members understand their responsibilities and are aligned when it comes to dependencies will help prevent many issues throughout the course of the project. In addition, day-to-day interactions and unity between team members can help resolve dependencies more easily and enable the project to move forward without constant manager intervention.

  • Stakeholders. Engaging with clients and executives regularly and ensuring they understand how all dependencies can influence the project’s progress is important in order to set realistic expectations and avoid unfeasible requests. However, such stakeholders may not be familiar with PM jargon and may feel intimidated by complex Gantt charts or other intricate project management tools. This is why communicating the data using simple, familiar visuals such as PowerPoint slides and color-coding the related tasks can be a more effective way to present project dependencies to non-project audiences.

Project dependencies are inevitable, but managers shouldn’t feel threatened by them. With good communication and organizational skills, PMs can leverage them to their advantage and find effective ways to keep the project on track or even accelerate its execution.


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Apple Iphone Timeline

apple iphone models timeline

The world is split in two when it comes to iPhones. With each new release announced by Apple, passionate iPhone users worldwide eagerly line-up to be among the first to get the latest model – and there are just as many who passionately express disgust towards the brand. Despite the controversy surrounding it, one thing is certain: the iPhone has played an iconic role in the history of the smartphone. So let’s see what the history of the iPhone looks like on a timeline.

The iPhone Timeline illustrates the development of the iPhone product line, pinpointing all releases from the first generation model up until 2017, which marks the 10-year anniversary of the brand. In addition, it also displays a bar-chart comparison of the top 5 fastest selling models, based on the number of units sold within 3 days after launch. iPhone 7 data was inconclusive and not included in the top 5 chart.

The illustration was created using the Office Timeline add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint and is free to copy or reproduce for personal or public use. To create similar visuals fast, we recommend using the free edition of Office Timeline, a tool that allows users to easily build timelines, schedules, Gantt charts and other similar graphics for personal, academic, legal or business communications. The free add-in can also be used to edit or update the iPhone Timeline PowerPoint slide, while the Plus version of the software unlocks more advanced customization options and other potent features.


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Build Timelines Scaled Down to Hours and Minutes


One of the most frequent feature requests we receive from the Office Timeline community is the capability to scale timelines into smaller time increments, so that even the most granular plans and projects can be presented in a stunningly impressive way. These professionals need PowerPoint timelines and Gantt charts that span minutes or hours rather than days, and they need milestones plotted to an exact point in time. As a customer driven company, the valuable work our teams are continually doing at Office Timeline is always 100% focused on needs such as this.

After months of planning, customer feedback and development, we’re excited to deliver a highly customizable Hours and Minutes enhancement that has been designed to work seamlessly in a simple and familiar way. With the latest update, Office Timeline Plus users can now easily create timelines, Gantt charts and other visuals, such as agendas and hourly schedules, using hours and minutes as time intervals.

Download the latest version of Office Timeline from here.

hours and minutes example

How to make hourly timelines in PowerPoint

Professionals who need to fast-start their timelines can use one of the built-in hourly templates Office Timeline Plus comes equipped with, such as the one above. Alternatively, they can choose one of the many free pre-formatted templates available online here. They are easily customizable and provide a quick starting point for building beautiful visuals. Creating a PowerPoint timeline or Gantt chart using the hours and minutes feature is effortless with the latest edition of Office Timeline. Here’s how:

1. From PowerPoint, click on the Office Timeline tab to open the timeline ribbon. Next, go to NEW to create a new timeline and select the Style you want. You will be automatically directed to the Milestone Wizard once you click on one of the Styles.

hours and minutes step one

2. On the Milestone Wizard, select the CLOCK icon in the upper right and then enter the description, date and color for each milestone item. Click or type in the time field to set the specific time for each milestone. You can also do this from the Time Setter, which allows you to set the length of your working day. Once done with milestones, hit the Next arrow and repeat these steps on the Task Wizard.

hours and minutes milestone

3. The final step is to style your timeline by making design choices for its appearance and layout.

hours and minutes style

Once done, select the Green check, and Office Timeline will automatically create your hours and minutes timeline in PowerPoint.

hours and minutes final step

Applications for Hours & Minutes

The hours & minutes enhancement can be used for an expanded range of planning and reporting needs, from project management and executive reporting, to engineering and litigation timelines. It can be used for any scenario that requires a granular breakdown of tasks and activities, or for the plotting and tracking of key events, including:

  • Planning, tracking and communicating granular project data or short-duration tasks
  • Creating legal timelines to structure case evidence and oral arguments into compelling visuals
  • Building graphical shift schedules for better staff organization and coverage plans
  • Printing visual agendas for important meetings, seminars or conferences
  • Preparing visual event plans that teams and vendors understand

For a more detailed tutorial on building hourly Gantt charts and timelines, please watch the video below:

About Office Timeline Plus

Professionals spend a lot of time creating timelines, Gantt charts and other visuals to communicate their data more effectively at important meetings. Office Timeline makes the process faster and simpler, allowing users to:

  • work right inside PowerPoint, providing an easy, familiar and seamless experience
  • create simple, elegant visuals that are easy for audiences to understand and remember
  • instantly update timelines when their milestone or task data changes
  • scale from years and decades down to hours and minutes
  • easily print and share the PowerPoint timelines for improved collaboration.

Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

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