DataMontage Example
Planning U.S. Navy Ship Upgrades

The Warfare Systems Program Manager Acquisition Decision Expert Planning Technology (WSPM-ADEPT) system, currently under development by Stottler Henke, will provide Warfare Systems Engineering (WSEs) and Combat Systems Engineers (CSEs) coordination and decision support in modeling, planning, and tracking ship modernization projects.

This figure shows a fragment from a complex Gantt chart reflecting automatically generated schedules for installation of upgraded warfare systems on U.S. Navy ships. Here we see a single system (RAM Mk-31) which is to be installed on two different ships: LHA-4 Nassau and LHA-1 Tarawa. Each ship is available for upgrades during a different time-window (an "availability"), highlighted by the vertical dashed lines pinned to the start and end of availability milestones (shown on the gray lines). U.S. Navy policy requires a number of tasks be completed prior to the start of an availability; those milestones appear as boxes to the left of the vertical dashed lines.

This chart actually shows four versions of the schedule: a current schedule (shown with thick bars and large boxes), and three alternate projections based on different assumptions about slippage in the Test-and-Evaluation task for the RAM system (shown with thinner bars, and smaller boxes); any number of alternate schedules can be stacked up in this way. This display shows that installation on the Tarawa starts to get into trouble once that Test-and-Evaluation task runs two months late (the red bars and boxes shown overlapping or to the right of milestone boxes on a Arrange-SID-Funding line for Tarawa). In contract, Nassau, with its later availability window is not affected by these minor delays in getting the RAM system ready.

This display densely encodes information about a complex process potentially involving many ships and systems. Clutter is managed by grouping tasks into modules that can be opened and closed to show or hide detail. The key availability windows are highlighted for all ship-related tasks. Milestones are duplicated as necessary so they can appear directly on the lines with related tasks. Position relative to those boxes and color coding give quick visual ways to identify tasks that are failing to meet milestones. In this application it is useful to show any number of alternate schedules clustering reduced task-bars for a common task on a banded background for clarity.

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