Asking “What If?”: Bubble Chart Pro V. 6 (Preview 3)

Posted on Feb 5, 2015 by George F Huhn
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Being able to understand and predict the impact of change in your project portfolio and your portfolio model is essential in building a robust project portfolio model. In Bubble Chart Pro Version 6, you’ll be able to use new sensitivity charts to quickly see how changes in your projects or portfolio model can change your project prioritization. Sensitivity charts allow you to answer many “what if?” questions about your project portfolio, and to understand quickly which attributes have the most impact on your projects. The Bubble Chart Pro Sensitivity Analysis feature can model both the impact of a change in an attribute value, such as cost, as well as the impact of changing an attribute weight in the SMART portfolio model.
Project Portfolio Sensitivity Analysis Chart for Cost

Project Portfolio Sensitivity Analysis Chart for the Attribute “Cost.” Note how the overall value score (Y-Axis) trends down as cost goes up.

Let’s look at testing the sensitivity of a Cost attribute. The goal of attribute sensitivity test ing is to model what happens when one attribute changes while all the other attributes are held constant. The Sensitivity Chart for the Cost attribute above shows that as the costs go up, the overall value score of each project goes down. You can use this chart to see what happens when an individual project’s costs change because it may become more or less valuable than other projects. With the new risk bars that we’re introducing in Bubble Chart Pro Version 6, you will be able to see the uncertainty in each project and how it compares to other projects in your project portfolio as shown in the chart below. You can toggle the display of these bars on and off in the chart preference form.
Project portfolio sensitivity chart showing project risk or uncertainty.

Project portfolio sensitivity chart showing project risk or uncertainty.

The SMART project ranking system in Bubble Chart Pro allows you to assign weights to your attributes that reflect the impact of that attribute on the value score for each project. The higher the weight, the more influence an attribute will have on the value score. The Weight Sensitivity charts in Version 6 let you see what happens to project value scores as a weight changes. In the chart below, you can see how the value scores for the projects change as the weight assigned to the attribute “Cost” moves higher or lower in the x-axis. The vertical line of bubbles represents the current attribute weight of 3,333.
The Project Portfolio Weight Sensitivity charts in let you see what happens to project value scores as a weight changes.

The Project Portfolio Weight Sensitivity charts in let you see what happens to project value scores as a weight changes.

When you have lots of projects, project portfolio sensitivity charts can become virtually unreadable. As you can see below, Bubble Chart Pro solves this problem by using our exclusive “zoom box” feature to let you select and expand areas of interest in the chart, thus simplifying the chart view to just the projects that you want to see.
Zooming in on a Project Portfolio Weight Sensitivity chart

Just by dragging the mouse, the exclusive “Zoom Box” feature lets you see only the projects that you want.

Like all Bubble Chart Pro charts, each chart is highly customizable in an easy-to-use preference form so that you can get the look you want, including customizable backgrounds, custom legends, and much more. In the example chart below, the legend is hidden and each bubble is labeled.
Project Portfolio Weight Sensitivity chart with labled bubbles

Project Portfolio Weight Sensitivity chart with labled bubbles and hidden legend.

I expect we’ll be releasing Version 6 in the next few months, so anyone who purchases a Version 5 license today will be eligible for a free upgrade to Version 6. Note that some of the new features will only be available in the Bubble Chart Pro PLUS and Bubble Chart Pro OPTIMAL editions. Click here to download your free trial today!

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