Showing versus describing

Describing is an indirect way to convey a message:
  • We have systems in 3 countries
  • They are maintained on different time schedules
  • Five different departments are interfering with maintenance
In short, it is a mess. The bullet point chart above does not convey the message very well. Why not show the mess and create a chart with boxes for each of the countries, the departments and connect them with arrows color-coded by time to show what's going on.

The chart will be busy, the chart will be dense, the chart might even be incomprehensible, but hey, you wanted to convince your audience that it is time to do something about this? No better way to do it.

Image credit: Mr. P