Veteran project managers know the value of defining and managing a project schedule. Unless the PM has a crystal ball, an up-to-date schedule is the project manager’s best resource to predict the future. Plus, detailed Gantt charts are often hard to follow and can be downright exhausting to read.
As project teams continue to implement Agile practices and seek simpler project management solutions, the kanban approach has become a popular tool for visual project management. With this in mind, LiquidPlanner created Card View, a feature that provides a tactile, Agile and fully customizable view to manage your schedule, a process flow and even your project portfolio.
Here are three key benefits to using LiquidPlanner’s Card View.
- Easier way to manage tasks for visual thinkers
Despite all the data we wade through to track progress and ensure the project delivers on time, people still like to communicate using pictures. Have you ever been to a meeting that doesn’t involve some type of slideshow presentation or graphical bar chart? And think about all those sticky notes and white boards used to outline a plan or project draft.
Card View makes it easy for all levels of project managers to use. You don’t have to know about dependencies or the critical path. Instead, all you have to do is categorize all the tasks and projects, prioritize them and then move them from column to column to manage progress. What could be easier?
Of course, if you’re a project management task master who still needs to see a Gantt chart with specific timeline, you can switch back to the Timeline view. The ability to plan and track work in either the Card View or the Timeline view is a powerful feature that allows teams to work in a style that suits them best.
Here’s a comparison of a website project I’m working on—in both Timeline and Card View:
Website project in Timeline view
Website project in Card View
- Optimizes brainstorming
When I work with teams to define scope, I often start with a mind-mapping tool to collect ideas and start organizing my client’s high-level needs, wishes and wants. Once the high-level scope is defined, it’s time to identify, assign and estimate the actual tasks that need to be accomplished to deliver the work. Card View provides a visual way to think through the best way to schedule and prioritize those tasks.
In the example below, I’m planning the tasks for a small project. Using Card View, I can brainstorm the specific tasks, estimate the effort, assign resources and track progress. Key tasks like “Blog Template” or “Domain Name Registration” will eventually move to the Customer Review column. Before marking any of my tasks as Done (in the Edit Panel), I’ll move them to the Complete column.
- Simplifies checklist management for IT teams
If you’ve ever launched a large IT system (Payroll, PeopleSoft, SAP or any web-based application), then you know the value of using checklists before moving your users to the new system. The project schedule provides the tasks for each team member to approach the launch milestone. However, when you actually perform a system launch, there’s usually a checklist of items that project teams follow.
LiquidPlanner has its own Checklist feature that comes with every task. However, the launch checklists I’m referring to are usually comprised of groups of detailed cutover tasks (“cutover” being the process of transitioning from one system to a new one.) With LiquidPlanner, you can use the Card View to identify the high-level launch tasks and then, click on the Checklist in the task detail to track at a lower level. Instead of filtering through tasks in a spreadsheet, the Card View provides a status at-a-glance and lets you dive deeper into your detailed task checklists.
While Gantt Charts can be useful to communicate the larger time frame, having checklists on a Card View board helps with tactical execution. Since the Card View is accessible to all of your team members, everyone can simply drag-and-drop their finished task to the Complete column and then update the task.
Card View provides a visual picture to help you define and prioritize tasks while visually communicating status. Combined with the Timeline view, you can choose how to interact with your projects, tasks and workflow. Just pick a view—any view!
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