When Rob Welsh, a Development Process Manager at Lake Shore Cryotronics, went searching for a new project management tool, he was in the market for something that would help his team deliver projects on time and on budget. He wasn’t expecting a tool could do that and cut his admin time by two-thirds.
But, in 2016, he implemented LiquidPlanner on his team’s projects, and that’s exactly what he got.
The Road to LiquidPlanner
Before adopting LiquidPlanner, Welsh used Microsoft Project and Microsoft OneNote to track progress and collect status updates from his team of 50. It was time-consuming, and things often deviated from the original plan rather quickly. He also lacked visibility into all of the work being done.
Without all work being done by the team captured in one place, we had little visibility to what sustaining engineering efforts were underway, who was working on them, and how that work affected new product development efforts and timelines.
– Rob Welsh, Development Process Manager at Lake Shore Cryotronics
He wanted a cloud-based solution that offered “a priority-based scheduling engine, a project portfolio solution, and accessibility for all team members to enter and update tasks.”
After experimenting with a trial of LiquidPlanner, it was obvious he had found a solution.
LiquidPlanner provided functionality that included:
- Priority-based scheduling engine
- Cloud-based, with access for all team members
- Visibility across the project portfolio
- Integration with Lake Shore Cryotronics’ time tracking system
- Powerful data and analytics
LiquidPlanner is our first project management tool that actually helps everyone plan and organize their work and get things done.
Benefits of LiquidPlanner
Welsh has seen a number of benefits since adopting LiquidPlanner, including cutting his administrative work by two-thirds. Here are his top 6 favorite benefits of LiquidPlanner:
1. More Realistic Task Estimation
Ranged task estimates, a key feature of LiquidPlanner, make it easier for users to estimate the time it will take to complete their tasks. Many of their tasks have a lot of variables, especially tasks related to research or testing, so LiquidPlanner is a natural fit.
2. Faster Project Delivery
The use of LiquidPlanner results in better decision making and faster task and project completion. Resources know what they should be working on and project leaders have visibility into what each team member is working on.
3. More Accurate Completion Dates
When the project schedule is accurate and matches what is actually happening in the project, it’s easier to make more accurate estimates.
4. Less Wasted Time
For Welsh, the priority-based scheduling engine in LiquidPlanner is a huge time-saver. Welsh estimates that, in the past, he spent 75 percent of his time collecting and maintaining project data. This left only 25 percent of his time to focus on other responsibilities, such as process management. Today, it’s the other way around, with Welsh only spending 25 percent his time on project management.
5. Full Visibility Into Resource Utilization
Before adopting LiquidPlanner, Welsh relied on spreadsheets to estimate where and how his team could spend their time. Now, he can easily see each team member’s planned work across all projects and tasks. Greater visibility also means that everyone on the project team has higher confidence that they’re doing the right work at the right time.
6. Improved Communication and Collaboration
Welsh says, “Many team members are using the commenting features in LiquidPlanner to communicate and provide task updates. In the past, these project artifacts would have been buried in emails, with little in the way of organization or visibility. Now, comments are tied directly to the tasks and items they’re relevant to, in a way that provides visibility to everyone on the team.”
Our use of LiquidPlanner easily saves us dozens of hours each month, which is time that can be redirected toward design and development work.
Want to start seeing results like Welsh and his team at Lake Shore Cryotronics? Start your free LiquidPlanner trial today.