A Day in the Life of Your Project Plan: For Team Members [The Liquid Approach: Part 5/6]

Liz Pearce | March 4, 2011

PM Team
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Read 4/6: Distributed Project Management: Three Steps to a Living Project Plan

Since we’ve established why it’s so important for team members to participate in the ongoing project planning process, let’s start with them. If you’re a team member, what kind of time commitment should you expect? Here’s a daily action list to keep your part of the plan up to date.

1.    Find the work assigned to you

You can find the work assigned to you in the “my tasks” view, or go to the “projects” page and set the filter to “me.” That will pare the list down just to the tasks assigned to you. In both places, the work will appear in priority order.

2.    Confirm priority order

Does the order of the work look basically right to you? In your job, you may jump around a bit on the tasks. That’s ok as long as you’re keeping progress up to date (more on that next). But if the list you’re seeing doesn’t map to what you think you’re supposed to be working on, take a minute to sync up with your project manager. (Or fix it yourself if that’s the way your team operates.)

3.    Update progress

PM TeamIn LiquidPlanner, all you have to do to update progress is fill in the number of hours you spent working on the task at hand. If your team is tracking time, you might also need to assign an activity code to it. Using the handy task timer will let you calculate to the minute how long things take. (Just remember to hit stop when you’re done!) Do this once a day on all the tasks you work on and you’ll be golden.

4.    Check estimates

When you update your progress, the “remaining work” estimates will go down by a corresponding amount. Note that those estimates are best case / worst case scenarios. It’s a good thing to double-check that remaining work to see if it’s still on track. If not, re-estimate it and move on. You can quickly scan the tasks at the top of your priority list (even the ones you didn’t work on today) to make sure they’re about right. This will make your project manager very happy.

While you’re in each task marking progress and updating estimates, go ahead and add some color to your update. It can be informal like, “Good progress being made,” or something more detailed, like “Sent round 1 revisions back to the designer.” This keeps a record on the task of what’s going on each day. You can send your comments to another team member if you want to keep them in the loop. To keep an even more detailed record, add additional collateral on the Collaborate view.

6.    Get back to work

That’s it! Now you’ve made your updates and can get back to tackling the tasks on your list. Estimated time elapsed: 4–7 minutes.

See you tomorrow for our last post on The LiquidPlanner Approach: A Day in the Life of Your Project Plan: For Project Managers