A Giant Leap for Online Project Management: LiquidPlanner 3.0

Liz Pearce | June 6, 2011

Old New LiquidPlanner UI
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What a crazy nine months we’ve had at LiquidPlanner! When we started work on the new version of our online project management software, we knew it was a big undertaking. But I think we were all a bit surprised at just how big it turned out to be.

Until now, most of our updates have been about adding some features or making usability improvements.  This one was a different beast.  We re-architected our entire platform, redesigned the user interface from scratch, replaced old technologies with more modern ones, rebranded the company, built a brand new corporate website, recorded all new videos, and wrote a new help guide – all in the name of making your day-to-day process of managing projects more simple. The result is LiquidPlanner 3.0. It’s been a labor of love for all us, and we really (really) hope you like it.

Before diving into the features, I want to thank our customers and partners for their generous feedback and continual support throughout the project. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Introducing Packages: The Key to Even Easier Multi-Project Scheduling

Packages SymbolFirst, a little background. As you might know, LiquidPlanner isn’t like other online project management tools. We tackle some problems in project management that other systems simply ignore. One of those problems is how to manage individual projects and at the same time, manage each team member’s priorities across projects (aka “The Multi-Dimension Problem”).

Our last innovation on this front was to offer two separate views of your project data – the “Organize” view and the “Prioritize” view. You had one set of tasks and two ways to look at it. For many customers, this was the solution they’d been looking for – it gave them the ability to do true multi-project scheduling and get a realistic picture of what was going to get done, when. But truthfully, it wasn’t easy enough to use.

In LiquidPlanner 3.0, we’re introducing a much easier way. With your new “Packages” serving as a framework, you can build a multi-project schedule in minutes by dragging and dropping projects into the right priority order. If you need to multi-task across projects, you can also use Packages to create priority overrides for individual tasks. These overrides can help project teams of all kinds (Agile, Waterfall, and Ad-Hoc) figure out their game plan for all their projects and keep it up-to-date – in real-time – for everyone to see.  At the end of the day, it’s portfolio management for teams. And if you’re not doing it, you’re missing out on a true competitive advantage.

Here are some of the features of our new multi-project scheduling system:  

  • No default tasklists = fewer containers to manage, less confusion
  • No more switching back and forth between views
  • Drag and drop entire projects to reorder
  • Use packages to create priority overrides for individual tasks (“to do list” style)
  • Model your team’s project pipeline by using packages to group projects
  • Quick zoom to exactly what you care about
  • Fewer breadcrumbs for a cleaner view
  • Easier project duplication / templating

LiquidPlanner’s Extreme Makeover

Since we were under the hood of LiquidPlanner making deep structural improvements, it was the perfect opportunity to give the user interface a much-needed facelift. And I’m not just talking colors and button styles – none of the controls, navigation, or menus were left untouched.

Old New LiquidPlanner UI

Here’s what you’ll find in LiquidPlanner 3.0:

  • All new menus
  • All new pickers and controls (They’re searchable! Expandable! Collapsible!)
  • Filtering overhaul (select multiple criteria and apply)
  • New customizable view gallery (all your favorites in one place)
  • New navigation (your most important links are front and center)
  • New dashboard with infinite comment scrolling, upcoming tasks, status & alerts, and weekly progress
  • New portfolio mode for client management
  • Portal design updates
  • New workspace controls page for setting, customization, and more

And while we were at it, we went ahead and threw in:

  • Improved search
  • Drag-n-drop multiple files for upload
  • Timesheet usability enhancements
  • Better viewing of uploaded images

Next on the Horizon

Despite the many changes, we have countless improvements that we wanted to make and couldn’t squeeze in. Some of those we’ll tackle right away, others will go back into the prioritization queue. Our next big focus will be budget management and reporting, and we’ll be calling on you again for your feedback during our design phase. In a nutshell, there are more good things to come!