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Customer Q&A: Nick Watson, Head of Development at Optix Solutions - LiquidPlanner

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Case Study With LiquidPlanner: How Optix Solutions Uses LP to Maximize Resources

Nick Watson

, one of the UK’s leading and most innovative web design and online marketing agencies, needed an online project management tool that would help them deliver the goods –on time—to their various customers. Nick Watson, Head of Development (and one of our favorite people to follow on Twitter), answers questions about how LiquidPlanner helps them get things done and why other agencies should give it a shot:

What three challenges you were looking to solve with LiquidPlanner?

  1. Ability to schedule multiple and concurrent tasks efficiently. It was exhausting when we tried to do this ourselves.
  2. Reduce the use of paper. We had a paper-based system before that got very messy and time consuming!
  3. Maximize resources and use of time.

What other products did you look at?

Here are just some of the other tools we looked into:

  • Microsoft Project 2010
  • Basecamp
  • Producteev
  • 5 PM
  • Zoho

What three LiquidPlanner features do you like best?

  1. Resource leveling (automatic scheduling): very few online task tools do this!
  2. Time estimates (we like the whole worst case/best case estimating)
  3. Integrated timers

What other competitive advantages or ROI does LiquidPlanner provide?

LiquidPlanner gives us confidence that we are providing our customers with realistic project/task delivery dates.

How does having your project schedules and to-do lists change as priorities change optimize team performance?

When done properly, it can make your teams much more efficient, and also removes the need to constantly sit down and re-shuffle fixed dates every time.

LiquidPlanner enables team members to “drive the schedule” through task estimating, ultimately creating a realistic and updated to-do list. How important is it to get “bottom-up input” to optimize team performance?

Getting bottom-up input is something we’ve always done and I feel it is essential. It helps provide more accurate time estimates and as such, a more accurate schedule so we can be confident with our delivery dates.

LiquidPlanner allows us to react quickly if priorities change. We quite often have situations where a client has to have work done faster. We can essentially re-prioritize and immediately see the knock on effect.

Nick’s Three Keys for Success:

  1. Use a tool like LiquidPlanner to handle resource leveling and task scheduling.
  2. Implement a process alongside the tool to make sure everyone is using it the same way.
  3. Get everyone involved and take the time to explain how the system works. We found a lot of people had a hard time putting trust in a tool that does everything for them!


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