Editor’s Note: This guide is the second part of our series on making the most of your LiquidPlanner trial. Start there first to create a good foundation for your trial.
In the first part of this series, we walked through setting up a project. In this post, we’ll look at some of the more popular features people use when trialing LiquidPlanner. Below are short descriptions and a few examples of use cases, with links to a full article in our Knowledge Base for a deeper dive on the feature.
As always, please contact our Sales team with any questions or if you’d like to see a demo of the features in this blog post.
When to Use Dependencies
LiquidPlanner’s scheduling engine will schedule out plan items in order, one at a time, for each resource—almost like an automatic dependency—if you are only planning for one resource.
If you need to plan items for multiple resources and the items need to happen in a specific order, you may want to set up dependencies.
Action Item: First, multi-select the plan items you want to create dependencies for (hold down the Ctrl or Shift key to select multiple items). Then, right-click and select “Create Dependencies.”
Common Solution: You can create dependencies between any plan items; a common configuration is to create dependencies between project phases (Sub Folders).
When to Use Events
In LiquidPlanner, each resource on your team will have a unique weekly baseline of availability, the allotted number of hours each day that a workspace member is able to do project work.
While a new project management tool might not sound exciting initially, resources might like the fact that they can’t be overbooked in LiquidPlanner.
“We’ve never had anybody say, ‘I don’t want to use this!’ They like knowing what’s on their plate, and what they are responsible for completing.”- VP of Engineering for Tangent Engineering
While the weekly availability is a baseline for predicting an accurate schedule, having your team set up Events for things like vacation, company holidays, sick days, etc. will help you manage risks such as being under-capacity or missing a deadline.
Action Item: In the EVENTS package on the Projects tab of your trial, try adding a new Event by right-clicking and adding an Event.
Tip: A good example to use is an upcoming company holiday. Make sure to select the correct start and end time. Under resources, you can assign to “Everyone.”
For any resources that have unscheduled overhead work like support tickets or admin, see how to model ongoing tasks in LiquidPlanner.
When to Use Deadline Dates versus Milestones
Many teams like to track Milestones for their projects, but in most cases (please see Scrum and Agile Workflows for those alternate cases), we recommend using Deadline Dates so you will have better visibility into potential risk.
While Milestones have an alert once they have passed that date, Deadline Dates can have four different kinds of Risk Alerts triggered where there is conflict and/or risk.
Action Item: Try adding a deadline date to one of your sample projects by opening the edit panel or the baseball card view. When you add a deadline to a project, notice that all of the underlying tasks and subfolders will inherit the project deadline. If LiquidPlanner calculates there is a risk of missing that deadline, a risk alert will be triggered.
Common Questions About LiquidPlanner
What is an ASAP package?
There may be times that you need to work on a new, unplanned task that is now highest priority for the team. Simply drop the task into the highest package in your workspace. This makes that task the highest priority for that resource. They will now see it at the top of their task list in the My Work tab of LiquidPlanner. Learn more about using Packages to prioritize tasks.
How do I store files in LiquidPlanner?
If you use an internal server or documents on services such as Sharepoint, One Drive, Apple iCloud Drive, and SugarSync, you can use the Link to External File feature instead.
Can you integrate with ___________?
LiquidPlanner’s open API enables you to build integrations with the tools your team uses, such as Jira, Salesforce, and more. You’ll want to check out our Developer Hub or the Developer Community for the best resources on our API.
When customers don’t have in-house developers to spare, they might use a third-party site like Zapier to connect and integrate with existing tools.
Do you need to schedule your resources to work on more than one project or task each day?
I mentioned this briefly before in Part 1, but if you want resources to work on multiple projects or tasks at the same time, you will want to test out adding Daily Limits at the Project or Task level.
Lastly, our knowledge base is an awesome resource for further reading. Search for a key word or see every article and video we have arranged by topic.
Ready to use what you’ve learned? Why not start a free LiquidPlanner trial today?