When you hear the term ‘visibility’, what do you think of? In a project-led business it’s about having a clear picture of how a project is performing, including resource allocation and potential risks. Increasing visibility ensures everyone involved in the project understands what the objectives are for the work and their personal role in meeting this goal – and managers spend a lot of time trying to achieve that. A work management software tool can help, but only if everyone looks at it.
However, simply ‘looking’ doesn’t unlock the power of project visibility because you can only tap into the benefits of that if you take it one step further. You don’t just want visibility. You could get that by looking at everyone’s To Do lists, and yet that wouldn’t help you align the team or ensure everyone was clear about their objectives. Instead, the target should be intelligent visibility: a way to keep up when you can’t see the path ahead. A way to know when your objectives will be done even though the future is filled with changing priorities that prompt hand-offs between teams that always seem to risk slowing things down. When you can’t see what’s coming people lose trust in the plan, or worse, each other.
We’ve written before about the top project management visibility issues faced by teams. Our research shows that seven challenges come up time and time again for project leaders:
- My team doesn’t understand their roles or expectations
- I am spending a lot of my time updating and communicating with stakeholders
- My team is complaining that they don’t have enough time to do their work
- We use a whiteboard to track and communicate progress
- I can’t always see potential risks and threats to my project
- I don’t know where time was spent in retrospect
- We’re falling behind because we can’t see what’s next
Any project manager would lose sleep faced with those challenges. The good news is that you don’t need seven separate solutions to deal with them because they all share a common thread and if you can unlock the power of project visibility you can brush the issues away with one sweep.
Let us share the secret of planning intelligence with you.
The simple step to improve visibility
Planning intelligence is a new approach to project automation that adapts to change in real time. It uses smart ways to think about and present project data so you always have a single view of the truth and the confidence that what you are seeing can be trusted.
When your software tools use the power of planning intelligence, it’s easy to bring the team together around transparent goals. People, projects and tasks are woven together into a single portfolio so you can always see what the team is working on and what the impacts will be when priorities change, as projects are almost always connected by shared team members.
Here’s how it works.
Surface actionable insights
There’s a lot to keep track of in a busy project portfolio and sometimes it’s tempting to simply work on the things that are most visible to you right now: for example the problems at the top of your inbox. A study by Carleton University found that people spend a third of their working time on reading and answering emails but guess what? Thirty percent of those emails weren’t urgent or important – they were simply visible by virtue of the fact they were in the inbox at all.
There is a way to bring actionable insights to the top of your To Do list so the team doesn’t drown in irrelevant requests. The solution is using smart software to bring all the elements you need to run a project together in a centralized location. It’s more than basic visibility: it’s a new way of viewing your portfolio’s complex ecosystem – and it helps you make the right decisions at the right time.
Software powered by planning intelligence, like LiquidPlanner, reveals the metrics you need with customizable dashboards and schedule indicators so you can make those business trade-offs that are at the heart of real life operations. For instance with built-in alerts, you can set your target finish date and the moment you become at risk of not completing by the deadline – whether that’s due to shifting priorities, scope increases, or newly added work added – LiquidPlanner immediately lets you know. When business-critical insights are at your fingertips, you can deliver confident updates your leadership team will appreciate.
Planning intelligence surfaces data-driven insights to improve performance by speeding up decision making across your project portfolio. Use those insights as your virtual assistant, calling out plan progress, risk, and workload problems before they happen. You’ll be able to keep up, even when the future looks uncertain because you’ll be using relevant data to manage risk in real time.
Enhance transparency and trust
When people don’t understand how decisions are made, they tend not to buy into the decision itself and that creates issues with managing expectations, meeting deadlines and more. Transparency in decision making is so important it’s called out as one of the aspirational standards in the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
However, transparency goes beyond the realm of decision making as it fundamentally enhances trust in the plan. When people know how the plan was put together and can see the data that underpins their next steps, they feel more confident in being able to achieve those steps.
Software that is powered by planning intelligence makes it easy to see what has happened, why it happened and what’s coming next. It makes hand-offs between teams transparent and predictable so everyone knows when work is expected and believes in a schedule that’s realistic. It supports a culture where trust between professional colleagues is assumed without having to be earned. There are tangible reasons to create trust within the workplace – a study by Gallup reports that employees with high trust in their organizational leadership are twice as likely to say they will still be with the company in a year’s time, reducing the costs and effort involved with recruiting and onboarding new starters.
But planning intelligence is more than just a reliable schedule. It helps your company see into the future and know when objectives will be reached which in turn helps with managing expectations, spotting potential threats and making sure new projects only start when people have the time to dedicate to them.
A project management system that scales the way you need it is crucial for planning how best to utilize your team and project resources in the future, and for identifying the kind of issues you can only see with a holistic, centralized source of trusted information that stretches across your whole portfolio. Stop managing each project individually and start putting the pieces together to visualize the whole journey.
Smart portfolio management for uncertain times
With intelligent portfolio management, your team will stop wasting time on plans that won’t survive the week. We’re living in what’s been called the Project Economy and there’s a certain cadence that comes with that: a cadence that will sweep you off your feet if you can’t keep up. Your business needs the tools to navigate through uncertainty and changing priorities, with real-time data to help the whole organization make the right decisions at the right time.
With software powered by planning intelligence, like LiquidPlanner, you add your projects and let the smart portfolio management features do the rest. The result is that your whole project, program and portfolio ecosystem is laid out for you (and everyone else) so you can see where effort is being spent, make adjustments in real time and communicate progress in a way that’s meaningful.
We know that teams that rely on planning intelligence put results at the heart of their business – and all the little changes (and the big ones) can be managed smoothly in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming because everyone knows what is going on.
Remember those seven challenges facing many project leaders? Our research flagged up one common trend: businesses using LiquidPlanner don’t struggle with those. Planning intelligence expands their competitive advantage and brings trends in their portfolio to life so they can focus on the things they do best: keeping all the balls in the air. It could do the same for you.
LiquidPlanner is a transformative project management solution that uses predictive scheduling to dynamically adapt to change and manage uncertainty. It helps teams prioritize, predict and perform with confidence. Rated the best software for complex projects by PC Magazine, smarter planning – and smarter visibility – is a click away. FREE TRIAL