With complex portfolios to manage, it can be hard to determine and communicate your project schedule using traditional methods like a GANTT chart. Because GANTT charts are static, any changes to estimates, availability, budget, scope, and priorities call for manual calculations to come up with new deadlines for your whole project or portfolio. You might spend too many hours rescheduling your work to determine your new delivery schedule, or just give it your best guess. Working this way can lead to projects that drag on long past their original deadlines, and make reporting progress and capacity to managers and stakeholders more difficult.
Here’s a more complete list of cons to using GANTT Charts:
- Waste time manually recalculating schedules after any changes
- Can’t account for any uncertainty
- Projects get behind schedule and have a hard time recovering
- Keeping managers and stakeholders informed of changes is difficult
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a central view of your project schedules that shows a summary of all your scheduling information that responds in real time to change? No more recalculating, no more guessing, and no more waiting to find out. Just a clear, dynamic view of what the future holds for your projects.
LiquidPlanner’s Schedule Bars do just that. Schedule bars show results from the predictive scheduling engine (video) and allow you to easily visualize the important scheduling information at every level for each work item in your portfolio. A schedule bar contains key information about the timeline for each work item, including start and finish dates, uncertainty, and any risk factors involved. Planning Intelligence turns individual schedule bars into dynamic visualization tools. Using the schedule bars, you can quickly visualize how your assignment, task, and project timelines are related, what will finish when, and why.
This means that instead of calculating schedules by hand or guessing at when deadlines should be set, you can immediately see when work will be done and how changes will affect the schedule. You can quickly see when a deadline is in danger and respond, manage how much uncertainty is involved in any work item, and visualize how work items schedules roll-up from project to project. Anytime you have to make a quick change to your work data—even just to forecast a scenario— instantly watch the schedule bars update.
Schedule bars hold the key to lots of quickly available information. Learning how to read them is the first step to success. Let’s check it out in this week’s video:
How to Read the Schedule Bars
Are you trapped in the past, updating project plans that are out-of-date?
LiquidPlanner shows you the future by transforming ranged estimates into Schedule Bars that capture uncertainty and dynamically adapt to change.
Dynamic Schedule Bars tell you everything you need to know about when work is going to start and more importantly, when it will finish.
See all your schedule information update in real-time, at every level.
Schedule Bars come from task estimates.
Estimates represent the amount of effort that is going into each item.
Here, I can add an estimate for this task that doesn’t have one yet.
Since estimates are entered as a range, finish dates are predicted as a range: Expected Finish to Latest Finish.
The larger the white space, the more uncertainty in your work. Where the Schedule Bar begins is your Expected Start date. This is when you are most likely to start, based on the status of higher priority work.
Availability plays into the Schedule Bars as well. Predictive Scheduling is smart enough to know when to hold off on scheduling and when to fill in the gaps. When the effort or timing changes, the Schedule Bars update dynamically.
It’s very easy to spot schedule risk because you’ll see red whenever Predictive Scheduling calculates that work is expected to finish after a Target Finish deadline. With LiquidPlanner, you’re no longer living in the past manually updating out-of-date project plans.
Want to learn more? Check out Academy for more content.
See you next time!