Lights, camera, action! #
Now that your workspace is configured and you have documented your processes, you are ready to train the rest of the team and go live with LiquidPlanner! You have made a huge investment to get to this point, so take a moment to admire the work that has been done. This is an exciting time!
When introducing your team to a new tool, it’s important to speak to the inevitable question “what’s in it for me?” and deliver a confident message consistently across teams. Here are some tips and tricks to consider as you prepare to train your team:
- Consider the audience. For large teams with different workflows and responsibilities, consider conducting separate training sessions for specific roles. For example, you might have one session for project managers and another session for task owners who simply need to update their assignments.
- Define the training agenda. Identify your priorities for the initial launch and prepare a training agenda that drives those behaviors. For example, do you want to establish solid estimating and time tracking habits before you worry about capturing custom data? Be mindful of your team’s capacity to take on new processes and (if necessary) train in phases that build on established habits.
- Enlist Executives and Champions. The success of your roll out lies in part with the team that has brought you this far. Have them lead parts of the training and ask them to share their own insights about using LiquidPlanner.
- Invite team members to the workspace. Be sure to invite people to the workspace a day or two prior to the training so they are able to log in during the training session and participate in hands on training.
Set the stage #
Bringing the team together is an important part of the roll out. It gives everyone the opportunity to hear first hand why LiquidPlanner was chosen and how they will benefit from collaborating together in the workspace. We recommend setting up a 90 minute session so there’s plenty of time for discussion and questions.
- Open with an executive. Have an executive or stakeholder open the training session to reinforce the importance of this implementation to the success of your business.
- Introduce LP Champions. Let everyone know they can rely on LP Champions to answer their questions about workflow and processes in your workspace.
- Share your user guide. Share and review your user guide during the initial training session to familiarize everyone with the workspace set up, processes and expectations.
- Make it interactive. Incorporate hands-on practice into the training. Create a practice package at the bottom of your workspace where your team can practice without fear of disturbing your production work.
- Emphasize expectations. Any expectations around how the team should be using LiquidPlanner should be mentioned several times throughout the training and tied to the value team members will receive. For example, keeping tasks up-to-date will reduce time in meetings because of increased visibility into the status of project work.
- Let them know where to go for help. Share links to Academy lessons and encourage team members to explore on their own after the initial session.
Introduce your workspace #
Your user guide includes a variety of important information: a description of your portfolio structure, business rules around who creates and prioritizes work, expectations around logging progress and estimating work, guidelines around setting custom data, and various other processes. Refer to your user guide as you introduce your workspace, as it is a helpful resource and companion to Academy.
Start with Academy. Encourage Team Members to spend time in the Academy to understand how LiquidPlanner can empower them and simplify day-to-day work management.
Walk through your package structure on the Portfolio View. Be sure to emphasize which projects belong in each package. Walk through the process of who creates projects and prioritizes work.
Dive into what each plan item is and what it represents: packages, projects, sub-folders, and tasks.
Share any Custom Data that has been added to your workspace and expectations around who should be updating this information.
Explain your custom Task Statuses and how each should be used since updating status is vital for project communication.
Expectations around estimating & logging progress #
Share expectations around how team members will interact with LiquidPlanner on a daily basis. This is important for teaching the team how to change as you implement a new tool with new behaviors. Be clear in explaining exactly what they need to do and how it will impact the team’s goals.
Here’s what you could say:
You will log in every morning and clearly see what you are responsible for and how long it will take. If adjustments are made, you’ll be able to see any changes in priority or scope reflected in the My Work view, so you can adapt immediately and always know what is the most important.
Predictive Scheduling uses your availability, task priority, and the remaining estimate to calculate expected start and finish dates. When you log progress, the remaining estimate is reduced by that same amount. Your changes update the schedule in real time to show when work will be done, and when you’ll be ready to start something new.
Edit estimates when you need more time to finish, or if you’ll wrap it up earlier than anticipated. When your remaining estimate reaches 0-0 and work is finished, mark the assignment done. If everyone else is done with their assignments, set the task status to done.
By logging progress, estimating your assignments, and updating the status of your tasks, you’ll be able to easily see the impact of your work within the entire project portfolio. How cool is that?
During this part of the training, make it interactive! Have the team add a task, assign themselves, set a remaining estimate, and log progress. Estimating and logging progress is an essential part of LiquidPlanner, so it is important to make them comfortable with these actions.
Show them where to find their work #
Most Team Members will primarily work within My Work. This is where Team Members should spend most of their time in LiquidPlanner, so be sure to dive into the different views during your training.
Here’s how you can explain the different views and the value they provide:
There is a special place on the left-side navigation called My Work where you can see all your cross project work, set your availability, and add a profile image.
The Workload view displays your cross-project work expected to start within the next 30 days. Tasks are listed in assignment schedule order. Editing tasks is easy in this view – simply click on a task name to access its edit panel.
Use Board view to manage your own task. Task cards display on a board when there are active assignments for that person on the task.
Timesheet is an efficient way to view your assigned work and log progress quickly across multiple tasks to keep the schedule up to date. Tracking time records progress and brings you closer to the end of your day. Enter your time in minutes, hours, or days and automatic scheduling will calculate schedule dates. Tasks display in priority order, based on your assignment schedule.
Availability is what makes Predictive Scheduling, Workload Balancing, and Realistic Schedules possible in LiquidPlanner. Set your schedule and you’ll never be overbooked. In order to set realistic expectations about when work can be done, you need to exclude hours you’re not available for project work and have the flexibility to extend hours when you plan on working overtime. Use Working Times to set your workday and automatic scheduling will balance out your workload. Time Off ensures work doesn’t schedule when you aren’t around to do it. Nothing beats the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that work will flow around your personal schedule.
Profile is where you manage your personal information and upload a profile image.You can get there by using the link for My Profile in the User Menu (upper right corner of the workspace) or via the person icon for My Work in the left-side navigation.
Use My Favorites to create a customizable list of views you can access in one click. Favoriting a view adds it to the left navigation menu for easy one click access.
Break a leg! #
Using a new tool always has a learning curve. Encourage the team to learn together and share any questions they have, features they love, and helpful Academy lessons.
Maintain momentum by planning a follow-up session. Schedule at least one session within a few weeks of the training to gather feedback, answer questions, and identify additional training needs. Your team will appreciate the time spent to listen to their questions and feedback.
Your team will grow and it is important to have training sessions (either live sessions to promote questions or recorded sessions) and Academy lessons ready for new members. Keeping your user guide up to date will help make onboarding a new team member much easier.
This tool is intended to empower our team to work together on the right things at the right time so we can maximize productivity and achieve our desired project outcomes.