The first step to getting your workspace setup is adding some of your teams’ active projects that they will start working on when you roll out LiquidPlanner. A few tips before you get started:
- Make sure you know the 3 inputs for LiquidPlanner’s scheduling engine.
- Get 5 to 7 projects set up first, then move on Step 2. You can come back later to add the rest of your projects.
- Invite a few co-administrators or managers in your LiquidPlanner workspace. It’s best to learn LiquidPlanner together, and workspace setup will move faster if key collaborators are involved.
A project in LiquidPlanner is represented by a blue folder icon.
A project typically represents an organizational initiative that results in a major deliverable. Projects also have defined a beginning and end, as opposed to ongoing work.
Here are the steps to add your first few projects and get some key information in place:
1. Add multiple projects from the Add Menu
The Add Menu is found on the projects tab. You can add multiple projects from the Add Menu window by clicking on the “New Project” link.
2. Assign the project owner
If you have an assigned project manager, or team member responsible for the outcome of the project, assign that person in the project’s Owner field.
If you haven’t invited the project owner into your workspace yet, you can create and assign it to a virtual member for now, as a placeholder for the real team member.
3. Assign the Project Deadline
If you don’t have a deadline for the project, you can leave this field blank. If you do enter a deadline, LiquidPlanner can warn you if you’re at risk of missing your deadline date.
4. Check the priority order of your projects
Remember that LiquidPlanner’s methodology relies on items in the Projects tab being listed in priority order. The projects that you’ve added at the top should be your higher priority initiatives.
How do you determine which projects should be higher in priority?
Each organization determines priorities differently, but the most common methods are listed below. Choose the option that aligns best with your company’s objectives.
- Prioritize by deadline so that earlier deadline dates are prioritized higher.
- Prioritize by contract value size
- Projects that achieve the company’s strategic initiatives
- Prioritized by most valuable clients
Tasks are the action items for your projects. You will assign a ranged effort estimate on the task that represents the amount of work required to complete the task. LiquidPlanner uses this information to predictively calculate the task start and finish date for you.
Here is the key information you need to include when adding your tasks:
1. Place Tasks in Priority Order
From the Add Menu, create and list your tasks in priority order. If you haven’t noticed already, priority order matters in LiquidPlanner. If you place your tasks in priority order, LiquidPlanner will ensure that higher priority task starts and finishes before the task below.
2. Assign the Task Estimate
In order for LiquidPlanner to calculate a start and finish date for your task, it needs to know how much time it will take. Using a range helps to capture the uncertainty in finish dates.
3. Assign the Task Owner
LiquidPlanner will reference the availability for the task owner. Depending on how many hours they are available each week, and the other tasks they have assigned to them, LiquidPLanner can calculate when the task owner can realistically start and finish this task.
Remember, if you haven’t invited all team members into your workspace, you can use Virtual Members as a placeholder for the task owner.
Sub-Folders are a grey folder icon, and they must be added within a blue Project folder.
A Sub-Folder typically represents phases or stages of your project, such as Phase 1 and Phase 2. Therefore, Sub-Folders should also be placed in priority order.
Do not use Sub-Folders to represent categories of your project. We recommend using custom fields to categorize groups of tasks within your project. Learn more about custom fields in Step 3.
Next: Learn about Packages and Workflow
Once you’ve added a handful of your active projects, with Sub-Folders and Tasks, LiquidPlanner should have calculated your schedule dates for you. Now you’re ready to move on to the next step – establishing your Package structure.