Establishing Guidelines for Team Usage - LiquidPlanner

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Establishing Guidelines for Team Usage

LiquidPlanner is flexible and can be molded to fit your team’s unique needs.   Once your workspace has been set up, many teams find it helpful to create a playbook to get everyone on the same page.  Communicating these rules upfront will set your team up for success and will help everyone feel comfortable with LiquidPlanner.  We recommend scheduling a kickoff meeting with your team, and sharing a team playbook that you create.

Here are a couple of ideas to document and communicate your LiquidPlanner Playbook:

  • Create an email, handout, or PowerPoint presentation for the kickoff meeting.
  • Upload the information to an “LP Playbook” task in LiquidPlanner.

Your LP Playbook should define the goals and guidelines for using LiquidPlanner so that each member has clear answers for; “What do I do?”, “How do I do it?”, “When do I do it?”, “What is my role?”, and “What is the benefit?”.

Download the sample (on the right) to give you an idea of what your team’s playbook might look like.


Set Goals

Start with a concrete goal or objective to get your team excited and understand why using LiquidPlanner is important for your organization. Think about the specific problems you’ve experienced in the past (e.g. unmet deadlines, overbooked resources, shifting priorities) and highlight how they will be resolved with LiquidPlanner.


lp playbook

Set Guidelines

Set guidelines to address the questions below. Then, present these guidelines to help your team members understand what their role is in the workspace and how they should use certain features.

ADDING, MODIFYING, OR PRIORITIZING PLAN ITEMS

Who can add packages, projects, or tasks?

Decide whether any member can create and assign packages, projects, and tasks, or if only managers should create and assign work.

  Tip: We encourage all members to create tasks and assign them to others (even to managers).  LiquidPlanner provides a transparent platform where members can contribute their ideas and move work forward. 

Who should prioritize tasks?

Decide whether you will designate a project owner or manager to update the priority of tasks or if anyone can re-prioritize and/or “package up” tasks to a high priority package, like ASAP.  If you’ve chosen to restrict prioritization privileges for certain members, explain that some members will not be able to re-prioritize plan items.

When should multiple owners be assigned to a task?

When different people need to work on a single task, you’ll want to assign multiple owners to it.  Those owners can be scheduled to work independently or work in order.

  Tip: Assign checklist items to the various owners on the task to define responsibility of specific items that need to be completed as part of the task.

What information should be included when updating tasks?

The Edit Panel should be used to capture a number of important details.  Decide how members will use the following fields: remaining effort, brief description, deadline, reference and any custom fields.

  Tip: A best practice is to encourage the task owner to update the remaining effort field, since this person typically has the most accurate understanding of the work that remains.  Always add attachments, links, notes, and comments with any progress updates.

What should happen before marking a task done?done

Establish what criteria must be met before marking a task as “done”.  For example, task owners should check that hours are logged and that checklist items are completed.  Comments can be used to communicate a summary of work or to capture final details about the task.

 

TRACKING TIME & TIMESHEETS

When should time be tracked and submitted?

Depending on your organization’s time tracking needs, you may want to encourage your members to track time throughout the day, or at minimum, once a day.  If you are using LiquidPlanner’s full timesheet workflow, describe when and how members should submit their timesheets for review.

 Tip: Encourage the use of timers to help members keep track of the hours they are spending on each task.  The accumulated time can then easily be added to their personal timesheets.

 

AVAILABILITY & NOTIFICATION SETTINGS

What should each member’s availability be?

Decide whether team members or managers will set availability. If a team member will be spending part of their workday on work that is not represented in LiquidPlanner, make sure that their availability is reduced for those days.

How often should members receive Change Notification emails?

Members can control their own Notification settings.  Establish requirements around the frequency and types of Notifications you would like your team to receive.  Encourage project managers to Follow items.

 Tip: We recommend leaving Change Notifications set to Realtime so that the right members are alerted when changes occur.


More Ideas…

In addition, you may wish to present specific rules around:

Checklists

Smaller work items for a particular task can be captured as checklist items.  Remind members that assigning checklist items to other people will not draw from their availability.  A best practice is to ensure that all checklist items have been completed before marking the task as “done”.

Virtual Members

If you have established virtual members in your workspace, define their purpose, who should add them, and when they should be used.

Activities

You have the option of creating activities that members can select to categorize logged or remaining hours.  Be sure to explain what each activity should be used for, who should use them, and when they should be used.

Email Integration

Encourage your team to communicate directly in the workspace or by replying to LiquidPlanner email notifications so that chatter and documents can be captured in the context of specific tasks or projects.  Tasks can also be created with email integration.

Tracking Time for non-Project work (Ongoing Tasks)

If it’s important for your team to track all of their non-project hours in LiquidPlanner, make sure to establish a process and explain how to track time using the “ongoing tasks” you’ve set up.

My Work vs Projects tab

Members who are completing tasks in LiquidPlanner should be urged to view and update their tasks from the My Work tab.  Project managers or members responsible for prioritizing work can adjust the schedule from the Projects tab.

Expenses (available with the Enterprise plan only)

Provide guidance for adding billable and non-billable costs incurred during your project work. What’s the approval process? Who enters the data? What supporting information should be included in comments or uploaded to the plan item?


Share Resources and Get Feedback

After you’ve presented your playbook to your team, it’s important to address any questions or concerns.  The more comfortable your team is with using LiquidPlanner, the more it will become part of your organization’s process, and the more likely it is that your team will fully adopt the change.

Show the tips and tricks that you’ve learned in LiquidPlanner and share links to relevant videos, recorded webinars, Knowledge Base articles, user guides, blog posts, and the Help Center, so that your team can always be learning.

Finally, be sure to check in with your team members along the way and make amendments to your playbook if something isn’t working.


See Real Results

Now that you know the importance of creating a playbook, watch this webinar to see some real LiquidPlanner customer playbooks and their results:

 

 

Related Articles

Introducing LiquidPlanner to Your Team
User Guide for Managers
User Guide for Team Members
User Guide for Executives

Establishing Guidelines for Team Usage was last modified: June 23rd, 2017 by Zareen Maurer

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