Planning and Scheduling - LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner

Online Manufacturing Project Management Software

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Learn about LiquidPlanner’s scheduling methodology and key features that help you create projects and manage tasks.

Building a Best Case/Worst Case Schedule

Building a project schedule should be easy, right? Just lay out the tasks, assign them, figure out how long they’ll take, and boom – you should have a completion date calculated in no time. But would you bet your salary on it? The truth is that “figuring out how long they will take” is usually, at best, a guess. And adding up a bunch of guesses gets you a pretty risky timeline. One most people are wary of, so they slap a big buffer on ...

Creating Project Plans

This article presents a high-level overview of creating and scheduling projects in LiquidPlanner. You can see all of these concepts in action in our Getting Started Video Series. Create Projects  Go to the Projects tab and add your clients, projects & sub-folders and individual tasks. Watch a video demonstration here: Adding a Project When you create tasks, be sure to estimate the remaining effort (not calendar duratio...

Multi-Project Scheduling

Watch a video demonstration of these concepts here: Scheduling Multiple Projects In order to establish priorities across multiple projects, you need to be familiar with the principles of priority-based scheduling. Here's a quick review: In priority-based scheduling, you don’t set fixed start and finish dates for each task.  Simply assign tasks, estimate effort, and arrange tasks in priority order. The scheduling engine then au...

Statistically Correct Totals

LiquidPlanner uses some moderately sophisticated statistics to calculate things like ranges of dates and ranges of remaining work for the overall project. Statistics for Scheduling You can’t just add up all the best case estimates and then add up all the worst case estimates from the individual tasks in a project. Doing that would get you a range that is much larger than what it should be, realistically. If you did total up the estimates, y...

Timeline View

Timeline View is the default view on the Projects tab. This is where you create your plans and prioritize your work. The main benefit of this view is the schedule bars (gantt chart) that appear next to each plan item. These schedule bars show how the remaining effort of each item is scheduled across a timeline. You can change the scale or anchor date of the timeline with the timeline control. Left-hand navigation The left-hand navigation...

My Work

Watch the video version of this help article here: Daily Task Management Getting Things Done Many task owners don't need to see the full project plan all the time. On a daily basis, they just want to locate and edit their own tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. Sound like you? Welcome to the My Work tab, where you can view, edit and create tasks, checklists, and to-do items all in one spot. There's no need to navigate away to othe...

The Inbox

The Inbox is a special container that cannot be moved from the top of the plan on the Projects tab.  Work in the Inbox is not scheduled, so it's a great place to add new items that will require review before being placed into your scheduled plan. Using the Inbox Items in the Inbox can be assigned, estimated and populated with detail and collaboration content. Tasks, events, and milestones created from My Work or Timesheets ta...

The Edit Panel

In-line editing is available on Your Personal Columns Display for quick edits, such as updating a plan item's owner or a custom field value. For more detailed information about an item, including scheduling, collaboration and documentation, or to make additional changes, you can access LiquidPlanner’s single-page scrolling edit panel. On the Projects tab, open the edit panel by double clicking the plan item name. The edit panel will anchor...

Deadline Dates and Risk Alerts

Deadlines help keep track of important dates and drive alerts to let you know as soon as work is at risk of missing a deadline. Before using Deadlines, make sure that you understand how schedule dates (Finish [E], 90% Finish, etc.) are calculated. Deadline Dates If your goal is to complete something by a specific date, set a deadline date in the plan item's Edit Panel. The deadline date appears as a black diamond in Timeline View on the ...

Delay Until

Setting a delay on a plan item ensures that it won't start before a specific date.  You can set a delay date for any item in the plan item's Edit Panel in the Delay Until field. The delay is shown in front of the schedule bar as a black triangle: In the example above, take a look at the tasks that were originally scheduled to happen after the one that's now delayed.  Since there is no hard dependency between the higher priority dela...

Dependencies and Wait Time

« Back to Training Videos Priority-based scheduling generally eliminates the need to create dependencies between tasks that are owned by the same person. That's because in the absence of any delays or dependencies, the earliest start date of a task you own automatically equals the earliest finish of your previous task in the priority order. In LiquidPlanner, dependencies are most often created between tasks owned by differen...

Multiple Owners On Tasks

« See All Training Videos There may be times when a task requires multiple contributors to get the work done.  In these cases, you will want to assign multiple owners to the same task. Assigning multiple owners to the same task increases transparency and keeps all of the collaboration information centralized on a single task. Assigning Multiple Owners to a Task In the People section of a task’s Edit Panel, click Add...

Setting a Daily Limit

« See All Training Videos You can set a Daily Limit for a project or task to allocate a maximum amount of a resource’s availability (hours per day) to that given item. The Daily Limit you set will cap the amount of time scheduled on a specific project or task for the day, and free up remaining availability for the next highest priority work. The LiquidPlanner scheduling engine references remaining effort, in addition to the D...

Marking Items Done

Who doesn't love the feeling of crossing something off their list? Whether you've just completed a small task or a huge project, be sure to mark it done! Marking an Item Done When a task has been completed, mark it done by checking the Done box in the task Edit Panel: You can also mark a task done from the right-click menu on the Projects tab: right-click on a task > Mark Done, or by checking the box that appears to the left...

On-Hold Status

You can put any item on hold, perhaps because the budget isn't approved, resources haven’t been hired, or you are just not ready to schedule the work.  When an item is on hold it isn't scheduled at all; so it's not pulling availability from anyone, and it isn't affecting any other work in your plan. If you have multiple projects or tasks that need to be placed on hold, consider moving them into a backlog package. * February 28, 2015 Rele...

Max Effort and Risk Alerts

You can specify the max number of hours that you have budgeted for a particular item by setting a Max Effort. A Max Effort can be set on any plan item and is located under Item Details in the Planning section of the Edit Panel. Max Effort Alerts LiquidPlanner will display an alert as logged time approaches the Max Effort, or the total of logged and remaining hours are expected to exceed that value. Alerts appear in the left marg...

Contract Value

« See All Training Videos Using Contract Value In the Edit Panel for a project or a client, you'll be able to enter a monetary amount in the Contract Value field.  Use this field to record a fixed monetary value to be associated with a project or client.  This number is typically used to represent the final negotiated or proposed price for the work being done. Only members with Manager access or above can see/edit the Contract ...

Expenses

Expenses allow you to capture the billable and non-billable costs that you incur as part of your project work. These non-labor expenses are usually itemized costs for things like materials, travel expenses, or fixed-fee services. Typically, billable expenses are passed on to a client or customer, whereas non-billable expenses are internal costs paid for by your employer. Adding Line-Item Expenses Enter expenses on tasks, events, and milesto...

Custom Project and Task Fields

« See All Training Videos Custom project and task fields are part of our data customization feature set. They are located on the Edit Panel for Tasks and Projects, and can be included in plan and time tracking exports, custom reports and dashboards. They are great for capturing attributes that you can use to convey information about your projects' status, risk, process, phase, or classification. They can also be used to ...

Tags

« See All Training Videos Tags allow you to easily categorize plan items and quickly filter to those items.  In addition, you can run reports in Analytics to see trends across items with the same tag or set of tags. Tags are flexible and can be used in addition to Custom Project and Task Fields to add context to your work without affecting priority.  You may wish to add tags to certain items to group them instead of physicall...

Reference Field

Each plan item in LiquidPlanner has one free-text Reference field.  This field is in Item Details, located in the Planning section on the plan item's Edit Panel.  The Reference field is limited to 250 characters.  View Reference field content in the following places: Projects page column Plan CSV exports Report Builder data table and CSV exports Dashboards Timesheet exports Remember that LiquidPlanner also has...
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