Tag: Plan

Visual Project Management: Everything You Need to Know

Visual project management has been creating a buzz in the project management arena, and it’s not difficult to see why. Visuals are captivating, and now that most companies have adopted a lean culture, project managers no longer have the time to go through multiple reports. Regular status briefings are also not enough to gain a complete picture of the project’s status, which is where visual task management comes into play.

It allows you to plan, execute and monitor the progress of your project quickly, without having to read multiple reports. Visuals also bring ideas to life and make complex ideas easier to understand, saving valuable time. Simply put, visual project management allows you to track your project in an easy and fun way. In this guide, we’ll highlight why you should embrace this method of task management.

What Is Visual Project Management?

Visual project management effectively plans and manages projects using tools and techniques such as calendars, Kanban boards, and timelines. These layouts allow you to visualize the progress of your project and give you quick insights into the key deliverables at a glance or in a digestible format.

Regardless of the projects you are managing, you need to find an effective way of planning and tracking the milestones. For instance, you need to know who’s responsible for what, key pieces essential to the project’s success, and any areas that are delaying project progress.

While traditional project management tools get the job done, they are ineffective. For example, spreadsheets and lists may contain all the important information, but it can take time to determine the true progress of your projects. This is because they are text-based, and let’s face it: the business environment is now so fast-paced that document-heavy processes just don’t cut it anymore.

How Do You Visualize a Project?

Research shows that your brain can process images in about 13 milliseconds, which is why visuals are an effective project management tool. They also allow you to capture and retain information easily.

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6 Steps to Visualize a Project

  1. Plan your entire project schedule, including the important milestones and deadlines.
  2. Use a chart to organize your team while showing the relationship between all the key stakeholders.
  3. Present the data visually using maps, charts, infographics, and other images that allow for at-a-glance comprehension.
  4. Create a risk breakdown structure to assess the tentative project risks.
  5. Use a status report to track the project’s progress. Ensure everyone involved is updated periodically.
  6. Use color coding for effective communication. All project materials should be available for all stakeholders so everyone can see project progress in real time.

Here’s a step-by-step guide into how you can visualize your projects:

  1. Plan your entire project schedule, including the important milestones and deadlines.
  2. Use a chart to structure your team while showing the relationship between all the key stakeholders.
  3. Present the data visually using maps, charts, infographics, etc.
  4. Create a risk breakdown structure to assess the tentative project risks.
  5. Use a status report to track the project’s progress.
  6. Use color coding for effective communication.

The whole idea is to make sure that all the project’s key moving parts are organized & easy to identify and that everyone is kept in the loop.

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What Are the Benefits of Visual Task Management?

Here’s why you should adopt visual project management:

  • It enhances communication across all project levels.
  • It saves you time as you’re able to monitor the project’s progress at a glance.
  • It gives you clarity on the entire project and makes it easy to identify roadblocks slowing you down.
  • It allows you to make data-driven decisions.

Most importantly, visual task management helps you understand the true impact of making changes to a project in real-time.

What Are the Main Methods of Visual Representation of Projects?

There are 5 main tools you can use to make a visual project;

    I.         Calendars

Project calendars are straightforward, and they come in handy when there are multiple tasks to manage, all with varying due dates. They help you keep track of key deliverables and milestones as well as plan ahead for successful execution. You can use them on your social media calendars, editorial calendars, or other projects that require earlier preparation.

 II.         Kanban Boards

Kanban boards are essential for projects with distinct stages such as website development, sprint planning, bug tracking, and word results. They are visual tools that use cards to represent projects. These cards are then arranged in columns highlighting the project milestones, task priorities, and responsible personnel. When the project is completed, the cards are moved to the next stage, allowing you to identify the task progress at a glance.

III.         Timelines and Charts

Project timeline or Gantt charts come in handy for projects with definite start and end dates. They help you organize your entire project schedule so that everyone involved in the task is aware of the deadlines and the time each task should take. Some of the perfect tasks for timelines and charts include product launches, campaign management, and event planning.

IV.         Dashboards

Dashboards treat your project as a car and use intuitive tools such as charts and graphs to help you track the task progress. They highlight all the important project information on one page, showing you the overall progress. You can use this visual tool to check the status of tasks, track KPIs and manage the key resources. The dashboards you use should be intuitive and easy to navigate for maximum efficiency.

  V.         Mind Maps

We’ve all been in a situation where we know what we’d like to achieve but have a hard time organizing our ideas. Well, mind maps can come in handy during brainstorming sessions. They allow you to highlight your main ideas and then create sub-ideas below them until you have everything figured out. You can also use them when collaborating with the team to create a project plan.

Statistics reveal that around 48% of all organizational projects aren’t completed on time. This is shocking. By using the above visualization tools, you’ll be able to see the bigger picture without missing the key details.

FAQs

  1. What Are the Four Types of Project Management?
  2. Waterfall: This technique involves working on your project in waves, such that each project stage is dependent on the previous one.
  3. Agile: This method involves working on projects quickly, mostly by breaking them down into smaller projects that several teams can handle.
  4. Scrum: This technique uses sprints to complete projects.
  5. Lean: This project management method is all about achieving maximum project efficiency while putting the customer’s needs first.
  6. How Do You Visually Track a Project?

The best way to visualize a project is by first breaking it down into several phases and then creating timelines, defining KPIs, and highlighting important milestones. You should then communicate this plan to your team for maximum efficiency.

  1. What Are the Five Elements of Project Management?
  2. Conception and initiation: This is the beginning of the project, and the task details are usually broad.
  3. Project planning: At this stage, you should set goals and create a roadmap of how and when your project should be completed.
  4. Project execution: This is where you develop deliverables and complete them. You can also make modifications when needed.
  5. Project monitoring: At this stage, you keep track of the performance and progress of the tasks.
  6. Project completion.

Streamline Your Project Management Today!

There are many frameworks and methodologies you can combine with visual project management to help better streamline your achievement and success.

Combining project management with a robust performance management program, for example, can help hold your team accountable for their deliverables, as well as offer them continuous feedback so they can constantly improve their performance on a certain project. Give your team an opportunity to evaluate themselves, and show them self-evaluation examples so they know exactly what information they should share with you. This will help you gain a better understanding of how they see themselves and their contributions in the organization.

Principles of eCommerce Project Management

What is eCommerce Project Management and Why is it Important?

eCommerce project management is the application of knowledge skills, tools, and techniques in a structured manner to reach eCommerce project goals and requirements. Proper project management can improve a business’s efficiency, foster collaboration between teammates, boost a team’s performance, and improve customer satisfaction. eCommerce project management differs from traditional project management because online businesses function differently at a fundamental level. For example, the storefront management component of a traditional business isn’t relevant to completely digital companies.

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Methods of eCommerce Project Management

  • Lean Project Management

Lean project management is an iterative process, meaning it is meant to be updated continuously until the desired outcome is met. The primary objective of lean project management is to deliver value to the client. This is done by polishing the final product at each stage in the management process, rather than focusing on a long-term implementation plan. In this sense, lean project management is a more reactive process than other management methods.

  • Agile Project Management

Agile project management is another iterative form of management similar to lean project management. The primary difference with agile project management is that each phase of the process focuses on a new element of the final product rather than refining the product at each step. Agile project management also allows for customer feedback to be gathered and implemented very quickly. Flexibility is the primary benefit of agile project management.

  • Waterfall Project Management

Waterfall project management is the oldest method of project management that is still common today. The waterfall project management method is sequential instead of iterative. In this method, the entire project is planned at the beginning of the process. This includes research and development, product introduction, and product launching. The primary benefit of the waterfall method is that your team will have a solid final goal to work towards and an overall sense of direction. However, this method of project management is pretty rigid and does not adapt well to customer feedback or new ideas for implementation.

  • Scrum

Scrum project management has a strong focus on collaboration between team members. Scrum management usually involves short, frequent, oftentimes daily, meetings where team members review project progress, discuss the problems they are facing and plan the objectives for the day. These frequent meetings make it easy to ensure that every member of a team is on the same page. The scrum process is divided into phases known as sprints. Each sprint focuses on creating a ready-to-use product that can be refined in later sprints.

  • Kanban

Kanban is similar to the scrum style of project management due to its use of sprints, but the lifecycle of each sprint is shorter than in the scrum method. The Kanban management style is also more flexible than scrum because it allows for project elements to be refined whenever necessary, not just in later sprints. Kanban focuses on continuous changes and updates that contribute to overall task progress.

Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

How to Plan Your eCommerce Projects

The planning process of your eCommerce project will vary depending on the style of project management you have implemented, but there are a few crucial aspects that are present in any eCommerce planning process.

  • Competitor Analysis

The eCommerce market is growing rapidly and has a fierce amount of competition. Competitor analysis will give you valuable insights into the competition’s strengths and weaknesses, which can benefit you in a few different ways. Firstly, these insights will allow your business to adapt. You’ll be able to avoid the mistakes that other companies have made and implement strategies that have worked. Secondly, competitor analysis will show you what makes your business unique compared to other companies. This will enable your business to focus on a niche in the market that you can better serve.

  • Website Planning and Business Optimization

Having a fast, intuitive website that is easy to use is incredibly important to eCommerce businesses. If your website doesn’t offer customers a good user experience, then it is unlikely that they’ll return to make another purchase. Creating a memorable website goes beyond the design and structure of your website, it should also have modern functionality such as responsive windows and automation. Many online shoppers today make purchases through mobile devices so your eCommerce business’s website should be capable of responding to different screen sizes. Websites that function well on multiple devices generally outperform unoptimized websites. Many consumers also expect websites to have automated functions. Automation can also streamline certain business operations. For example, shipping APIs can streamline warehouse processes and allow more orders to be fulfilled.

  • Advertising

Advertising is important for businesses of all sizes in any industry. There are several channels that can be used for advertising. These include physical advertisements, influencer campaigns, social media profiles, and digital advertisements. Social media is arguably the most important advertising channel for eCommerce businesses because it offers them a means of two-way engagement with potential customers.

How Project Managers Can Unlock Visibility In The Supply Chain

Supply chains are an essential component of modern businesses. Every industry depends on them to ensure goods are delivered on time and in perfect conditions. The slightest disruption can throw processes awry and create immense losses for stakeholders.

Visibility into supply chain processes helps minimize errors thanks to end-to-end connectivity. When speaking of visibility implementation, most discussions center around IoT devices and the need for front-end processes to tie together.

However, visibility into supply chain logistics also depends heavily on back-end processes tying together. Project managers have immense input in process design and must ensure that infrastructure doesn’t turn into a roadblock to visibility. Here are a few key ways supply chain project managers can ensure they meet their organization’s broader visibility goals.

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Define Project Scope

Visibility depends on various systems talking to each other. For instance, a manufacturing unit communicates condition-related data to its logistics partner’s systems. This overlap often causes issues on the back-end, especially when enhancing infrastructure.

New projects can potentially get lost in a maze of scope creep if project managers neglect to define boundaries appropriately. Continuing the previous example, if a project manager in charge of upgrading logistics systems strays too much into the manufacturing unit’s data structure and job scheduling, they’re likely to take on too much work.

Managers must define the scope thoroughly during the project planning phase. More importantly, they must seek buy-in from project stakeholders to avoid miscommunication down the road. A good way to receive buy-in is to spell out requirements as clearly as possible. This way, PMs can prevent confusion and also transparently communicate project goals.

Standardize Communication

 

When multiple systems and teams talk to each other, communication typically suffers. Each team uses different standards and modes of conveying information, and this leads to confusion in the back-end of supply chain systems.

Project managers can mitigate this problem by standardizing and simplifying communication standards. For instance, if a data issue from an upstream partner is creating testing issues on their system, PMs can create communication and report templates that their teams can use.

These templates can also be shared with upstream and downstream partners to simplify communication. It’s best to implement these templates during the dev and testing phases. By doing this, any production issues will be dealt with swiftly.

PMs will have to deal with some pushback from their project partners since everyone will likely prefer different templates. Collaboration, then, is the key to unlocking visibility in the supply chain. So always focus on collaborating to create the best back-end system that supports business aims.

Create Knowledge Repositories

 

Implementing visibility requires teams from every area of the supply chain to come together and integrate their systems. Project releases typically follow an iterative or CD release process. In the rush to release upgrades and constantly improve the product, critical development information tends to get lost.

 If a project team is localized, this isn’t necessarily an issue. After all, there will always be informed personnel around to explain key decisions and historic choices. However, supply chain projects do not work like that. Often spanning the globe, they’re vast and involve teams that might never see each other face-to-face.

 Standardized communication, as previously highlighted, goes a long way towards ensuring visibility-enhancing projects proceed smoothly. However, PMs must create knowledge repositories and archives to help external teams understand their systems and data structures.

For instance, if an upgrade involves scheduling an ETL process from an external source, the PM and dev team must familiarize themselves with the upstream system’s data formats and models. Without a repository or knowledge base, the team will rely on inefficient emails and meetings where nothing gets solved.

A repository will allow them to quickly determine which data sets they need, the formats they need them in, and communicate this to the upstream team. Thus, iterative releases become simpler, and front-end visibility doesn’t suffer.

Prepare Data Appropriately

 

A project’s success and progress are measured by the business impact it creates. In an interconnected series of projects, measuring success can turn into an issue if PMs neglect measuring success with the right metrics. Often, data from external sources are necessary to measure success.

For instance, a logistics PM will have to take condition-related data from the manufacturer and downstream partner into account, and isolate them from their datasets. Only once this separation has been achieved can they create reports measuring delivery success.

Every stakeholder in the supply chain runs analytics these days, and cleaning data is an essential task. PMs must verify their ETL processes for data integrity and make sure any changes they make are communicated to downstream entities.

Downstream changes often rear their head when upgrading from legacy to modern systems. In such instances, it’s best to refer to knowledge repositories and communicate changes to all stakeholders. Standardizing data models and database design principles is also a good way of ensuring data integrity is maintained across multiple systems.

Back-End Processes Essential For Visibility

 

While front-end technology receives the bulk of the attention when speaking of visibility, backend processes are just as important. PMs play a significant role when determining process design. These 4 tips will help them create robust processes that ensure visibility is implemented and maintained throughout the supply chain.

5 Reasons Why Saviom is an ideal partner for all your resource management needs

In my next 5 Reasons Why installment, let’s take a look at Saviom software.

 

Saviom Software is an Australia-based software company and a market leader offering robust and configurable resource management and workforce planning solutions. With over 20 years of experience, Saviom has established its global presence across 50+ countries and helped more than 100 customers achieve their business goals. Some of their esteemed clients include PwC, Fujitsu, Siemens, Honeywell, DHL, Continental, and many others.

Benefits and Features of Saviom Software

1.Reduce Costs significantly

Saviom can help leverage the skillsets of cost-effective global resources across matrix organization boundaries. Its forecasting capabilities reduce unnecessary hiring/firing costs. Saviom also helps minimize deployment of under/over skilled resources on projects.


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2.Maximize profitable utilization

Saviom’s powerful forecasting analytics helps you to improve the billable and effective utilization of your workforce. Applying advanced filters, managers can proactively mobilize resources from non-billable or low priority to billable projects. It also enables you to track the estimated vs. actuals and improve the overall forecasting process by aligning it to reality.

3.Manage Pipeline Opportunities

Saviom helps plan for pipeline projects in advance by identifying resource shortfalls/excesses using demand capacity planning. It also allows you to bridge the gap proactively by exploring various resourcing channels. Planning and forecasting future/pipeline opportunities help align the sales and delivery team.

4.Multidimensional resource scheduling

Saviom provides 360-degree visibility of resources across the verticals of geography, functions, domains, and business units of matrix structure organization. Slice and dice allocations and multidimensional scheduling capability ensure appropriate resources are available for suitable projects at the right time and cost.

5.Scenario-based modeling and simulation

What-if analysis, Saviom’s unique feature, helps you get the best possible ROI within existing resource constraints. One can either extend timelines or mobilize resources to a high-priority project before arriving at the best outcome. Accordingly, analyze the impact on resource capacity and utilization and make an informed decision.

Ready to try Saviom? Signup for a free trial or book a demo today.

Five Ways Leankor’s Enterprise Work and Project Management Solution Transforms Complexity to Profitability

My next installment in this exclusive Project Times series on project management related tools and services looks at Leankor’s offering that promises to make projects more profitable while also making them easier to manage during these remote PM and virtual project teams real world times.

Remote teams. Tighter budget controls. Efficiency mandates. For enterprise organizations already navigating the complexities of large-scale initiatives, 2020 brought further complication with the disruptive effects of a global crisis. And while some degree of the former normal may eventually return, the heightened pandemic-era pressure to accelerate delivery while driving profitability is here to stay—regardless of where teams work.

Fortunately, as the world changed, enterprise organizations have been able to rely on Leankor’s sophisticated enterprise work and project management solution to seamlessly transform operations and combat the challenges that have resulted from this evolution.  With super-charged collaboration features, Leankor’s next-generation solution transforms complex, interconnected workflows and business processes into easy-to-manage plans for faster delivery and profitability. Here are five ways Leankor helps teams do their best work.

Closer Collaboration When Teams Are Farther Apart

While the future of the remote workplace is still evolving, collaboration among distributed teams will always be critical to enterprise work and project management success. According to a December 2020 PwC survey, 87% of employees say the office is important for collaborating with team members. Salesforce research finds 96% of workers believe lack of collaboration is the source of workplace failures.

To bridge the collaboration gap, Leankor’s sophisticated, cloud-based work and project management solution links distributed internal and external teams with full transparency into planning, execution and strategy. For the most complex, large-scale projects, stakeholders must align from kickoff to delivery, and often even as early as the opportunity development stage. That includes not only remote office employees but also contractors, field services teams and even customers. Leankor empowers teams with tools to conduct virtual discussions, brainstorm and quickly solve problems from anywhere.

360-Degree Visibility for Clear Context in Uncertain Times

Remote collaboration requires all team members to have access to the same, updated information for context and effective decision making. When distributed teams can sync and share files in one central location in the cloud, it eliminates disconnected spreadsheets and disparate servers, mitigating the risk of decisions based on the wrong data. Because we live in times marked by uncertainty, the data-driven context and clarity provided by Leankor’s next-level solution help guide individuals, teams and organizations to more certain and better outcomes.

Remote collaboration requires all team members to have access to the same, updated information for context and effective decision making. When distributed teams can sync and share files in one central location in the cloud, it eliminates disconnected spreadsheets and disparate servers, mitigating the risk of decisions based on the wrong data. Because we live in times marked by uncertainty, the data-driven context and clarity provided by Leankor’s next-level solution help guide individuals, teams and organizations to more certain and better outcomes.


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Flexible Work Management Aligned to How People Work Best Now

McKinsey research suggests 70 percent of companies use the Agile methodology in some form to run their organizations. But that doesn’t mean Agile-only support is sufficient for effective work and project management. For optimal efficiency, most organizations operate with a variety of methodologies and use hybrid approaches across projects and departments. However, some organizations are still using time intensive, manual approaches to manage their complex projects.

To support the way an organization works best, Leankor allows multiple methodologies to co-exist, including Kanban, Lean, Agile, Gantt, Waterfall, hybrid, pull-planning and others, adapting and translating for streamlined project and risk management. All methods can be interconnected and unified in a virtual platform to communicate with ease, making progress seamless. This can happen even when people are socially distanced in home offices or in clusters of teams in regional satellite locations.

When Agile work methods exist with traditional Gantt project planning processes, Leankor allows organizations to create projects using traditional methods and for work and tasks to be executed at the team level using Agile approaches. This means teams work the way they want from a single system while increasing organization-wide efficiency, control and velocity.

Interconnected Resources to Drive Profitabilityfrom Opportunity to Delivery

When teams, data and customers come together, efficiency translates to profitability. Amid global economic uncertainty, on-time, on-budget has never been more critical, and neither has customer satisfaction and loyalty. For large-scale, long-lasting projects across multiple sites, Leankor can have a direct, positive order-to-cash revenue impact. It’s a user-friendly uber orchestrator, managing interconnected resources, timelines and workflows.

When powerfully integrated with Salesforce applications like Service Cloud, Einstein AI, Community Cloud, CPQ, MuleSoft, Field Service Management, Vlocity, Chatter and QUIP, Leankor goes far beyond traditional project management to become a comprehensive enterprise work management solution, transforming large-scale project complexity into efficiency. And ultimately, that translates into profitability.

Analytics for the Agility to Manage Now and What Comes Next

Leankor’s powerful analytics are designed for users of all technical levels. They empower people to make informed decisions throughout the project lifecycle and improve the outcomes of work. From streamlining request-for-proposal (RFP) processes for multi-service-point quotes to enabling customer-centric master dashboards for better customer service and P&L insight, Leankor drives revenue from opportunity to delivery. Individuals meet timelines and budget expectations with robust analytical and reporting features. Executives get visibility into resource allocation and financials to better manage profitability. Teams identify risk with AI, advanced reporting and predictive, next-best actions to eliminate or mitigate costly issues before they occur. Informed decision making throughout project lifecycles provides the agility to manage for project success and long-term organizational success.

A Next-Gen Solution for the New Age of Work and Project Management

The pandemic and resulting global economic crisis have made work and project management especially challenging for organizations across industries and around the globe. But with the right solution to manage people, processes and technology, any organization can drive efficiency that empowers teams to do their best work, keeps stakeholders informed and accelerates delivery. The result is greater profitability across projects and elevated work enterprise-wide. It’s an approach that will help organizations thrive in this crisis and through whatever lies ahead.     

Summary / more about Leankor

Leankor is a highly visual work and project management solution built on the Salesforce Cloud. Designed for the enterprise customer, Leankor helps companies execute complex projects at scale. A transformative solution, it links different styles of methodologies and processes, empowering people to work more effectively. Leankor enables teams to organize, manage, collaborate and deliver better projects, helps decision-makers measure effectiveness, and allows companies to deliver quicker revenue cycles. Leveraging the power of Salesforce, it brings together customer, project, and resource data, extending the Customer 360 vision. Leankor is used by many of the world’s leading brands with focused solutions for industrial enterprises in Manufacturing, Construction, Solar, Energy and B2B Telecom, with additional emphasis on R&D, quality management, product launches and manufacturing for Biotech, Medtech and Pharma.