Change is hard. There is no doubt about that. However, if you want to create flow among new product development teams, and ultimately speed up delivery to market, there is no doubt that the benefits of visual management boards outweigh the cost of change. Here are the ten benefits of visual management boards.
Visual project management makes knowledge work visible (just like the parts on the factory floor), so we can see it, react to changes better, and keep the project flowing quickly to completion. Its primary goal is to make the work in the product development system more visible so it can be better managed.
10 Benefits of Visual Management Boards
The largest benefit of visual management software is that it has the single greatest impact on schedule. Here are 10 other benefits to consider, (many of which have a direct impact on speed as well).
It’s pretty much impossible to create a plan with sticky notes. And even if you could, things change frequently. In addition, remote people can’t see it. But most planning tools are complicated and inflexible, so Playbook has a simple planning tool that is both easy to use, and flexible enough to allow changes that inevitably occur. It also allows teams to create the plans collaboratively so they are accurate, and everyone is bought in.
Besides being easy to make updates to the plan, Playbook automatically updates the plan in real-time as team members update their tasks. This means the plan always has the latest updates from every team member! Which brings us to…
The critical path is visible and accurate
Because the plan is always up to date, the critical path is accurate. This is important because tasks on the critical path are the ones that cause delays when they slide. (Delays in completing critical tasks have a much greater impact on project schedules than most people realize!)
The result of the first three items is that Playbook ensures that everyone has not only clear priorities, but correct ones as well! Nobody likes to spend time working on the wrong thing, and manual boards are incapable of indicating whether a sticky note is the correct priority or not.
Bottlenecks and blockages are instantly visible
When everyone has the correct priorities, it’s easy to not only see when they are blocked (and the schedule is sliding), you can also look into the future and predict bottlenecks so you have time to mitigate them before they occur.
Hand-offs to team members are clear
Since you can see team tasks in the context of the overall plan, handoffs are clear which enables barrier-free collaboration.
Cross project task priorities and resource demands are visible
Since most people are on multiple projects, manual boards cannot show the combined resource loading or relative priorities. This requires team members to debate and guess whenever there is a conflict. Playbook eliminates that debate, and enables team members to make their own decisions knowing they have done so correctly.
Project activities are archived
Having a project archive at your fingertips means you can reuse actual project history when you are creating new plans. This ensures you don’t forget the necessary details and are able to create more accurate plans and predictions on future projects.
Unprecedented reporting and analysis capability
Because Playbook records the entire history of every task, the amount of reporting capabilities are unprecedented. It’s well known that you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Playbook allows you to measure and analyze information that most project managers have never considered before. This allows you to make better decisions and improvements on every subsequent project. (Contact us if you would like to see some examples.)
Speed to market
Combing 1 - 9 means that ultimately you and your team will get to market faster with less risk. Check out our case studies to see just how much faster. In one case, Playbook increased speed to market by 85% and this is what the CTO had to say about it.
“What we have achieved with a unified Lean project management method and tool is multidisciplinary communication synchronized at high-speed...We took what is typically a 6 to 9 month time frame for designing, building and launching high-powered custom transformers, down to 5 weeks." - CTO Grid Solutions Company
Bringing it all together
Although manual boards are great for teams that are working on one project at a time, they lose their usefulness as teams become distributed and the number of projects underway in an organization expands. The good news is that it doesn’t take that much effort to make the switch.
What is the number one cause of project delays? It's not what you think. Watch this short video to find out.
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