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Elyssa Pallai

VP Marketing


Digital marketer and translator, Elyssa spends her time putting NPD and engineering concepts into plain english and working on new and meaningful ways to connect with PLAYBOOK's amazing clients.

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Visual Management Tools: Manual or software...what's more effective?

Elyssa Pallai- 02/23/17 04:28 PM

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 electronic visual management boards outweigh the cost of change...

The largest benefit of electronic visual management software is that it has the single greatest impact on schedule. Here are nine other benefits to consider, (many of which have a direct impact on speed as well).

1. Decentralized planning

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.

2. Real-time updates

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…

3. 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!

4. Correct Priorities

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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.)

10. 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. If you’re interested in learning more about electronic visual work management and PLAYBOOK, click the link below.

 
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