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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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2 Visual Management Software Must Have Features

Elyssa Pallai- 10/23/18 04:54 PM

The purpose of visual work management software is, among other things, to make knowledge work visible so that it can be effectively managed.

In addition, effectively managing work means doing the right work at the right time, which is a feature not supported by many project management or visual work management tools.

Why is making work visible important? Because if you can’t see the work, you can’t find the bottleneck. A good analogy to use is visualizing what happens on a factory floor. If we’re looking for the bottleneck in a push environment, we simply have to walk around and look for the pile of parts. The machine they’re sitting by is the bottleneck. If it’s a pull or Kanban system, we just look for the empty machine, or the line that has stopped moving. 

Contrast that with R&D where the “work” is invisible. If you walk around and ask, everyone will tell you they’re busy and not starved for work!

Finding Bottlenecks in R & D

So how do you find the bottleneck? It takes two things. And these are the two critical features of visual work management software.

  1. The work must be visible.

  2. You have to be able to see the critical path.

The critical path is necessary for hardware projects, but not for software. In fact, seeing the critical path is, well, critical. Without it you might think all of the stalled, or delayed, work is a problem. But it’s not…

Only the work stalled on the critical path is holding up progress…!

The Critical Path

Without knowing the critical path, you might be tempted to run around and expedite everything. 

There are several other key features that visual work management software must have, but we will go over them in a later post.

Leveraging visual work management software that supports these features, coupled with the right Lean and Agile project management processes—such as holding daily huddles for fast feedback, and decentralized and rolling wave planning for accurate plans—will have you and your team on the right track to a successful project!

Kanban and Gantt

With Playbook, not only can you see the Kanban/project board view, it's also combined with a Gantt chart view of the entire plan. Teams can see the critical path and where they fit in. This is what sets Playbook apart. Watch the demonstration video to find out more.


 Watch the Demo


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