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What is project management software?

Project management software makes knowledge work visible. In complex environments like product development, without the right tool, it's hard to know if the project team is working on the right work at the right time to move the project forward. These are three must have requirements:

  1. There is both a short and long term plan that is visible to the entire project team and easy to understand
  2. The plan can be easily and actively updated in real-time as the team learns new information
  3. Team members have clear and correct priorities - e.g., the tool provides the team with a clear understanding of what needs to be done today to move the project forward -- the work that is on the critical chain, across projects.

What is a Lean Project Management Software?

Lean project management tools build in Lean principles. Finding the right tool for your team can be a mission, but we believe a tool that combines the best of Lean and Agile principles is key.  We've built Lean and Agile Principles as well as Critical Chain project management into Playbook.

Lean and Agile Principles Include:

Correct Priorities
Decentralized Planning
Daily Standup Meetings
Capacity Loading
Visible Queues
Shared Buffers

and More.

The Right Team, the Right Project Management Tool

You've hired the best team. Make sure they have a tool that works for the unique requirements of product development.

In product development, projects can be years in length with project team members that have extremely diverse skill sets. In this environment, the right project management tool that meets all three of these requirements in crucial to any team's success.

The goal of project management software

The goal of project management software is to make the work in a product development system visible to the entire project team so queues can blockages can be managed more effectively.

When Do You Need Visual Project Management?

Consider this. If you were to survey the traditional manufacturing floor, how would you know where the system was breaking down? Sometimes there would be flashing lights indicating a fault in the system, but even if there weren't any, you could still tell which machine was having issues by the big pile of parts in front of it.

But when you look around development departments today and a team of knowledge workers, how can you tell where the problems are? Where is the task that is the most critical today? Where is the blockage which is delaying your project today? Where is the one that will delay your project tomorrow? These problems are hidden from view.

Visual work management was born to solve this problem of ‘invisibility’ of knowledge work. 

Lean Visual Project Management Software for Hardware Development

Before we developed Playbook, we tried many different formats of project boards to accelerate projects. Each form was beneficial in some ways and depending on the application, some more beneficial than others. However, each one had significant deficiencies because, simply put, hardware development project management is more complicated and simple Kanban solutions meet short term planning needs but miss out on other critical requirements.

Although traditional visual project management boards (such as Kanban) are usually better than nothing, there are many reasons why even the digital versions don't work very well for hardware project management in product development.

New visual project management tools increase the effectiveness of visual project management in improving new product development systems.

Everyone can clearly see the system at work, team members’ daily priorities, bottlenecks, overloads, multitasking, blockages, and queues. Product development teams can see when the system is overloaded with work, see the impact of delays and understand their costs, effectively evaluate and manage all types of risk, and much more. 

Correct project priorities -- fundamental to your success.

The number one cause of project delays is not what you think. Check out this video to understand the real cause of project delays. Watch part to to see how these issues are resolved with Playbook.


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