The tools that come with LiquidPlanner, the Software as a Service (SaaS)-based project management platform, keep getting better. LiquidPlanner’s recent addition of checklists and improved collaboration features can help with task tracking and project communications.
When I asked Liz Pearce, CEO of LiquidPlanner, what prompted the addition of checklists, she replied, “Checklists and productivity go hand-in-hand. Customers are already using them to improve quality control, manage approvals, and track personal to-do lists, all within the context of their overall project plan. Checklists are a simple but powerful way to keep track of details and make sure nothing falls through the cracks.”
Using checklists in LiquidPlanner
I was a bit skeptical about the addition of checklists to LiquidPlanner. I’ve split the cloud market into task management and project management; however, I’m reconsidering this stance, since bridging the gap between project and task management serves project teams better than adding yet another cloud system to the mix.
The new LiquidPlanner checklist feature works on the task level. Any LiquidPlanner user can add checklist steps to a task. Adding tasks doesn’t ding the time estimates either. This is a small but important detail, because the project manager still has control over the scheduling, and team members have input into the steps that must be accomplished to complete the task. Figure A is an example of a checklist I created for a LiquidPlanner task.
A checklist for a LiquidPlanner task. (Click the image to enlarge.)
When you work with checklists in LiquidPlanner, you have these options:
- Reorder tasks by dragging and dropping
- Copy between tasks
- Assign tasks to other team members
LiquidPlanner checklists don’t have features such as tags and categories; this bothered me until I considered that the checklists are tools for transparency, collaboration, and communications. LiquidPlanner checklists include new and very granular features that project teams can put to work. You have the option to Log Progress on a task using a timer. While I used to rail against these sorts of features, in a world where many of us work on an hourly rate, this feature can help with more time/cost sensitive clients who want better transparency into the hours your team is working. Figure B shows the Track Your Progress dialog box.
Track your progress per checklist item. (Click the image to enlarge.)
LiquidPlanner also added support for checklists to its iOS and Android apps almost immediately after the feature launched in the main application. Mobile access to checklists and the LiquidPlanner platform at large go far in the democratization of project management data and scheduling.
In a future LiquidPlanner release, I would like to see the option to create checklist boilerplates. For example, think of how many standard checklists organizations use for replicable processes such as quality assurance and approvals. By giving LiquidPlanner users a library of reusable checklists, it could go far in extending the use of this feature, and it could help standardize such processes across an organization.
The addition of checklists and the related collaboration improvements continue to show that LiquidPlanner is bringing together a convergence of traditional project management, team collaboration, and communications that teams need in order to be productive, deliver on time and on budget, and prosper in today’s business environment.