Good question.

I’ve been involved in projects and programmes and change etc for a long time. There are loads of tools out there to help manage this kind of stuff. Some of them are good. Some of them are crap. None of them really tick the box for me. So I’m scratching my own itch. (apparently a good way to start!).
What I’m trying to build is a simple, visual planning tool which does three things…

ff0000;">1. Makes it really quick to agree what needs to be delivered when by who by visually mapping out some Milestones & dates then being able to send a good-looking, one-page overview out to team members / bosses etc.

In my experience what usually happens is…. get bunch of people in front of a whiteboard – draw up a timeline – bung some milestones up – then change your mind – get marker pen all over your fingers because there is never a board rubber – agree on something – take a snap of the whiteboard with your phone – spend a tedious hour putting that all into powerpoint or similar – send out – realise you’ve forgotten to add a bit – recall – amend send out – you get the picture.

ff0000;">2.ff0000;"> Makes it unbelievably easy to keep everyone in the loop when stuff changes by updating your part of the plan with just a few mouse clicks. The app then makes it really easy for everyone to see what has changed.

Once you’ve sent the powerpoint around… of course things change. Over the course of the project things usually change a lot. If you are really anally retentive about updating the plan you’ll spend loads of time doing nothing else (fooling yourself that you are actually managing things when really you’re just catching up with things). If you don’t have the time or (like me) the inclination then the plan will be out of date…. Even if you give the job to someone else – they are still the only person who can own & update the one-pager so they become a bottleneck and it still gets out of date. 

ff0000;">3. Helps everyone make better predictionsff0000;">  by making it obvious to everyone what’s happened during the history of the project (well we will have been collecting all that info anyway – so it would be rude not to!) – best indicator of future performance is past performance (so they say). 

Pulling all of the info together to do any analysis of what has happened takes forever – so we only ever really look at the history of the project when something has already gone belly up badly enough to warrant it. If only everybody working with you could have all the analysis done for them (effortlessly – cross fingers) before things go to the dogs….

 

Anyway that’s my best shot to date of describing what it is I’m trying to build…. Would you want one? (lets assume its free – as in beer – for now)

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  1. […] can try it out here For a reminder of what I’m trying to achieve (in the longer term) read this. […]

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