This time with Milestones

This time with Milestones

OK – So this time it does something useful!! – although because I’ve yet to work on any back-end stuff it still doesn’t store anything. The main difference this time round is that you can now add & edit milestones (which after all is what its all about). Click on a blank bit of swimlane to add one, drag to move it around & click to change its colour / edit details etc.

I’ve also been pondering whether to start calling the swimlanes workstreams instead – thoughts? Also if anyone has access to a projector I’d be v. interested to know how well it translates onto a big screen (I’d see a major use of the software being to capture output of workshop planning sessions)

Notes for this release..

  • As mentioned Milestone functionality is now there – particularly interested in feedback around how easy or not the software makes it to add / update etc. Most of the work over the last couple of weeks has been on getting this up & running – solving problems such as what to do when 2 of the little blighters overlap etc.
  • I’ve fixed the issue that John discovered around dragging swimlanes – I’ve had to get rid of the fancy smooth movement to do it but at the end figured that its far better to have something which reliably works than something which looks pretty – can always pretty it up later
  • Have gone over the thing around weekends and put it in the TFD box for now. My first thought was to have an option not to display Sat & Sun.. but as John pointed out big chunks of the world have their w/ends on Fri/Sat + you then get into the whole bank hols etc issue + We’ve all worked on projects where Sat/Sun started off being days off but at crunch points there are often milestones planned in for the w/ends. Once its up & running for real I’ll be able to log how many people are actually putting milestones on w/ends and then make a call what to do.
  • Have changed the font – what do you think?
  • Text can still overspill in lots of places – am aware I’ll need to go round and either limit the number of characters you can have in each field, or crop text so that it doesn’t overspill.

Thanks for all the feedback to-date, both on and off the blog…. I’ll be giving £80 to ActionAid as a result.

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3 comments until now

  1. Looking good, the font is an improvement. Discovered by accident that when the window is minimized at the start, some of the text looks a bit funny – screenshot sent. I think this is overspill stuff that you are already working on?

    Milestone functionality looks good, but the coloured triangles should be smaller, otherwise things could get crowded. Will they change colour automatically as a deadline approaches?

    Would also be useful to have a functionality of blocking a period of time, e.g. a day or a few days when a specific part of the project is occurring (e.g. meetings, travel, etc.)

    Hope this helps,

    John.

  2. Eric wrote…

    Have been playing with the milestone planner, all seems to work very smoothly. My thought on the wrap around difficulty is to put a limit on the text volume thus avoiding the problem. The idea for the text is surely to inform in a sort of “project shorthand” rather than give some joker the opportunity to write an essay. I think John is right about the size of the milestones but we touched on that last week. Another thought was about the dates in the header, which links to the comments on week-ends etc – is there any merit in allowing the user to be able to change/delete/add? Personally I’m not sure there is – Monday to Friday working is not universal, work days can differ between departments,contractors etc and, as you say, if a project is slipping 7 day working is probably needed. Allowing a user change here would only add complications which would detract from the initial objective of simplicity of use. The only caveat is that should a user want to input a current project that started say 6 weeks ago how would they be able to do that? They might want to do that to test your product against an actual or input history so the on-line planner is a complete record of the project. I presume that currently the intention would be for new users to simply be presented with the current date as a start date.

  3. This is really good – I’ve just spent ages fiddling round with Excel trying to do the same thing.

    I think the calendar is fine and the font clearer. I think workstream might be a better, although swimlane allows people to be more flexible about how they use them. (Plus it makes me think of holidays, which is always a good thing).

    Two quick questions
    1. Will you be able to link milestones, so moving one moves the other?
    2. Are you planning to add ‘tasks’ or jobs – ie some kind of line that enables you to specify the activity in between the workstreams. That would be v useful for me in working out who’s doing what when.

    It’s fantastic though.

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