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Organizing and managing a project can often be a tedious task, especially when it involves several teammates and loads of information.
And to get the task completed successfully, you need to plan and track every task in a proper manner. Simple lists and spreadsheets are the most used ways of project management.
However, when dealing with a complex project these methods can lead to multi-page documents and myriads of columns in spreadsheets. This can end up complicating the project even more.
Now, this is where visual task management can ease up the work process.
Put simply, visual task management is a work management technique. This technique involves leveraging various visual task management tools instead of traditional to-do lists or spreadsheets.
While some people use whiteboards and sticky notes, many people use online tools, like this Gantt chart below.
And in this article, we’ll be discussing the online tools that can be used for visual task management. But before proceeding with it, let’s check out some benefits of using task management tools.
You can also check out a few top project management books to help you further understand what process will work best for you and your team.
Here are a few benefits of visual task management.
With visual task management, you can easily understand a complex project and work without wasting any time.
Visual task management allows teams to exclude out the guesswork and share a common work status through interactive visuals.
Another important benefit that visual boards provide is that it allows you to check where the work has stopped or slowed down. After accessing it, take the required measures.
It improves the process of collaboration among team members the reason being everyone’s on the same page.
Now on the basis of what type of project you're dealing with, you can select from a variety of project management tools and techniques. To start with, here are three types of tools.
While Kanban was originally developed in the mid-20th century, the modern Kanban was developed in 2007 by David Anderson. Since then it has been used by companies as a system to visualize workflow and manage to-dos.
With a Kanban board, you can illustrate your project at different stages of the process with the help of cards.
As a project manager, Kanban can work best because it depicts the most important task first. Here are the six core practices of Kanban.
First thing first, visualize what you're doing. Kanban board allows you to clearly visualize your team's workflow.
Work-in-Progress or WIP allows you to set limits. By setting WIP, you get to set the amount of work you are able to handle. This encourages team members to work together more efficiently
The next practice is to improve the flow of a process by focusing more on finishing tasks hastily and start the next step quickly.
The next step is to get clear about both the project and policies plus principles behind it. This allows all the members involved to follow the same process and make suggestions.
Feedback loops help the team to compare the final outcomes with the actual outcomes. The feedback is shared between the team members for work improvement.
Now that with Kanban, teams can easily visualize their workflow, the team members can collaboratively improve the work process.
So these were the core practices of Kanban. Now let's discover steps to create a basic Kanban board.
Through examination, you get the opportunity to streamline the work process for preparing a kanban system.
Just like you would do in a whiteboard, create three columns with each of them signifying a specific task.
Simply put, swimlanes are the subcategories coming under each column.
In some cases, to identify swimlanes for various workflows is essential.
After creating the columns and swimlanes, the next step is to group the work by category. Grouping will allow the teams to visually check which group holds the most types of work.
Now that you're done with the entire categorizing part, it's time to assign the tasks. Add each sticky note with the task under the right category. This will allow all the teams and team members to know what they are supposed to do.
So that's how you can easily create a Kanban board. No matter whether you're creating it by using an online tool or whiteboards and sticker notes, these steps are for both the cases.
The word "scrum" comes from rugby which basically refers to the method of restarting a game by interlocking arms and going for the same goal. The idea behind scrum is teamwork.
Even in the Agile production environment, scrum holds the same meaning. By using the scrum method, the entire team collaborates to discuss and understand the working and non-working methodologies.
A scrum board that is also known as a scrum task board is a visual display tool that helps in tracking a work project. A scrum board is divided into different categories that show the progress of a time-oriented project called a sprint.
Generally, scrum boards are divided into either vertical or horizontal columns that the teams use to check the progress of work. The common columns is a scrum board are:
So now that you know how scrum boards can be beneficial for your work, here's how to create a basic Scrum Board.
Analyze your work and check out what steps are required to mention in your scrum board.
Create the columns as per your needs. As mentioned, the basic columns are to-do, in-progress, in-test and done.
Assign the tasks in the to-do column to each member of the team.
Now as the work proceeds, shift the tasks from one column to another.
A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart that visually demonstrates a project plan over time. In order to create a visual task through Gantt charts, you first need to identify the essential tasks, then show the task relationship and finally keep updating the progress.
Through a Gantt chart, anyone can easily represent as well as notice even a minute detail which ultimately makes it a popular visual management tool that is used by a plethora of companies.
But how to create a Gantt chart? Here are the key components that you need to add in a Gantt chart template.
Typically a Gantt chart comprises of these 8 key elements:
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These were the three most popular visual task management tools that both individuals and companies use to streamline a work process. Furthermore, it's not only beneficial for your business but also encourages your employees to work more efficiently.
However, in order to digitally create these charts, you need to choose the right diagramming visual management tool. A tool that is easy to use as well as fully functional. And once you find such a tool, you can create these in a few minutes.
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