Visual Planning is launching Visual Planning 8. If you’re already a Visual Planning user, you might wonder if an upgrade is the right move for you. And if you’re not using Visual Planning products to increase efficiency, drive communication and enhance resource planning in your organization, you might wonder if now is the right time to invest in our products.
There are numerous reasons to upgrade to Visual Planning 8 — and even more reasons to invest in the solution if you haven’t already. You can find out more about the upgrade by contacting us or booking a demo today. But here are just five great reasons to upgrade to the new version of Visual Planning soon.
1. Enhance Project Management Planning With Critical Path
The new version includes enhanced Gantt chart views. These views are interactive, so you can drag and drop to assign resources and understand how various aspects of a project will get done. It also comes with an option for viewing the critical path right on the Gantt chart.
Visual Planning takes all the information you’ve set up about the project into account to determine the critical path. That’s the path through the longest required elements of a project, and it’s what helps you determine the project’s total timeline.
To create the critical path, you need to know:
- What tasks are dependent on each other. That means one task must be finished before the next task can be started.
- What tasks can be handled simultaneously. That means work on each of the tasks can move forward even if the other tasks aren’t yet complete.
- The maximum expected time each task might take.
For example, if you have a task expected to take one week and a task that can only start after that one that will take two weeks, you have three weeks of project time.
However, if you have a task expected to take one week, another taking two weeks and a third taking four weeks — but all those tasks can occur at the same time — you’re accounting for up to four weeks of project time, not seven.
Calculating the critical path manually can be tedious. It’s also a good opportunity to make an error. Visual Planning creates the critical path for you based on all of the information you enter about the project. It also shows it to you in a visual format on the Gantt chart, making it easy to plan for a project or test how the critical path is altered by small changes in the project plan.
2. Improve Global Team Management With Time Zone Scheduling Tools
Time zone management is an optional feature that can be activated from the Admin Center in Visual Planning. The feature lets you set up hourly time zones by user. Those users then view events and resources with time-related information as related to their time zones. Leadership can also view information by user time zone.
The impact is better team management, communication and adherence to schedules. Someone won’t miss a team meeting because they’re two hours off of the scheduler’s time, and you’re less likely to schedule meetings when half of your global project team might be asleep.
Because you can toggle this feature on and off, teams without time zone considerations don’t need to worry about it confusing their setups.
3. Personalize Solutions Via New User Experience Tools
Updated user experience and design features make it easy to personalize the Visual Planning solution to meet the needs of your admins and teams. For example, the update includes a dashboard-style visualization for admins. That alone streamlines the process of managing resources in the system. The dashboard is made up of widgets, and admins can click into widgets for deep dives into each view or to access functionality for managing resources.
But you can also set up custom widgets and views for each admin. That lets people concentrate on the features, functions, information and users that are most relevant to them. Admins might be tasked with oversight of different processes or teams, for example. In that case, you can remove views that don’t belong to them. That streamlines their processes and helps them get the right picture of their area right away.
4. Export Projects Into MS Project for Enhanced Documentation
Teams that use MS Projects to document and manage ongoing dev or continuous improvement initiatives can easily export Gantt views and other project information into MS Projects. This lets you start your project planning in the schedule and resource-smart environment of Visual Planning before moving on to other project management tools.
Starting in Visual Planning to schedule projects lets you rely on smart automations and tools. Drag-and-drop assignment capabilities let you set up, test and adjust project parameters quickly. And because you’re planning on a solution that houses data about other business resources, needs and schedules, you’re less likely to double book or over commit your resources.
5. Sync With Microsoft 365 and Google Calendars for Better Team Time Management
Visual Planning 8 makes it easy to sync system events with Google and Microsoft 365 agendas via iCal. This is important for a number of reasons, including:
- Those outside of your organization, such as freelancers, business partners and clients, can receive information about events on their own calendars.
- Team members don’t have to keep track of their own personal agendas in Google or Outlook while also tracking events in Visual Planning.
- Events from Visual Planning show up on people’s personal agendas, making it less likely they’ll overbook themselves or make personal plans that make it hard for them to attend a necessary event.
Ready to Upgrade to Visual Planning?
These are just a few reasons to upgrade to the new version of Visual Planning. Version 8 comes with dozens of upgrades, including entirely new features, enhancements to old functionality and streamlined views and approaches to make the system even more user-friendly than it already was.
If you’re ready to upgrade or want to talk more about how upgrading can help your business, reach out today for more information.
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