Q&A with LiquidPlanner CEO Liz Pearce - Card View Release
LiquidPlaner, a project management tool, added a feature of card view to provide the facility of visualization. Users can view both the entire portfolio of projects or specific sets of tasks in Card View, and switch between up to twenty different custom types of boards. Card View provides the advanced scheduling capabilities with the agility of a board and to visualize and adjust tasks as priorities change and progress toward completion.
InfoQ spoke to Liz Pearce, CEO of LiquidPlanner.
InfoQ: Please tell us about LiquidPlanner – what’s new and different about this product?
LiquidPlanner is the industry's only predictive and priority-based project management solution. We take a different approach, one that goes beyond simple task lists or social networking with coworkers. We have focused since inception (2007) on building the industry’s best scheduling engine. It gives organizations the ability to predict (with statistical confidence) when work can get done, as well as adapt dynamically to changes by simply dragging projects and tasks into priority order.
We just released Card View—a card and board view, which models agile development and traditional “Kanban” boards. About half of our 2000 customers are in software development or IT and they told us they want this type of agile planning option to be integrated with our schedule and collaboration features. Users can view both the entire portfolio of projects or specific sets of tasks in Card View, and visualize work across multiple dimensions. You can filter by owner, status or client—to name a few.
InfoQ: What are some of the key features that LiquidPlanner has?
Our focus on building accurate project schedules, with a best case/worst case time estimator, is our hallmark in the PPM industry. The days of one or two PMs dictating rigid, inflexible timelines for projects are gone. Each person inputs best case/worst case time estimates for their tasks, and then the system builds the schedule automatically. That gives much greater realism to schedules. Employees are happier because they can control how their work is organized and the business can be [more] profitable because projects have accurate staffing and schedule, helping projects deliver on time.
InfoQ: What are the benefits of LiquidPlanner Card View to agile teams?
LiquidPlanner is the only PPM on the market that allows you to use best case and worst case estimates. Our scheduling engine rolls up all of these estimates in a given sprint and then automatically calculate the most likely date it will be completed. Teams can view workload reports on-the-fly to maximize the utility of available resources. As changes occur, LiquidPlanner allows you to reprioritize your sprint simply by dragging and dropping the tasks in your schedule. Schedules are instantly updated.
Finally, many Agile teams use LiquidPlanner as a dynamic agenda for their daily stand-ups. Team members provide their updates, note obstacles, and the scrum master makes updates to the plan in real time so everyone on your team can get back to what they want to be doing: delivering quality code.
InfoQ: LiquidPlanner has various views under “View by Team”, “View by Industry”. What do you think about its usage? Will it increase the acceptability of the product in various organizations?
Absolutely. We built LiquidPlanner to be useful to any type of team in any organization and industry. The software was designed to be flexible and to help teams organize and prioritize hundreds of projects and tasks in a single view. Being able to filter and view projects by team, strategic objective, business initiative or geography can be a powerful thing to a c-level executive who needs a company-wide view of the organization’s workload to make strategic business decisions.
InfoQ: LiquidPlanner presented in RailsConf 2014. How was your experience in the conference? Which feature of LiquidPlanner did you focus more in your presentation?
We are very connected to the Ruby on Rails community and value meeting developers from across the globe; working within the same framework. This is the second year our team participated in the Rails Conference, attending and presenting. One of our senior developers, Adam Sanderson’s, presentation, Unreasonable Estimation and Improbable Goals, focused on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts; estimating in ranges. This is one of those skills that is not taught in school, but is learned and perfected with experience.
InfoQ: Do you have any plans to add more features in LiquidPlanner?
We do! We recently received $8 million in funding and will continue to grow our team of engineers and developers who are building in new functionality that will provide even more company-wide project visibility.