Drag and Drop Scheduler: Pros and Cons
Using drag and drop scheduling software is an easy and painless way to plan out your resources. Many programs utilize this feature, and it’s not hard to see why! With only a few clicks, you can quickly generate a schedule that can be shared with everyone who needs it.
However, with the good comes the bad, and there are a few cons associated with this type of software. In this article we’ll break both the positive and negatives of drag and drop scheduler tools. And you can see for yourself if they’re something you should be using for your scheduling needs.
Spoiler: you should. So here they are!
The Pros | Why You Need Drag And Drop Software
Let’s start with all the positive things programs with this feature can offer you. You should use drag and drop scheduler tools because of:
1. The simplicity
The most obvious pro for drag and drop tools is the simplicity.
Easy to create plans
That’s why so many project managers love it! You don’t have to spend hours looking at a spreadsheet or entering columns of data. You don’t even have to write a title for the assignment. You can just place your cursor where you want the task to start and release where you want it to end. It’s that simple.
Easy to Understand PlansIn addition to that, Gantt charts are easy to understand. You don’t need any training to comprehend them and see what's really going on. It’s a win-win to get an overview of tasks, resources, and plans. Definitely recommended.
Easy To Change PlansDrag and drop programs are easy to change. It wouldn’t be a normal day at the office without some last minute changes and surprises. However, if you use software with this feature, you can make the needed updates and share it with your team in just a matter of seconds. Piece of cake.
2. The visuality
Visualizing your schedule helps you track and optimize your workflow better. You can quickly see how your resources are allocated and keep tabs on your projects’ progress.
This visuality allows for better management. And you can use it for making financial decisions and long-term plans. For example, it can help you decide when to take on a new project or where to add extra resources. Simply look for the free slots.
A visual overview is one of the reasons why Excel is still so popular, how can 800 million users be wrong? But if you ever find yourself wanting more from your schedule than spreadsheets can offer you, then it might be time to check out some programs with drag and drop features. We even have a great list of some here.
If you combine the visual input that the Gantt Charts give you with some visual reporting in the form of charts, you’ll have the complete picture with just a glance. Pair that info with some more advanced reporting and you won’t remember how you got on before you had these tools. Visual resource schedules make life easier. And it gives you control. That’s a huge pro!
3. Quickly reallocate and edit
Drag and drop scheduling is also great because of its quick reallocation. If a task can be planned using the drag and drop feature, it can also be dragged to another resource’s timeline. The fact that you can’t do any dragging with spreadsheets is probably one of the biggest reasons why managers are implementing resource planning tools.
Who wants to merge and color cells if it’s possible to click on an assignment and drag it where it needs to be? No one. The simplicity and speed of dragging might even be a gateway drug to resource allocation syndrome.
The Cons | What to Look Out for
Nothing is perfect. Not even great things like drag and drop scheduling tools. But that’s fine if we know what to expect. Unfortunately, drag and drop software can be:
1. Not that detailed (unless you want it to be…)
If you use this software solely for bookings and assignments, and not going into specifics, well, you won’t have detailed plans. Which is fine! Especially if you just need it to visualize your schedule. But it isn’t ideal when you also need to perform advanced reporting. Plus, the planners are for sure better for big pictures and long-term planning than a detailed minute-by-minute daily schedule.
Such planners are also not ideal if your team relies upon them to get information regarding their daily tasks. In that case, you’ll still need to add details to the tasks: write comments, change dependencies, edit the utilization, etc. Therefore this feature that was meant to save you time, can actually be more time consuming than you initially thought.
Modern Gantt chart drag and drop software tends to have detailed options, but it’s up to you how specific you want to be. Also, the ease of using the planners usually makes up for any time lost to the details.
TIP: In drag and drop planners like Ganttic, you can actually get as detailed as you wish. You can stick to easy scheduling with only minor details, or you can actually get specific and add custom data fields that are important for you - locations, skills, ages, hourly wages….anything connected with resources, tasks or projects.You can see the resource data fields list under resources - add a list, text, number, date, user and link different types of data for your resources, tasks and projects.
Include more common fields such as department or phone number, or get creative by inputting the team’s uniform sizes or favorite movies. Whatever helps you in planning!You can end up with a nice selection of details - for example resource group, location, skillset, department, reference and country for a resource. Making them perfect for putting together your virtual and remote teams.
But you can also add task fields such as task status, project manager, client or anything else you can think of. And you can do the same for the project data fields. Common things to include are start-end dates, but feel free to add “clients,” for example, or any other field.
Example of custom data fields for your resources in Ganttic.
2. Tricky when you have a lot of data
Loads of data is often a pain in the neck. And unfortunately, can make resource scheduling more troublesome. Dragging and dropping a ton of tasks can actually be more time consuming than adding them using bulk import, making copies, or assigning a task to multiple resources at once. Although bulk import does require you to look at a spreadsheet once and while, it’ll still save time in the long run.
But with the right software, you don’t have to worry about this. Now, you can combine making copies of tasks and assign tasks to multiple resources with drag and drop scheduling. In addition to that, you can actually plan recurring tasks in programs like Ganttic. Technology to the rescue!
TIP: In Ganttic, there are actually features that make your planning go more quickly along with drag and drop. So make sure you take advantage of those. The most commonly used ones are:Assigning one task to multiple resources. Just drag and drop the task and "tick" the rest of the assignees.
Embrace The Good And Bad. And Start Planning!There’s 2 sides to every coin. And of course drag and drop scheduler tools aren’t perfect. While there are some cons associated with the software, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. It also helps if you know what to look out for when using the software. That way there’ll be no surprises, just great plans!
If you want to learn more about how dragging and dropping can ease your planning process, check out our other article. And if you want to try it out yourself, give Ganttic a try!