Enthusiasm is great. But a truly winning formula couples unbridled enthusiasm with a plan of action. That’s because, as knowledgeable or as passionate as you may be about your industry, you can’t expect to see success if you’re flying blind. Until you come up with a plan, you and your employees will never be on the same page. And that’s where visual planning comes in…
What is Visual Planning?
Visual planning is a way to develop a strategy for your business. Whether it’s a plan for a new product, for a special project, or for the way your company operates as a whole. Think of the idea as a roadmap for your organization or project. After all, unless everyone knows what the end goal is, you won’t be able to work efficiently to get there!
Tools for Visual Project Planning
In order to plot your course you need a map. Similarly, if you wish for your organization to meet its goal, you need to lay out a plan for your projects. And depending on your preferred approach and project management methodology, there’s plenty of options available. Here’s a few tools to get you started.
- Calendars – A super basic, but simple way to lay out the timeframes of projects and tasks. Pinpoint start and end dates, potential scheduling conflicts, as well as project timespans.
- Spreadsheets – A workplace mainstay for almost 40 years. Spreadsheets are nice because they contain hard data, but they can be manipulated to be used in whatever way works for you. Stretch those columns. Scrunch those rows. Color it as you like. Or slap on a template. Spreadsheets have their limits, but are a great way to launch into visual planning.
- Whiteboards – Another ubiquitous office tool, that’s great for storyboarding, mind-mapping, and spit-balling new ideas. In the age of remote work, whiteboards aren’t as widely utilized, but still important for the early stages of project planning and in-office collaboration.
- Gantt charts – Horizontal bar charts that depict on-going, forecasted, and completed projects. Gantt charts are set against a timeline or calendar so you can clearly see start dates, milestones, and deadlines. Some Gantt chart software also showcases the projects’ resources, so you can spot who’s working on what.
- Kanban boards – A visual planning board made up of either literal or virtual sticky notes which portray a project’s status. Each project or task is separated into status columns called swim lanes. These are then moved around your Kanban board accordingly, depending on completion, if they’re delayed, or put on the back burner for the time being.
Benefits of Visual Planning Software
What makes this approach to project planning so great? Here’s a few reasons why you might want to give some visual planning tools a try.
- Just as the easiest way to finish a maze is by starting at the end, with everything in business, you have to start with a goal in mind. Then you can decide the best course of action. With software, you’re better able to see both the short-term and the long-term. Helping you plan not only for tomorrow, but when crises arise in the moment as well
- More than half of the population are visual learners. So what better way to help them keep to a schedule? By being able to check in quickly on their phones or desktops, then they can see what exactly they need to be doing, without any extra explanation on the PM’s part.
- Thanks to visual planning software, you can keep everyone on the same page, without having to hold a bunch of meetings or waste a ton of time. Instead, everyone can have the details of the plan right on their computer screens.
- Lastly, the best reason to go this route is their simplicity. There’s transparency and accountability every step of the way. Plus, when it comes time to reschedule something, change something, or evaluate something, everyone will be able to see it. Plus, everyone will be able to see what everyone else is responsible for. It’s like getting a bird’s eye view of the entire project!
Visual Resource Planning with Ganttic
Luckily, visual planning isn’t tough to do. In fact, here at Ganttic, we designed our software to be as user-friendly as possible. An online Gantt chart, with things like color-coding and drag and drop scheduling. That way, you spend less time fiddling with the software and more time working towards your goals…the way it should be!
Sign up for a free demo to see how Ganttic will fit into your own workflow. And discover a more efficient way to reach those goals.