Managing any complex project can be a difficult and demanding experience. The stakes are high and project managers need to be able to communicate effectively with key stakeholders, manage expectations and motivate other team members to give their best.
Any complex project with multiple elements and moving parts can benefit from the use of project boards, which can help to manage projects more effectively. This article will explain what a project board is, go through some of the main potential benefits, and show some examples of what a project board looks like. That way, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of project boards and how to use them.
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What is a Project Board?
At its simplest, a project board is literally a digital board that provides a visual of the work you need to get done. You can move and prioritize tasks on a project board as the project evolves and changes.
A project board allows you to easily see the big picture so you can prioritize tasks effectively. It’s also an effective and efficient way of managing the work of your team and of keeping everyone on the same page.
In summary, project boards are highly visual aids that provide high-level views for managers or other senior stakeholders who want to see the overall progress of projects but don’t need to know every detail of the daily tasks.
Benefits of using a Project Board
With so many simultaneous projects running at once, it can get difficult to keep track of progress. This is where project boards come in. Project boards can help you and your team to:
- Communicate easily with key stakeholders
- Get a high-level view of project progress
- Know exactly what stage any given project is at
- Encourage real-time updates, problem-spotting, and problem-solving
- Know where you need to reallocate resources
Project boards can be applied to software development projects, website maintenance, web application projects – or, indeed, to pretty much any kind of complex project that involves multiple moving parts.
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Example of a simple Project Board – List view
For getting a high-level view of a project, most managers would use a board composed like a list, which provides the most important details about each item – Status, priority, budget, assignee, etc.
This list can be ordered by any of these criteria and different rows can be used to visualize different stages, teams, or projects.
As an example, you might want to track the budget for a given project. Or you might want to get a quick view of who is responsible for key tasks within a project so that senior stakeholders know who to contact if they see any potential issues.
When it comes to executing a project, most teams will then use more detailed project management tools such as Kanban that allow for more granular tracking and progress management.
For example, using Kanban boards allows teams to easily update the progress of items and sub-items.
Here are some examples of Kanban boards for different teams: 13 Kanban Board Examples for Your Team
If the team wants or needs to plan out the project on a calendar, the project manager and the team can also use the Gantt view.
Using a Portfolio Project Board
Most companies are running multiple complicated projects at the same time. When this is the case, managers can use the portfolio overview in Teamhood to see a summary of all current projects in the Portfolio Overview, like this:
As you can see, the portfolio overview has six predefined fields for key metrics:
- Start – marking the start date of each project
- Finish – marking the end date of each project
- Budget – calculating the total project budget assigned to items
- SPI – Schedule Performance Index. This shows whether the project in question is on schedule or not. A score of 1 means the project is exactly on schedule. Below 1 means it is behind schedule. A score higher than 1 means the project is ahead of schedule.
- EV – the total value of items that have been completed
- Progress – The percentage of completed vs all items in the project
This kind of high-level overview allows managers to get a quick overview of multiple projects. This is a great tool for managers and team leaders who need to see how projects are progressing but don’t necessarily need to see every detail. The whole team can also use this overview as a hub for collaboration and updates.
Different project teams are also able to use this list to keep track of progress on other projects they’re not working on, but which might be linked to theirs. This tool is excellent as a quick reference to show progress and highlight to senior stakeholders which projects might be having problems. They can then contact the relevant team leaders or project managers to investigate further if and when needed.
Getting started with Project Boards in Teamhood today
Using project boards and portfolio overviews in Teamhood are great time-saving tools for rapid monitoring and easy communication of project progress.
Now that you have a better understanding of what they are and their potential benefits, why not take a free trial of Teamhood, with no obligation, and no credit card details required, so you can get a feel for the many other ways that Teamhood can help you save time and work more productively on your projects?
Get started using project boards in Teamhood:
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