Social media being one of the most important changes the Web has seen in the last few years. LiquidPlanner is right in the middle of the social movement
and takes the social approach to project management.
Do not be fooled: LiquidPlanner is not Facebook for project managers. It is a collaborative system for project planning, tracking and reporting.
To keep the social aspect of “social project management” going, LiquidPlanner has added a virtual water cooler, the Workspace Chatter. Located on the dashboard,
it looks very similar to the Twitter or Facebook News interface. The chatter lists all comments added by other users in the workspace. It creates a sense
of community in the workspace, apart from the project and tasks.
Interface-wise, LiquidPlanner has foregone the traditional L-shaped menu design (main menu on top, sub-menu on the left). Rather, it saves on screen real
estate by having all menus and submenus at the top of the window. It leaves more space for the project data – what the system is there for!
We really liked the Changes feature. The Changes page is on every user’s dashboard, and shows an itemized list of everything that is changed recently:
added comments, date changes, new files uploaded, etc. One can also receive a daily email of all changes, a very convenient way to know what is happening
without being logged in 24/7.
LiquidPlanner is about project management. Tasks and task lists are organized by project, client and priority, so everyone can reorganize their screen
in a way that makes sense. They have also taken an interesting approach to estimating remaining work. Instead of having people enter one number, they
request a worst-case and a best-case estimate, then computes the likelihood that a task or project will be completed on a specific date. LiquidPlanner
also introduces the “Promise Date,” which is like a milestone, independent from the task itself. The nice thing about tracking projects this way is that
the system will alert you when your project is in danger of missing the promised date.
We also found the task creation by email feature very easy to use and a valuable time saver, especially for busy project managers on the road: it is easy
to just send an email via smartphone when something new arises.
The Bottom Line
Overall, LiquidPlanner is a valuable system to plan projects and keep your team organized.