We've started posting regular product tips to our social media accounts. Just search for #TargetprocessTips on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to see some bite-sized advice on how to get the most of Targetprocess. Here’s what we’ve posted so far:
Placing a ‘+’ before keywords will yield only exact matches in search results. More on search.
- The search bar in the the left menu is used to find a specific view or folder. The search bar to the right of this is the global search; it is used to find entities throughout the system.
- Global search will not yield results for entities in inactive projects.
- When using global search, you can replace any letter in your keywords with a ‘?’ to include possible misspellings in the results.
You can set up WIP Limits for both horizontal and vertical lanes on boards by going to view setup → Limits. Read more here.
- When a WIP Limit is exceeded, the state column will be visibly highlighted in red.
- WIP Limits cannot be applied to the first (initial) state of a workflow.
On Timeline views, the global time period selector is found at the top of the view, while the local time selector is displayed at the bottom. If you're unfamiliar with Timelines, you can learn more about them here.
More on Timelines:
- Timelines are one of the 4 main types of views, along with Boards, Lists, and One-by-One views.
- You can right-click on a point in the Timeline to add planned start and end dates.
- Planned dates are shown with a dotted line, actual dates are shown with solid background, and forecasted time is shown with a semi-transparent background.
Prioritize cards on Board and List views by holding the 'Shift’ key and dragging selected cards to the desired position. If the system prevents your from applying prioritization, this guide article should explain why.
Working with cards from multiple views:
You can use the Selected Cards Panel to work with cards from multiple views at once.
- Since sharing this tip, we've released Batch Actions, which allows you to update multiple entities at once. However, please note that you can only apply Batch Actions to cards on a single view at once.
Admins can rename and customize workflows and states by going to Settings → Process Setup. Read more.
- Be careful when editing a process that is currently in use. If you remove states which are populated by entities, the entities will be moved to a different state.
“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” –Winston Churchill
Time is an extremely important metric for POs, PMOs, and anyone else managing a team, a project or a portfolio of projects. In Targetprocess, the Timeline view can help you visualize time-related metrics, spot potential delays before they happen, and synchronize projects and teams with important deadlines and company milestones.
For example: want to see if your project will be delivered on time? Or perhaps you need to check which teams will be available to work on a critical project at a certain point in time? Switch to a Timeline view. Timelines can be useful for anyone who wants to get a high-level look at projects or view any time-related metrics.
To be more specific, Timelines allow you to visualize three key timeframes:
- Planned Time (a user-determined value for an item’s planned duration)
- Actual Cycle Time / Actual Time In-Progress (an automatically calculated value which shows how long an item has been “in progress”)
- Forecasted Time (an automatically calculated value for an item’s duration based on current effort over time)
To view your data on a Timeline, you can either set up a new view or apply a Timeline to a current view by clicking on the Timeline symbol at the top right of the screen. Keep in mind that some views will have no use as a Timeline because they are not related to time (such as a list of all users in the system).
Timelines can be shared as Tauboards with people outside the project team or your own organization (e.g. for explaining the roadmap to customers and stakeholders). Tauboards are updated in real-time, so nobody needs to waste time updating different versions of PDFs or PowerPoints; everyone sees the actual real-time status with just a click. This is especially helpful for high-level planning meetings (especially if any participants are working remotely).
You can see the Tauboard for Targetprocess’s public roadmap here.
Different ways to use Timelines:
Setting expectations for delivery time is one of the most challenging aspects of project management. Timelines can help managers and team members get away from things such as closed deadlines and low quality releases (if they were the result of pressure from time emergencies). The Timeline view encourages transparency, and allows you to analyze what happened in the past, create plans for the future, and stay on track in the present.
There’s a myriad of uses for Timelines in Targetprocess. We’ll list some of them below.
PMOs and POs frequently use Timelines for:
- Portfolio management
- Project and program planning
The ability to display a dozen projects on one screen and show how they all coincide with each other can be invaluable. Users can get a visual comparison between planned and actual end dates, and also see automatic forecasts for when the projects are expected to be completed. Project managers can check estimations against real work to identify and correct any deviations from the plan.
Milestones (those colored lines with flags at the top) can add significant value to project scheduling. Milestones in different colors can help to synchronize work across different programs.
Release Managers use Timelines to:
- Create an iteration or release schedule for teams
- Plan and track progress across many different releases
QA Managers prefer using Timelines for:
- Mapping test plans for a test run
Other team or project managers (including those listed above) can use Timelines to:
- View project allocations (seeing when and for how long people will be available)
- View individual allocations across several projects
People Allocations Management is a very wide topic because it’s used for all kind of activities. Timelines can help you visualize which people and teams are allocated to which projects and whether there are any potential conflicts which might occur. You can specify what people (teams and individuals) are required for a project, how long you need them for, and what percentage of their total working hours they can be allocated to a project.
When viewing allocations on a Timeline, cards for people or teams might sometimes be displayed as red. This happens when an individual or team is over-allocated. For example: each person gets a certain capacity amount (e.g. 40 hours a week) which can be allocated to different projects as a percent. If the Percent Participating fields (found in the Allocations tab) for all of the individual’s allocations add up to over 100%, then the card will turn red.
Tips from Targetprocess veterans:
You can customize a Timeline’s cards to display blockers, relations, and many other units. It’s easy to drill down into these cards for more details. To customize which units are displayed on a Timeline’s cards, just go to the Customize Cards tab in the view’s setup.
Click the three gray dots to the right of the name of your view to find the view's dropdown menu. Select "Setup" then click the "Customize Cards" tab.
Visual encoding can be used to highlight items which have been started, or to flag items that could be potentially delayed. To see potential delays, go to the visual encoding tab and input:
- ?ForecastEndDate > PlannedEndDate
To see items which have been started, input:
You may have to replace ‘InDev’ with whatever workflow stage you have set up for items in progress.
At the top of the Timeline view, you can find the global time period selector. This is where you select your desired overall date range.
At the bottom of the view, you can find the local time period selector, where you can select which section and how much of your time interval your Timeline view will show. New users sometimes get confused about this function, so I’ve included a short explanatory clip:
How a Timeline view should not be used
We won’t try to tell you how to run your projects… but we’d be remiss if we didn’t try to offer some advice. In our opinion, it’s not a good idea to use Timelines to compare the efficiency or productivity of teams. Timelines are about tracking your plans in time and identifying potential delays, rather than measuring productivity metrics.
Why not a Gantt chart?
Why do we have Timeline view and not a Gantt chart? While we do see the value a Gantt chart can offer some kinds of projects, Targetprocess is an agile tool. Gantt charts assume that work will be completed in a linear fashion, and they don't do a good job of illustrating how the total amount of work left on a project changes with each iteration.
As Michael Dubakov (our CEO) mentioned in an earlier blog post on Gantt charts, “agile is not about tasks dependency and critical path management — it's about flexibility and temporary dependency."
Getting Started with the Timelines
Deciding when to use boards, lists, or timelines
How to share Timelines
How Timelines help project managers track progress
We know that learning how to use a piece of software and mastering all of its features and little details can take time -- especially when new updates and functionalities are continuously being released. So, to fully synchronize your teams with Targetprocess and unlock its true potential, we offer onsite workshops with our product specialists that can be held right in your office.
Workshops run for 3-5 days, and everyone will walk away with the tools they need to crank up their productivity with Targetprocess. Every workshop is different, but there are a few things you can expect to see (depending on your specific needs and current level of experience).
If you’re just starting out with Targetprocess or need to add new users to an existing account:
The new user training is the best way to kickstart your collaboration and get all your team members on the same page.
- Our product specialists will analyze your organization’s workflows, structure, goals, and overall process to determine how your teams’ can use Targetprocess to achieve the best possible collaboration.
- Our specialists will set up your Targetprocess environment to support your unique process and workflows.
- User training in the form of group workshops and individual consulting will be given so everyone understands how they can use Targetprocess to support their individual roles and better collaborate with team members.
- After all questions have been answered and everyone is set up in their roles, we’ll collect feedback and compile a custom “getting started guide” for your teams based on the results of the workshop.
It often happens that, after you have used your project management software for some time, your team has grown, workflows have changed, projects have become more complex and the tool itself has grown in functionality which is unfamiliar to both the original team and to new team members on your side. Or, perhaps you’ve mastered the fundamentals of Targetprocess and wish to take your use to the next level. Either way, our onsite advanced training is the best way to charge up your teams and boost their productivity.
- We’ll do a health-check on your Targetprocess environment to learn what areas our training should target and how we can fine-tune the software to work best with your process.
- We will deliver group workshops and individual consulting aimed at helping everyone to master the new functionalities and further develop their use of Targetprocess to fully support their individual roles.
- You’ll receive custom-made solutions for your teams that match their specific needs and your organization’s process.
- When everyone is confident that they’re now a Targetprocess wizard, we’ll collect feedback and compile a custom user guide for your teams based on the results of the workshop.
To get the feel of how an onsite workshop can help both new users and your veteran team members, read a summary of our recent workshop at Caterpillar Inc.
Some possible topics for onsite workshops:
- How to bring people in different roles up to speed and help them unleash the potential of Targetprocess for their specific role
- How to configure Targetprocess to reflect your organization structure and to effectively support your custom processes and workflows
- How Targetprocess can be used to enable full visibility across multiple teams and different processes, including Development, QA, Resource Management and Product Portfolio Management
We work hard to help people create great things together using Targetprocess. We want to help your teams excel, so let us show you how you can get more value out of the software!
To request an onsite workshop for your company, click on the link that’s most relevant to you:
Please note, you can customize the agenda, duration and other details - contact your Targetprocess Product Specialist!