In our next version release (20.6), we will launch the long-awaited Gantt chart.
The update will introduce a whole new way to manage projects with Scoro.
In addition to outlining the project in the planning phase, Scoro’s Gantt chart will enable you to track real-time progress and manage the project from start to finish, taking into account unexpected changes, delays, and your team’s actual availability. Also, you can now add dependencies to phases and tasks to define what needs to be finished before tackling the next assignment.
However, it is important to note that the Gantt chart will replace the current Timeline view.
Due to that, a few things will change in the logic behind project phases and how they are visualized.
While 20.6 includes many other exciting product updates, this page focuses only on the logic changes mentioned above and the impact it may have on your current workflow(s).
- WHAT WILL CHANGE?
- DOES THIS AFFECT ME/MY PROJECTS? WHEN?
- VISUAL PROJECT EXAMPLE OF BEFORE AND AFTER
- WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WITH MY ONGOING/HISTORIC PROJECTS?
- WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IN THE FUTURE WHEN I’M SETTING UP A NEW PROJECT?
- OTHER CHANGES IN 20.6
1. WHAT WILL CHANGE?
With the Timeline view: Until now, users have had to add the start and end dates to phases manually. In addition, those dates have been static (not updated automatically).
This means that when something about the project changed (for example, the task due date gets postponed), the phase dates had to be updated manually to reflect actual phase duration and project progress.
So, in order for the project timeline to always be up to date, it was necessary to keep track of both the task due dates and the phase dates.
With the new Gantt chart: Adding the phase start and end dates is no longer necessary. The phase dates will become dependent on the tasks underneath it.
- Phase start date = earliest date of the task (normally the start date of the earliest task under that phase). In case you have not been adding start dates to your tasks, then the phase start date will be based on the earliest task due date.
- Phase end date = latest date of the task (normally due date of the last task under that phase).
If you change the task due date (or add a new task with a later due date) the phase end date will also automatically change to reflect the actual situation with the project. A similar logic applies also to the phase start dates.
In addition, all tasks, scheduled and completed time entries, and project-related calendar events will now be visible in the same Gantt chart view. This enables you to get a full visual overview of your project and its real-time progress in one single view.
You can use layers to decide how much or little information is visible on your Gantt chart. Get an overview of high-level project progress or zoom into details by adding more information layers.
Also, we’ve now introduced dependencies between both phases and tasks. Meaning that if you modify or postpone one task, or if there’s a delay, the dependent task or phase will shift accordingly.
Take a look at some of the other changes and entirely new features added in 20.6, described in detail under 6. Other changes.
2. DOES THIS AFFECT ME/MY PROJECTS? WHEN?
To give you an accurate real-time overview of project progress, all project phase dates will be updated according to the logic described above under Point 1. This involves both ongoing and completed projects.
Once we launch 20.6 for your Scoro site, the project phase dates will change to reflect the actual duration of the phase. Meaning that the phase length will depend on the start and end dates of the tasks listed under the phase.
The version update will be rolled out to Scoro users gradually, starting from the middle of January. All client sites will be updated by the end of February 2021. The admin users of your site are notified once the update has been scheduled for your site.
P.S. If phases have not been a part of your project management workflow, this logic change will not affect you. However, as the timeline view will be replaced with the Gantt chart, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the Gantt chart with your future projects.
3. VISUAL PROJECT EXAMPLE OF BEFORE AND AFTER
Here’s a visual example of one project, showcasing differences between the new Gantt chart and previous Timeline phase logic.
Here you can see the project on our previous Timeline:
- The 1st phase (Analysis) has 2 tasks and 1 event underneath it. One task actually started before the phase was initially planned for (task start date was before phase start date) and one task due date was outside of the phase period.
- The 2nd phase (Development) has 2 tasks underneath it. The first task starts exactly when the phase was supposed to start and the last task’s due date is exactly when the phase is supposed to finish.
- The 3rd phase (Testing) has 1 task underneath it. It has no start date, but only a due date that is earlier than the initial phase end date.
Here you can see the very same project on the new Gantt chart:
- The 1st phase has expanded to reflect the actual phase duration. It starts earlier and finishes later.
- The dates for the 2nd phase stayed the same. The start date of the earliest task and end date of the latest task were exactly the same as the phase dates.
- The 3rd phase shrunk as the task that was added underneath it is expected to end sooner. The phase end date is taken from the task end date. As there is no start date for this task, the earliest date of a task is used to represent the start (in this case it is the very same due date).
The estimated project start and end date that you have added while adding a new project will remain the same and will be also visible on the Gantt chart.
In addition, the Gantt chart will show the actual start and end date of the project (based on phases/milestones).
In this example, we can see that we planned to start the project on day 14.12.20 and end on day 01.01.21. In reality, based on the current schedule, the project started on day 10.12.20 and is supposed to end on day 29.12.20. This will enable you to compare plans to actual progress and empower you to become better at planning and managing your projects.
- With the new Gantt chart, phases will act as umbrellas for tasks.
- The phase length is dependent on the task (start and due dates) underneath it.
- More importantly, adding phase dates will no longer be mandatory when creating a new project.
4. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WITH MY ONGOING/HISTORIC PROJECTS?
- If phases have not been a part of your project management workflow, you don’t have to do anything. You can simply start enjoying the many benefits the Gantt chart update brings along.
- If you have used phases just to group tasks and the exact phase start/end dates you have entered are not crucial, you don’t have to do anything. The phase dates will be updated automatically to reflect the actual phase durations.
- If the phase dates represent the hard deadlines and you need to keep those exact dates as start and end dates, please contact us ([email protected]) as soon as possible. We can provide your site admin users with the data right after the update happens (on request). We’ll store your project phase data for 30 days after your site has been updated to 20.6 version.
5. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IN THE FUTURE WHEN I’M SETTING UP NEW PROJECTS?
- There is no need to add phase start and end dates manually (so far it was mandatory, not anymore).
- If you used phase end dates to indicate the agreed deliverable date with the customer, we advise using milestones instead to indicate the deadline.
This way you can still add a fixed date for the agreement and later see how long it actually took you to deliver the work within a phase.
- If you used the phase dates to approximately estimate and visualize the project on a high level, we rather recommend adding one task with the start and end date you are aiming for that particular phase.
Adding this one task under the phase will also give you an opportunity to add an hourly estimation (under the task). This way, you can have a clear understanding of how many resources are needed to deliver the work during the phase.
6. OTHER CHANGES IN 20.6
- From version 20.6, it’s not possible to add tasks under milestones. The existing milestones with tasks will be automatically turned into regular phases during the version update.
- The option to add a phase with a milestone in the project modify view will be removed. Existing phases with milestones will be automatically turned into regular phases during the version update.
In addition to the Gantt chart, we’ll be releasing many other great product improvements with the 20.6 update. For example:
- Add dependencies for tasks to indicate their order.
- Make allocating resources and planning your team’s time much faster with phase filters available for the Planner.
- Group projects in detailed work reports by phases to understand how much time one or another phase has taken.
…and much, much more.
Stay tuned – read our version update blog post once your site has been updated to make sure you are making the most of all the new features!