LiquidPlanner Project Management
| Effective automatic scheduling function
|| Nothing groundbreaking in terms of functionality
| Clever organization of functions
| Good help section
While the organization and visual layout of LiquidPlanner might seem busy, this online project management system is full of all the most important features needed to effectively manage a project. Events, tasks, and projects are easy to create, set up, and organize, and scheduling features are extremely robust.
The system provides the ability to do automatic scheduling by using supplied data alongside information that is in the system such as task owner’s availability and workload. Users can simply create tasks with an estimated time and assign a priority, and LiquidPlanner takes care of the rest. This will also minimize errors as the system is doing much of the calculating, reducing the risk and rate of human error. The system recognizes that projects often do not go exactly to schedule, so if any tasks are adjusted, then LiquidPlanner will take care of the rest and readjust other tasks that may need to be changed in order to ensure smooth flowing of the project and also to minimize the work required of the project manager.
The user interface is fairly aesthetic but might appear a little too “busy” for some users; however, the menus make it easy for users to find desired sections. Many alternative online project management systems have a good looking user interface, but are lacking in regards to the layout of the elements on the page. LiquidPlanner gets this part right by organizing functions appropriately under various menus and icons. Menus can also be customized according to the user’s preferences.
A key feature within LiquidPlanner is known as Workspace. It is a shared area in which users join to participate in projects. This is not limited to people actually working on the project. This system also allows for outside project stakeholders and/or clients to be able to view and monitor project progress. They also have the ability collaborate on a particular project.
The project section allows the project manager to create projects and assign new tasks to projects. Sub-folders can also be created to ensure maximum organization of tasks. A notable feature of LiquidPlanner is the fact that it has full drag-and-drop support; users can drag tasks between folders to reorganize them.
Commenting and Collaboration
LiquidPlanner supports the ability to add comments both to the entire project or individual tasks. This allows all project members and users to communicate and keep each other up to date. The system also supports an ‘@ Format’ which people can use to address others.
Compared to other online project management and collaboration systems, LiquidPlanner is somewhere in the middle. Page loads and section and screen transitions load fairly quickly. Delays are relatively minor and the overall system is fairly responsive. The system can run a little sluggish from time to time.
Ease of Use
As mentioned in the user interface section, LiquidPlanner has a fairly good interface, which would lead you to believe that it would promote the systems usability; however, the system is not quite as easy to use as you may think. While all the buttons and functions are there in front of you, the system just isn’t particularly intuitive and we found ourselves having to refer to the help section in order to find information and steps regarding many of the processes.
That being said, the help section is quite useful, it provides good tutorials and videos, and even provides transcripts for the videos in the event that you would prefer to read what the trainer is saying. Please see the screenshot to see how adequate the help and support section is, thus balancing out the fact that the system functions are not always intuitive.
While LiquidPlanner looks fairly appealing and has a few good features, nothing particularly stands out and sets it above the alternatives. It is a great option and can handle managing and storing multiple projects and varying complexity levels, but project managers may consider some alternatives that are more robust in functionality. LiquidPlanner will still certainly provide all the tools to be able to manage a project efficiently, but the project manager must determine if it is suitable for the types of projects that they will be managing.