METEOR. What can? What is useful? / Hebrew

METEOR. What can? What is useful? / Hebrew

Greeting! The METEOR Cloud team is in touch. Previously published an introductory article, where they talked about themselves and the new task tracker for any company that our team made. Received many questions regarding the capabilities of METEOR. Therefore, let’s talk more about the functionality, consider in detail the interface and methods of operation.

We recommend this material as a small textbook on how to build accounting in companies and teams with a large number of tasks.

What makes METEOR an effective tool? To answer this question, we will start with those tools in which users spend the most time — with task views.

WARNING! There’s no way to tell about METEOR in two sentences, so a long read with lots of screenshots is waiting for you.

Types of representations in METEOR

We’ve learned that visualization is the most frequently used tool in project management. What types of representations are there and what tasks do they help to solve?

Types of representations can be as follows:

  • Task boards

  • Task lists and how to develop them – task tables

  • Gantt chart

Before we consider the capabilities of each of them, we briefly list the tasks assigned to the representation.

Submissions are required for:

  • Volumetric visualizations (how many tasks are in different states, how many resources are involved in solving these tasks, how many different states are in the production process). For example, thanks to three-dimensional visualizations, we will be able to get the following answers: there are only 4 tasks in the work, and 7 tasks are ready, Maria has completed 5 tasks and she still has 2 tasks left in the work, the analyst is currently working on one task and he is working on one more will be able to take from Backlog.

The example is quite abstract, but it gives a good idea of ​​how to quickly visualize the scope of work.

  • Construction of task samples. Often there is a need to quickly classify tasks according to one or another feature. For this, there is a large amount of data in the tasks. These are temporary labels, resources, and different classifiers (project, division, customer, team). In order to quickly build samples, submissions are supplemented with search and selection tools. For example, let’s take the board from the previous point and filter the tasks, leaving only those related to the “Order Form”. The board clearly indicates to us that there were two tasks for the “Order Form” and they were all completed.

  • Identifying ways to optimize processes. For this, a whole range of tools is used, which can indicate where the production process can be improved or the cost of resources can be optimized. Let’s give an example: suppose we have some production chain in which the results of the work of one specialist are used by others, in particular, the description made by the analyst, which is needed by the developer. To understand that the movement of the task along the production chain is going smoothly and without downtime, some analysis tools are needed. In order to evaluate uniformity, it is enough to count the time of finding tasks in buffer states (states when no one is working with the task). The image shows that tasks have been in the works for several days, waiting for a developer to get to them. At the same time, the analyst completes the last task. The analyst has no new tasks, and those on which he has already finished work will be in the work of the developers for some time. Hence the conclusion – the analyst will soon be idle, and another bottleneck is the lack of developers – they have 3 tasks idle.

In METEOR, tasks were displayed on the cards – the main indicators of the life cycle:

This allows you to immediately see where idle times appear without any special tricks.

Having considered the main purpose of representations, let’s move on to their description. And let’s start, of course, with task boards.

Task boards

Task boards are the most important tool for convenient visualization of processes, the status of projects and their tasks, and a tool for quick analysis and answering management questions.

  • How many people are downloaded and how many are not?

  • What are we working on now?

  • How long do we really work, and how long do we wait for someone?

  • What is our performance?

These are some of the most important questions, the answers to which we go to the boards.

And it is worth starting with the fact that it is not quite correct to call task boards Kanban boards.

Not all Kanban boards. And Kanban is not about boards at all.

@ Oleksiy Pimenov, teacher and consultant in modern management methods

Kanban boards are task boards built in a certain way to follow lean manufacturing principles. Any team or company can have Kanban boards in addition to regular boards. Each board has its purpose. Kanban boards are designed to optimize the production process. Some boards can be used by a manager for analysis or planning, others for the work of specific people.

METEOR has 5 types of boards. The method of building a board and using one or another type of board is determined by its purpose. Perhaps, if you follow the principles of lean manufacturing, one of the boards will be a Kanban board.

Types of boards in METEOR

  1. Free Boards

This is the type of boards where columns are created at the discretion of the user in a completely free format: the user clicks the “Add column” button, gives it a name – everything is ready. Such columns can be placed as existing tasks, and new ones can be created. Free whiteboards give the user the opportunity to classify tasks according to some of their own criteria in parallel with the main accounting, to distribute them in columns in a way that is convenient only for themselves. The user can create such boards every day and form columns in them as he needs today.

Examples of columns on such boards:

  • Urgent, today

  • You need to give an answer

  • Waiting for reply

  • Need to think

  • To control

  • My favorite

  • Elena clings, it must be done

Each user in METEOR can create as many such boards as he wants for himself personally, and also change or delete them at any moment. At the same time, when moving task cards along the columns of free boards, removing columns with tasks or removing the entire board completely IGNORES THE STATE OF THE TASK. Freeboards are just folders with links to assignments.

An example of such a board:

On free boards (as well as on any others), you can always create WIP limits in the columns – make the column turn red if there are many tasks on it. We will talk about what WIP limits are and how to use them correctly in one of the following articles.

You can move the columns relative to each other:

Designate assignment cards by color:

Time:

Two:

Three:

As a result, you will get a picture that, with a large number of tasks on the board, will give you a quick orientation on what to pay attention to first.

The order of sending tasks on free boards is always the same – only the one set by you. You move the cards within or between columns, and the order in which you built them will remain on the board.

Recommendation:

Use these boards for personal micro-planning as well as favorites.

  1. Action boards (by status)

This is the most common type of whiteboard used for the simultaneous work of several employees or a whole team.

On such boards, the columns are Statuses. Status is a special reference that defines the state of the task. In the famous tongue twisters sequence ToDo – In Progress – Done ToDo – this is the status, which means that no one has started the task yet. InProgress is a status that means someone is working on a task, while Done indicates that the task is complete.

Moving tasks between the columns of such boards leads to a change in the status of the task, and the history of the task contains a record of the status change.

Action boards (by status) are the most important communication tool of team members. Masha, sitting in Vologda, moves the task between the columns, changing its status, and Petya sees this change in Syktyvkar and realizes that it is time for him to start his part of the task.

Such boards look almost the same as free boards, only the Color circle appears in the header of the columns, which corresponds to the selected Status and the name of the Status is displayed.

Columns on such boards are created by selecting a status value from the list:

When you add a new column that matches the status, it can appear on the board along with the tasks. This is due to the fact that there could be tasks on the selected status.

If you need to create a new status, you can do it directly from the list:

Status boards can only be your private or public. In the vast majority, they are nevertheless made public for the work of the entire team.

A little later we will tell you what private boards are and what public boards are and how they differ.

You can set a WIP limit on the status board columns.

But you will not always be able to create a task by clicking on the plus sign in the column header. The presence or absence of a plus sign in the column header tells us whether we can create tasks at this status or not. This is set in the WorkFlow settings.

  1. Action boards (by artists)

The main difference between this type of boards and Action boards (by statuses) is that the columns here are not the statuses, but the performers appointed in the tasks. These are sort of resource boards to help you see what people are uploading.

You can create an Action board (by artists) by selecting the appropriate type in the list when creating it:

After you add the columns with the necessary artists to the board (and this is done in the same way as for the status boards), you will see that each column contains tasks assigned to a specific artist.

When dragging task cards between the columns, the task will be reassigned automatically. And deleting columns will not lead to loss of data in tasks.

On this type of board, it is very convenient to both evaluate and plan the loading of people.

  1. Action board (by version)

As you may have guessed by now, Action Boards (by versions) are boards similar to the ones we described in the previous two sections, except that the columns here will be Versions.

Versions in METEOR can be not only versions and releases, but also Sprints. Therefore, you will be able to make a board for quickly assigning tasks to a particular sprint or backlog. Note that the various backlogs are also separate items in the “Version” guide, so they must be added to the board separately. But the “No sprint” column contains those tasks that did not fall into any sprint and are not assigned to any backlog. Working with backlogs is convenient when grooming (prioritizing) tasks.

However, the full functionality of sprints is located in a separate section. We will also touch on it in one of the following articles.

  1. Filter boards

Filter boards, with columns defined by a filter, are a special kind of task board. The peculiarity here is that the tasks in each column are typed according to the filter settings saved for each column.

For example, in the first column you can place the tasks of the analyst Andriy, in the second – tasks in the statuses “Working” and “Under testing”, and in the third – tasks with a high priority.

This way of organizing the board can lead to the fact that the same task can appear on the board in several columns at the same time – this is completely normal for filtering boards. But this behavior does not allow you to enable the functionality of transferring tasks between columns using drag and drop.

We call such boards monitoring boards. They are convenient in that they are some dashboards that display the status of tasks in a way that is convenient for you. In fact, the filter boards could be replaced with free boards, but there is one feature – tasks must be placed manually on the free boards, and on the filtering boards, they will appear automatically as soon as they fall under the conditions of the filter of one or another column .

At the moment, METEOR does not provide the ability to independently configure the filter boards, so if you have such a need, our support will make these settings for you, along with helping to correctly formulate the conditions for the filter.

Conclusion

This time we touched on the task board. In the next article, we will talk about task lists and Gantt charts. These two views are also very often used in project management and deserve careful consideration.

Ask questions in the comments, express your suggestions. We are always happy to hear from you.

Thank you for your interest in this material!

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