Getting started: Planning overview

Placker uses Kanban principles of boards and lists to organize and visualize your work items in the way that works for you and your team. We love to use boards and lists as it is a great way to visualize your work and extremely flexible to fit any kind of personal style, process or methodology. We’ll show you how this works within Placker to get you started. 

Boards, Lists and Items

Your work items are made visual by using boards to collect your work items, grouped by lists. A board is where you organize and collect your work on, wich can be any collection that you need; your project, your to-do lists, your event, your documents etc etc. Boards can be shared with other people (your team members) to allow you and your team to have the same, full picture and work together towards your common goals. Updates on boards are automatically synchronized between the team members.

placker_board_example_move_houses

This is an example of a board, used to plan moving houses, on this board you see 5 lists that contain items. In this case ordered by items needed to be done 1 month before moving, 1 week before moving, on moving day, after moving day and a list of issues & risks.

board list items mapped on board

This is just one way to plan your board, you can customize your board in any way you want so it fits your process, style or methodology. Some other example on how we use boards, lists and items ourselves are listed below.

  • For release management we use a board to track user stories across iterations (where every list is an iteration, and every items is a user story).
  • For our sales team we use a board that represents our sales process (where every list is a step in the sales process and every item is a (potential) client).
  • For personal to-do’s I use a board that contains my to-do’s based on categories (where the lists are categories and the items are actions).

Quick how-to: Create, update & delete

  • Create a new board by going to the ‘board overview‘ section and click on ‘click to create new board’, then click on the created board to go to the plan view and edit your board.
  • Edit your board in the plan view.
  • Create new list by clicking on ‘create new list’ in the plan view.
  • Create a new item by clicking on the + icon in the list header to add a new item.
  • Update the position and order of lists and items by simply dragging and dropping the items and lists.
  • Delete boards by clicking on the checkbox in the board in the ‘board overview’ screen and select ‘delete’ from the right menu.
  • Delete lists and items by clicking on the checkbox in the list or item header and select ‘delete’ in the right menu.

Items and attributes

Items are generic and can be anything you need them to be, it can be an activity, an issue, a document, a person or whatever is needed for organizing and planning your work. You can customize your item types to make them meaningful (more on that later), and use the item attributes to set the context of the item.

We wanted you to easily understand the status of your items by a glimpse at your board and use five core attributes for items to do so. You should consider these five to be the basis to understand your items, they can be extended by any number of custom attributes if needed. The screenshot below shows the detail overview of two items, one planned for the future with the status amber, one already completed with the status green. You  can click on any board, list or item to get the detail overview in the right hand column.

Example of two items, one open and planned in the future, one completed.

  1. Summary / title; containing a descriptive summary of the item so people understand what it is about.
  2. Owner; with Placker an item always has one owner who is responsible for the item, by default the owner is the person creating the board.
  3. Status; a color indicator of how the item is doing, can be Green (everything ok), Amber (attention is required) or Red (something wrong). If the color is updated also the color on the card is updated so you can understand the status only by looking at the board.
  4. Progress; represents the flow of the item, from Open (new), to In Progress (started) to Completed (finished). Pending  represent the item has started but is waiting for something, cancelled represent the item is no longer relevant.
  5. End (plan/actual); shows the end date, this can be the planned end date for items that are not yet finished or the actual end date for items that are already completed. The actual end date is automatically set to the current date when the item’s progress is set to completed. (this can be overwritten).

Quick How-to: View & update attributes

  • View detail overview by clicking on the board (board title), list or item in order to view the board, list or item in the right column.
  • Set or update attributes by clicking on the attribute and select a different value, you will get either a pop-up menu or you can update the attribute directly by typing.

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