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Lists don't work

When you’re starting a new web app, how do you get a handle on the scope of the work? How many times have you been so focused on the details of big features that you forgot to account for the time required to design and build the login and password reset screens?

Let’s say you’re building a new blog-based microsite for a client. Being that it’s a blog, you figure you’ll need roughly the 4 different screens below to complete the project.

A Base Project Layout

But as you think the job through more, and start adding placeholders for the more custom pages, a single list becomes unwieldy. It doesn’t actually keep you organized. And yet, this is how most project management tools assume we work.

They are centered around a single bucket of tasks. And from said bucket you’re expected to imagine the relationship between the screens. Not just once, but every time there’s any change to the project or your team.

If you were building a house, this would be like having a giant pile of wood, screws and wire as your blueprint. And each time you move some priority around you’re dragging wood and wire in the pile – not very efficient or obvious.

A better way to organize our house would be to have separate piles. All of materials and plans for each room grouped in their own piles. A pile for the master bedroom, a pile for the second bedroom, a pile for the kitchen and so forth.

This does a good job of helping us at least organize and communicate everyone automatically which materials belong to which rooms. We can also easily verify that each room has enough materials and adjust our plans quicker and easier.

Better yet would be if we could have levels to help us group our work knowledge by floor. The bedroom piles are in the upper level, signifying they’re on the second floor, and the kitchen materials are on the bottom level, because they’re on the ground floor.

Immediately looking at this sime layout we should be asking ourselves more details. How are they going to get to the second story? Our current plans leave room for two solutions: a secret staircase or a ladder tacked on outside the house.

Likewise by organizing our projects the way we expect to use them we are able to identify seemingly minor details that have a huge impact on our projects. What’s more, the structure can automatically conveys the intended hierarchy of our app. There’s no need to guess.

Why struggle to organize your project as a single list of tasks when it’s not? Kwoosh builds structure into your project management process and is designed for software projects.Try Kwoosh today.

—jvd