Imagine if you could set your project management to autopilot with just a single click. As long as the autopilot does not warn you about anything, you would know that everything is in order and you could relax and take care of other issues. An exciting idea, isn’t it? That’s what we thought. To make this idea a reality, we have been working on just such a feature!
The awork autopilot (beta)
The first version of awork’s autopilot consists of a series of smart mailings that keep the project manager and the project team informed about the progress of the project. The mails that the project manager receives differ from those that are sent to the team. While the team is mainly informed about their own upcoming and most urgent to-dos, the awork autopilot supports the project manager in his or her main task: the project management.
How is the project going?
Is everything going according to plan? Are we on schedule? Do we have enough resources? Instead of constantly racking your brain over all of these questions, the answer can now be confidently handed over to the autopilot. As long as the autopilot does not sound the alarm, everything is fine. If one deadline after another is exceeded, the autopilot intervenes and informs with appropriate mailings.
Agile project management or waterfall mode?
From now on, as soon as you create a project in awork, you will be asked if you want to use the awork autopilot. In autopilot mode, you can choose between an agile project or the waterfall method.
Agile project management is characterised by the fact that a project (or product) is developed on a step by step basis. The team focuses on the next most important steps and works together in a self-organised and interdisciplinary way. By dividing the project into several sections, it is also possible to react flexibly to changes during the project.
In principle, the waterfall method is the opposite of the agile approach. The entire scope of the project is determined at the beginning of the project. Furthermore, it is assumed that one completed project phase initiates the next one and each phase builds on each other. There is, however, less flexibility with this approach than with an agile method, as the planning reliability is much higher. The waterfall model is therefore best suited for projects where, for example, precise guidelines or high-quality standards have to be met. Originally, the model comes from the construction and production industry. Especially in these industries, highly structured processes have to be followed to avoid expensive changes at the end. In some cases, changes are no longer even possible.
In autopilot mode, you should select the agile mode for all projects that do not have a fixed schedule. For these projects, you will be guided more by the working hours that are available than by fixed deadlines (e.g., Kanban or Scrum). Again, the waterfall method is best suited if you already know your deadlines and fixed responsibilities. So, if you work with milestones and a Gantt chart and the factor of time is very important, the
Read now: 5 project management methods you should know about
Checklist: what project management method suits my project best?
- In agile mode, the autopilot ensures that all tasks are completed at the end of the project. The number of finished tasks and the burn-down of tasks is relevant for the progress (planning of the task is linear).
- In waterfall mode, the autopilot makes sure that all tasks are completed on schedule. The autopilot will also alert individual users if their tasks are due or overdue.
- For permanent projects with no end date and with regular new to-do’s (e.g., team organisation projects), you can also switch off the autopilot if necessary.
How does the awork autopilot work?
As soon as you have created a project in autopilot mode, you will receive a first email with a checklist.
Note: the autopilot will not start until the project has been changed from In Planning to Running.
All further mails are based on a sophisticated system. Which e-mails you or one of your team members receives, depends on various factors. The autopilot only sends out the e-mails and information that are most relevant to the person in question.
These smart e-mails can be differentiated into notes and warnings. Notes can contain announcements about upcoming to-do’s or information about the progress of the project. Warnings are always sent out when the project could get out of hand. In this case, for example, a deadline was not met, or the deadline was exceeded. You can always recognise these important warnings by the red alarm symbol in the e-mail header.
The project manager receives the vast majority of e-mails. He or she is informed about the progress, timing, and deadline of the project. The project manager can be selected in the project team.
You can adjust additional autopilot settings in the project details menu. If you click on the awork Bot in the project, you can activate or deactivate the autopilot at any time. You can also switch between agile and waterfall mode.
In the project details, you can also decide which notifications should be triggered by the autopilot or which e-mails you no longer wish to receive.