1. Introduction to the Timeline Workflow
The Timeline Workflow presents an innovative planning approach that allows you to visualize your past, present, and future Initiatives in a linear calendar view.
In this way, you can see all planned Initiatives in a roadmap style layout that you can set to display by Days/Months/Weeks/Quarters/Years on an uninterrupted timeline.
The Timeline is supposed to work only with Initiatives and not individual tasks. Each Initiative has a start and end date that are easily viewable in the calendar and illustrates the project schedule.
*Open the image in a new tab to get a closer view.
The Timeline Workflow automatically updates the real-time status of your Initiatives. The Initiatives are bound to the calendar by a set of newly introduced properties that define the planned start and end dates against the actual ones.
For example, if a card linked to the Initiative goes to "In progress" before the planned start date, the actual start of the Initiative will automatically adjust on screen.
Similarly, if your team members are late with completing a card linked to an Initiative within the planned end date, the system will highlight that Initiative on the Timeline Workflow lane.
The days of delay tooltip appears on hover.
2. How to create the Timeline Workflow?
You can add the Timeline Workflow to every Board in your account.
To create a Timeline workflow, select the "Edit Workflow" icon at the top of each Board interface and to turn on its edit mode.
There are two options, centered to the edit mode page:
- Create new Initiatives Workflow
- Create new Timeline Workflow (Select this option)
The default Timeline workflow displays a single track (1) to create initiatives in. However, the feature supports unlimited parallel work, which means that users can add as many more tracks as they need. This is particularly useful for the planning and execution of concurrent initiatives.
Add a new Track
To do this, you have to select the lane settings icon (2).
* Open the image in a new tab for a better view
In the Lane settings panel, users can define the number of parallel tracks within the Timeline workflow. Enter the number (for example 3) and save the changes.
As a result, you will get 3 parallel tracks that allow you to visualize concurrent Initiatives.
Do not forget to save the Timeline configuration, using the Save button on the top right corner of the screen.
Select Back to Board icon to see your new board layout.
The Timeline is the top workflow of your Board layout (img.1). The vertically green line marker always defines the current day.
*Open the image in a new tab for a better view.
The Timeline workflow allows you to swipe horizontally to go forward and backward in time.
Use the mouse and swipe right to go to past dates and events.
Swipe left if you want to create or see Initiatives in the future.
The Timeline view can be set to display the time as in: Auto, Days, Weeks, Months, Quarters and Years.
Users can control that from the Zoom option (1) at the top right corner (img.2) or using the shortcut CTRL + mouse scroll.
Note: The Auto option expands the Timeline view in a way that covers all of the planned Initiatives.
(2) To quickly jump to today’s date -> click Today.
3. How to create Initiatives in the Timeline Workflow?
To create an Initiative, you have to right-click or double click on the track area that corresponds to a current or future date. This is the planned start date of your Initiative. Type the Initiative name to create the item. Note that the system does not allow you to create Initiatives in the past.
Move the mouse over the left or right edge and click to drag slide (left or right) to adjust the planned and end date to the calendar date at the top of the Timeline workflow. This functionality allows users to make slider adjustments until matching their preferences in accordance with the project plan.
- If you want to create another Initiative that is planned to be executed concurrently, you have to use a separate track for its visualization.
- If you plan to execute the Initiatives sequentially one after other, you can visualize all them in a single Track.
Important: The system won't let you start working on the next initiative's children unless the current one has been completed.
4. The Timeline Initiative
The Timeline Initiative represents a bigger task/project/epic that you need to break down into smaller and manageable work items to be accomplished.
The smaller actionable steps (cards) are linked to the Initiatives as child cards and they give your entire team the scope of their work. All child cards are created on the Cards Workflow to be executed by the team members.
When you open the Timeline Initiatives, you will notice the addition of the Timeline fields (img.3)
- Planned Start Date vs Actual Start Date
- Planned End Date vs Actual End Date
The system automatically records the dates to precisely reflect the reality.
Note: These fields are not editable.
Hover over any of the Timeline initiatives and the linear calendar on the top of the workflow will instantly display its start and end day. The dates will be outlined in blue for better visualization.
This feature will be at the core of the next several releases. Please try it out and send us your feedback. We will appreciate your help to make this feature even better.