Taskboards

Solving The Recruitment Process With Project Management

Mistakes-to-avoid-when-hiring-freelancers

Recruitment is a responsible and intense process that requires not only good understanding of human nature, but also great data management skills. Getting to that new hire usually takes several weeks and keeping in mind that you are most likely looking to fill a few positions at a time, managing the process and all the associated documents becomes a challenge.

To deal with this issue recruiters choose various methods — some rely on their organizational skills, while others start looking for specialized tools however this time I will discuss neither. Instead I want to talk about how the recruitment process could be managed with a project management tool, something that you most likely already have in your office. I have used our project management solution Eylean Board for the example.

Recruitment process is no different with clear, mostly predefined steps.

Like many other project management tools out there Eylean is based on the Agile principles, which say that the whole project should be performed in steps from beginning to end. Recruitment process is no different with clear, mostly predefined steps. Candidate search, selection process, first interview, second interview, job offer or rejection all can be easily separated and defined on the project board.

Recruitment processes vary according to the field and the position, thus the board columns can be modified, added or deleted any time to reflect and visualize the exact steps recruiters take. To mark the available positions, I use the board rows. Where the row name can represent the position title, company, the duration of the search and other important information.

But what about the candidates, right?

This way the project management environment can be used to quickly visualize the recruitment process and mark the available positions. But what about the candidates, right? Well, I have not forgotten them and in fact made them the most important part of the board — the task cards.

Each of the task/candidate cards represent a separate candidate and hold all of the information related to them. The task can be named after the candidate, documents, such as resume, cover letter and completed tasks attached, the important information noted in the detail section and the next steps, like calling for a follow up, written down. This way the recruiters have all of the important data in one place with no confusion and can access it any time.

Once the selection process starts it is easy to move the selected candidates through the process steps and quickly note the important next steps in each selection. Also, by having all of the information in one board you can not only manage, but also share the information with the whole team. Which allows for better understanding of the selection process, help between team members and even the possibility to overtake the process if the need arises.

Even though it might seem project management software like Eylean Board is not fit to use in the recruitment process, it can actually be a great choice. Visual process presentation, candidate information management and the reminder system guarantees that the recruitment process will not only be managed, but also plain, effective and clear for the whole team, not to mention, you probably already have a similar tool at hand.

 

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5 Agile Boards Used By Non-Developers

BoardIf you follow this blog, Agile application in industries other than software development is nothing new. However, while I often discuss on how to apply the methods in various situations, i have not before actually shown you how it look s in real life.

Agile is beautiful in the sense that it can literally take any form as long as it remains true to the key values. But when you are just starting out with the method it may be difficult to go beyond the traditional 3 columns of To Do, Doing and Done.

In order to inspire and get your own creativity going, here are 5 Agile boards used in traditional departments outside software development.

The web of HR

No good company functions without its employees and it all starts with HR. Taking a web form, this Agile board example comes from Jennifer at TranspireLife. Here, every pizza slice represents a different job position and each of the lines stand for a step in the hiring process. Once there is a vacancy, candidate cards are added to the specific part of the web and moved towards the center as they pass through interviews and other steps.

The procurement board

Procurement processes are important but can get confusing easily, especially when there are multiple projects and people involved. That is why this procurement team worked out a system of their own. Using the basic idea of Agile, they have listed all the ongoing projects on the left of the board arranging them according to the responsible team member and limiting each team members WIP to 7. The columns on this board represent weeks and help track the duration of each project.

This is done using Lego – the color representing procurement stage and the size representing estimated duration. Each week the Lego is moved forward and once that stage is done, the final duration is written on the brick and moved back to week one stacking the next stage Lego on top of it. This way keeping track of expected vs. real time spent and visually tracking all the projects.

The design board

This next Lego board from Vitamins brings us to the design department. Here the board takes on a more visual approach resembling a calendar –  rows represent months and columns are dedicated to days. Each project is given a different color and the sub-rows in each moth are assigned to a specific team member. Due to the specificity of the design department the tasks do not need to be as detailed in the board and instead it is more important to know what the team is working on and which projects are the focus at any given moment.

The collaboration of Finances, Operations and HR

While it is difficult to adapt Scrum in various departments, with mixed functionalities the task becomes even more challenging. That is exactly the case with this board from MetaGeek where Finances, Operations and HR are all one team. Due to the complex processes, the team decided to stick with the basics –  a physical board and 3 clear columns that allow tracking progress and who is working on what. As a result, the teams claim they have started collaborating more and now see how their responsibilities relate clearly.

Executive Add-On

Lastly,  no company is complete without an executive office and analyzing each teams board to understand the overall progress is not something they want to spend time on. This team has found a solution for that – an epic arc, an additional lane that represents on how far the team has advanced.

Once the team starts working on the epic, they clarify tasks and add them to the backlog. Tasks are color coordinated with the epic and move through the board as usual. Instead of staying in the backlog, the epic is moved along the arc, which is comprised of the traditional project stages like planing, in progress and done. This way giving both the team and the management the information they need.

 

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Agile For Legal Teams – Are There Any Benefits?

legal

It is long past the days where Agile was only about software development and coding. We now have financial, marketing, sales and many other teams successfully adopting the practices in their day to day activities. However, there are some more specific industries that still doubt the benefits and use of Agile in their line of work. One of such cases is the legal industry and those in it often wonder – are there really no benefits of having an Agile process?

Before answering this question, let’s talk about the Agile process adoption in the legal field overall. While some of you might be questioning the application possibility, there is no doubt that Agile could be fitted into the process. Legal firms would be able to treat their clients as projects and gather their needs as user stories which would later be broken up into tasks and performed over a series of iterations.

As we have seen from applications in other fields, some changes to the methodology might need to be made, but in general there is no question that legal teams would be able to use the Agile process. However, just being able to do something doesn’t mean that you would actually benefit from it. So let’s see why would the legal companies actually consider switching to Agile project management.

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Finding The Best Project Management Tool

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Being active members of project management community we often encounter questions on what is the best project management software, how to find the perfect solution and what would best fit in one situation or another. And while sometimes a recommendation can lead to a gem in a sea of tools, more often it provides an option that is just okay, but not great. Therefore, it is important to realize that finding the perfect tool is a job you and your team will have to do on your own.

The good news is we are here to help guide you towards that perfect option and have some simple tips on how to get there.

1.       It is not a popularity contest

When looking for your next company tool, you will inevitably want to do research online, ask for opinions and statements from other teams that have tried it. And while this is all great, you should always take the opinion of others with a grain of salt. A tool may fit one company perfectly and be completely wrong for another. So before looking into the vast array of options online and trusting the most popular tool is the best, you should lay some groundwork first.

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Top 5 Most Interesting Scrumban Boards

scrumbanAs most of you know, Scrumban is a mixture of Scrum and Kanban methodologies made in search of a stricter Kanban or a looser Scrum. While there are not many companies that go to Scrumban straight out of the gate, many find their way into it after a while and settle in a comfortable balance between strict and loose that this approach brings.

Just as you might expect, every team strikes this balance a little differently and this is very clear looking into their boards. To compare, lets take a look at just a few of the most interesting Scrumban boards.

Back office manager

scrumban 1

The board used by Wibas, is a great example of Scrumban. It is a nice mix of the two methodologies that allows the company to manage their back office efficiently and with ease, while keeping the priorities straight.

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Eylean for Nonprofit and Educational Organizations

nonprofit

We at Eylean strongly believe in organizations that work hard to help others. Whether it is an NGO that aims their efforts at the biggest problems out there or educational institutions that are raising and enlightening the next generation, their contribution to the society is invaluable.

To express our support to such organizations, we offer a 30% discount to all non-profit and educational organizations for any of our subscription plans. We hope that Eylean Board will become an invaluable asset in managing projects, teams and time, just like it already has in many organizations before.

To apply for the nonprofit discount or to get more information, follow the link on our pricing page: http://www.eylean.com/en/Planning-board-pricing.

 

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Top 10 – Boards, Reports and Task Actions

As a project management software company, we are often asked, which of the PM methods are the most popular and most commonly used today.  To find the answer to this question, there is no better way but to ask or look into the market itself. So today we take a look into boards, reports and task actions that Eylean users choose the most.

PM-Statistics

Looking at the top boards, we find a variety of them at the disposal of Eyleaners. There are Kanban, Scrum and Scrumban boards being used by some, TFS template boards, used by others, but the overall winner, however, is the Basic board. This might seem strange with the overwhelming popularity of Agile methods today, however, there is quite a few reasons behind this choice, such as a complicated process, transition between methods, adoption of a new method and so on. Choosing a basic board option, allows the team to start using the tool quickly and to develop the exact process on the go, by modifying the board to suit their needs.

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Vulcanizing Kanban

Volcano2Finding out about and covering various Kanban approaches is always very interesting – we want to stay on top of innovation that you are creating in the market. So when a creator of the Arrow Kanban board, Tomas Rybing, reached out to us with his new invention, we were both eager and excited to check it out. This time, he presented the Volcano – another interesting take on the traditional Kanban board.

According to Tomas, the Volcano was born out of the bugging need to combine multiple teams and multiple projects into one space. Unfortunately, the traditional Kanban board layout was not ideal for such a situation as everything ended up being mixed up and hard to separate. To achieve a clearer and more comfortable Kanban setting, he decided to separate the board into specific sections – one dedicated for the multiple product backlog and one section for each team involved in the project. This separation allowed to plan and prioritize the work globally, while at the same keeping the process of each team away from each other.

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5 Tools to Head Start Your Project

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Quest for the best mix of project management tools is known to new and veteran managers both. While the supply of such solutions has grown immensely over the years, instead of making the decision easier it actually made it much more difficult. Choosing the right tool for the job, not getting influenced and derailed from your actual needs is what we seek to do, but often fail simply because of the overwhelming information available. To make this decision a little easier, we decided to narrow things down to five categories of tools you will need for your next project.

Project management

1447257647_bullishFew projects can happen with no project management, we need to have order and known when the things are supposed to be done. To make this goal as easy as possible, you will need some sort of project management tool or software. Choose what fits your style and the team you are working with – some will do just fine with a whiteboard and markers, while others will feel more comfortable with a specified software like Eylean Board designed to handle large projects. In any case, this will be crucial to your progress as you will plan, monitor and execute the work ahead according to this tool.

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5 Ways to Use Color in Agile

The benefits of data visualization are well known and understood in this busy, no time to stop and read world. Therefore it comes as no surprise that we are constantly looking for measures to improve our process and create ever more effective ways of making project information understandable at a first glance. Agile project management practices have been a go to tool for most teams in this effort, however, we believe, they can be pushed yet another step further with a simple addition of color.

Agile project methods are a great way to improve your project visualization – they provide the basic rules of the board setup, task organization and separation as well as a general sense of what is going on. However, as projects, teams and Agile practices themselves grow ever larger, the constraints provided in the methods become too simple to sufficiently visualize the process. As a result, most teams start looking for another layer of data representation such as color.

Color coding is a well-known practice used in the daily lives by most of us. And while it may seem silly at first, it actually provides a great additional layer of visualization for the Agile task board. Below are our top 5 ways to use color in the board enhancement.

Identifying the item size

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