This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Hygger. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Hygger is a next-generation project management suite powered by an always-on web service that you can access through any browser or the iOS and Android apps. It includes all the tools you need to sort and manage projects. You’ll find automated task prioritization and management, work tracking, chat, group assignments and much more. Invite your whole team to use the software, and you can closely monitor the progress of your projects and your team members’ day-to-day work. For today’s fast-moving, complicated projects, this sort of software is required to run a successful project. Hygger.io fills that role excellently.
A Typical Hygger Workflow
Hygger’s task management is based on major existing todo systems. It incorporates parts of the Getting Things Done methodology and the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. When you run a project with Hygger, you’ll probably follow this workflow:
- Write all your tasks down: Just like you would do with the Getting Things Done work method, take all the planning that’s stored in your brain or on post-its stuck to the bottom of your monitor and dump it right into Hygger. Dump absolutely everything into Hygger. As you add tasks, be sure to score them for later prioritization.
- Measure task parameters: Hygger will use your prioritization numbers to automatically sort your tasks. The app sorts your work into a queue that quickly tells you what tasks are most important based on your scores.
- Do (and track) the work: Now for the fun part! We have a neatly sorted, highly-organized list of upcoming tasks. Use Kanban Boards and Sprints to track your work as you go.
Hygger answers the question “What first?” so you don’t have to. The program provides an automatically sorted tasks list based on your priority numbers. You can work your way down the list without worrying about how important your current work is. Simply follow Hygger’s task list, and you’ll be automatically complete the most important work first. As you go, track your work and time in the application. With Hygger, everything lives under one friendly umbrella.
There’s more than one way to sort your tasks in Hygger. There are a few different score-weighting methods. Your chosen method will determine what prioritization information you need to include when adding the task to your todo list.
Hygger recognizes that determining which task is most important can be difficult: people will often prioritize the tasks they find interesting, basically doing what they want to do instead of what they need to do. With Hygger’s task prioritization methods, tasks are managed for you. You score the attributes of the task, and then Hygger applies a formula to rank the tasks by importance and urgency.
Value vs. Effort
This is the simplest method of prioritization. Tasks get a Value score (how valuable the result is) and an Effort score (how hard it is to complete the task). The formula subtracts Effort from Value. The tasks with the highest score go to the top. This way the best combination of value and effort kick off your day. You’ll start with high-value, low-effort tasks, and gradually move on to less valuable tasks as you go down the list. It’s similar to how President Eisenhower managed his workload with his decision matrix.
The Eisenhower matrix or method is a valuable tool for distinguishing between importance and urgency. Those two task attributes often seem like the same thing, but it’s crucial to realize they are not. A task can be important, but not urgent, or vice versa. Using the Eisenhower matrix, tasks are sorted into four quadrants based on their importance and urgency.
An example of a task that is both important and urgent might be something like answering a time-sensitive email from your boss about an ongoing project. Those tasks should be at the top of your task list. Tasks that are important but not urgent are things like long-term plans and goals that you will want to schedule out as time permits.
Tasks that are urgent but unimportant are things that are time-sensitive but not valuable, like checking your email. These tasks might be distracting, so it can be smart to delegate them if possible. If a task is neither important or urgent, it can be dropped.
This system also uses Value and Effort scores, but prioritizes tasks with a different formula. Hygger helps you figure out the task’s Value score, determining how much value you’ll get when the task is completed. This makes scoring tasks far easier for a first-time user. It also acknowledges important task features, which can be different based on each project’s needs.
ICE (Impact, Confidence, Ease)
Each task gets a score in Impact, Confidence, and Ease. The Impact score measures how valuable the task will be to the whole project, just like the Value score. Ease measures how much work the task will require to complete, just like Effort. Confidence is the only new attribute. This score can be used to raise or lower a task’s priority based on any attributes you care to measure. All of these attributes have equal weight, unlike with weighted scoring.
ICE scoring manages to hit a balance between the time required to score tasks versus the actual value of scoring the tasks, so it’s a popular choice.
RICE (Reach, Impact, Confidence, Ease)
Extends the ICE method by adding Reach, which measures how large the impact of a completed task might be. For example, a task could have a high value for a small group of people. The task’s Impact score would be high, but its Reach will be low. This system prioritizes tasks by Reach and Impact, so the most important tasks are executed first.
Using Your Priority System
Once you pick a system, it’s time to start adding and scoring tasks. Values are attached when entering the task into the system, but scores can be added later, too. Each system has its own attributes, so the exact scoring process will vary. It takes a little training to master this concept. With practice, you can be just as fast as you are with your current todo method.
Once scored, tasks can be sorted into a few categories. Quick Wins are easy but valuable. Big Bets are the opposite: high value and high effort, making them difficult but worth it. Finally, you have Time Sinks, which are just what they sound like: a waste of time. Using the Eisenhower system, these would be the tasks that are neither important nor urgent.
Tracking Work with Kanban Boards and Sprints
Once you’ve created a complete task list, you can begin your work. Work can be tracked and performed from within the Hygger system. The system supports Kanban Boards for agile project management and includes advanced tools for organizing Sprints. If you work with Kanban, you’ll find the familiar cards and columns for sorting tasks and tracking progress. The design of the interface enhances the ease of use, helping you use the “visual signals” of the Kanban system to great effect.
If your team organizes projects with Scrum, you’ll like Hygger’s Sprints 2.0 tools. You can put up multiple Sprints in one time box, meet story points, generate velocity and burndown reports, and much more. These enhanced tools make your Sprints more effective. This way your team can produce better work and worry less about project management.
There’s so much more to Hygger, but we can’t cover it all in one place. We found that Hygger marries a detailed and powerful task organization framework to robust and intuitive project management tools. Managers get insight into day-to-day workflows, and employees get powerful task-management tools. Overall, it’s a solid mixture of complexity and ease of use, ranking it as one of the best project management tools that we’ve seen.
Visit Hygger.io to sign up for a free trial and take the software for a spin. We highly recommend it.