Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gigantt is Not Psychic

Gigantt's task scheduling is fully automatic. It requires just one thing: that you estimate your tasks.
When tasks are left without estimates, Gigantt tries to nudge you to properly estimate them by showing a little icon beside them (and beside each task that contains them):

Until today, tasks left without estimates were treated by Gigantt's scheduler as one hour long. One hour seemed like roughly the most common task size, so that's what we went with.

Starting today, you can control the default estimate yourself by going to Options -> This Plan and changing the setting:

Also starting today, all new plans will have a one-minute default estimate. Your existing plans will still have the one-hour default, unless you change it yourself.

Why did we change the default estimate to be one-minute?

Well, we noticed a lot of users wanted to be able to plan ahead very quickly, and only give estimates to their tasks when they're done. The freedom to use Gigantt this way is important, because if you're brainstorming and furiously writing down task after task, we don't want to slow you down by demanding that you stop and estimate each task that you create. The problem with the previous default of one hour was that if you quickly created, say, 20 tasks without estimates, you basically added a 20-hour delay into your plan. This can be very disruptive, especially when you have lots of people collaborating on the same plan. One guy adds a bunch of tasks and suddenly the entire plan is delayed unintentionally.

With the 1-minute default, you can do more than just separate planning from estimating. You can also use Gigantt to manage check-lists. When you create a check-list of tiny one-minute tasks, then you're hardly affecting the overall schedule.

We hope this change won't be disruptive to our existing users. If you would like to give us feedback, please visit our feedback site and let us know what you think.

Above all, remember to estimate those tasks. Gigantt isn't psychic, yet. You need to tell it how long tasks are going to take. It takes just a few seconds to do so, and in return you get fully automatic scheduling and resource leveling. That's a good deal.

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