The Cutting Edge of Design - Part 1: Project Planner

By Tracy Wettig on July 7, 2021

In this multi-part video series, our goal will be to create and design the ergonomic handle of an electronic reciprocating carving knife. We will be walking you through the concept, design, simulation and production of real product prototypes using 3DEXPERIENCE as the platform to manage all the project personnel and data. 

Establishing a centralized plan can significantly increase the success of a project, so we are kicking off the series with how to use the Project Planner app. After all, you can't start successful product development without tasks, people to do those tasks, and milestones for those people to achieve. 

This article covers:

Project Planning

Using the Project Planning app from the Project Planner role on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, you can design the order and flow of a plan, assign users to tasks, get real-time updates as the project progresses, monitor metrics and leverage a secure and centralized source of deliverables.

Even better, this master plan can be accessed anywhere you can log onto the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, including through the 3DEXPERIENCE tab in your SOLIDWORKS Task Pane.


Create a New Project

The Project Planning App can be found in your Compass. Leverage the search at the top of your app list.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Search in Compass MenuDrag and drop this app onto a new tab in your dashboard and maximize the widget.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Project Planning App

Upon creating a new project, you can customize the title, project icon, description, and even reuse some elements of a preexisting project structure.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX New Project Dialog BoxAdding Tasks

A task captures the duration, owner, priority, referenced files and progress of duties or phases of a project. Add all necessary tasks by populating the Create a Task text field. Each task will automatically populate the To Do column in the Tasks view. 

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Tasks View of Tasks

The Schedule view sets us up to design a Gannt chart using these new tasks.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Schedule View of Tasks

>> Get to Know the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

Editing Tasks: Scheduling and Settings

Editing the task via a right-click will reveal configurable properties. These properties capture metadata centralized on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform such as Priority, Maturity State, Percent Completion, links to appropriate files in the Collaborative Space and the user(s) assigned to the tasks. For example, from within a task, you can link referenced attachments from a collaborative space and even upload your tasks’ deliverables from within the task to streamline communication.

                         SOLIDWORKS 3DX Task Properties        SOLIDWORKS 3DX Task Properties More

The Planned Start, Planned End and Estimated Duration will update the Schedule view of your tasks to a useful Gannt Chart. Link dependencies between tasks by connecting the end of one task to the beginning of another.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Task AssociationWhen a task duration is updated, the expected start and respective end dates will adjust accordingly for any downstream linked tasks. With the tasks appropriately linked, the project impact of any scheduling delays or early completions is instantaneously visible.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Linked TasksAdd Milestones

Adding Milestones to this Project Planning Schedule view helps you design and adjust the schedule around any significant dates of your project. These milestones are collected in the top row of your project.
           SOLIDWORKS 3DX Adding Milestones SOLIDWORKS 3DX Milestone Properties

There are options to link tasks to milestones as well as fix the target dates. When a schedule shift interferes with a fixed date, the Project Planning app will bring visible attention to tasks being crunched to adhere to fixed dates within your project.
SOLIDWORKS 3DX Project Showing Milestones

Assign Users

A benefit of having all participants in a project on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform is being able to assign one or more colleagues to any task. Doing so will create notifications at appropriate times to the appropriate audience. The avatars of the assigned users will appear at the end of the task name.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Task AssigneesThe Tasks tab lays out the Maturity State of each task: To Do, In Work, or Completed. Once a user has completed their task, they can easily drag and drop the tile representing their task from one Maturity State to the next. This interface allows the users to quickly visualize and interact with the progress of the project.

SOLIDWORKS 3DX Maturity State Summary

You're All Set Up!

Leveraging the Project Planning app for this carving knife project, we can quickly define the project scope, members and key delivery milestones, in one environment. Being able to visualize the project before execution can help identify risks early and adjust as needed. Since this information is captured on the cloud in the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, users can monitor, receive updates and interact with the project progress in real-time.

Video Overview

Watch the video below that details how establishing a centralized plan using the Project Planner app can significantly increase the success of your project.

TriMech’s dedicated team of engineers helps businesses solve their trickiest problems at any stage of the process, whether it is in design, scanning, simulation analysis, data management or bolt-on additive manufacturing solutions. Learn more about what we can do and how we can help your company today.

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