Looking for a way to get a clear overview of multiple projects running at once? Are you wanting to see where your projects or tasks are standing at a glance, without having to search through many boards? If you can relate to this then you've come to the right place — introducing a "high-level board"!
What is a high-level board?
A high-level board allows you to see an overview of everything you and your team are working on across multiple different boards. High-level boards can be organized by quarters, months, phases, clients, projects or any other way that works for the team. Put simply, a high-level board is your first step towards developing a streamlined workflow!
Benefits of a high-level board
While high-level boards are often geared towards managers and leadership who need an overview of projects or milestone completion, they can also have an impact on other team members as well. Creating a high-level board can benefit your company by giving all team members a better understanding of your overall aims and objectives.
Building a high-level board
For this example, we're building a high-level board for a big rebranding project that our team is working on.
Let's review how we chose to organize our high-level board! Keep in mind, this is just an example and you can completely customize the structure of your board to suit your own unique needs.
- Groups: We've organized our groups according to each phase of our project.
- Items: The items on our board represent each important milestone within a phase of our project.
- Columns: The columns on our board allow us to have all important data-points recorded in one place. These are a few column types that we find essential here:
- People Column to provide ownership to one project manager who is overseeing the associated milestone.
- Timeline Column to track a timeframe for each milestone. We’ll see how this column comes to life via the Gantt View later in this guide!
- Status Column to display the department that each milestone belongs to. Keep in mind, these labels can be customized to show anything that you wish.
Connecting your high-level board to a low-level board (or multiple!)
One of the most useful aspects of a high-level board is that it can be linked and synced to low-level boards so that information can instantly flow from one board to another. While high-level boards focus on the overall picture, low-level boards are useful for having visibility into certain core details and specific aspects of a larger process.
The following are a few ways that you can connect your low-level and high-level boards to make sure that all relevant information is updated at all times:
- The Connect Boards and Mirror Column
The Connect Boards Column and the Mirror Column work together to connect and reflect information from one or more boards to the current one. When you mirror information from one board to another, you can edit the mirrored information and these changes will be automatically reflected in both boards.
For our "Rebranding Project High-Level Board", we wanted to easily link and reflect information from three separate low-level boards that relate to this project: our "Rebranding Campaign Planning", "Rebranding PR Strategy" and "Rebranding daily tasks" boards. To do this, we first connected in the relevant boards from the Connect Boards Column:
In the example below, we've reflected the statuses of all tasks from our connected boards (such as the "PR Rebranding Low Level" board in the first image) onto the high-level board for an aggregated overview (second image) of the progress of each connected board.
- Low-level board:
Linked high-level board:
- Link Column
Alternatively, you can also choose to simply add hyperlinks to any related boards by using the Link Column. This column type allows you to connect low-level boards to any related item by giving you a dedicated space to input the unique URL of those boards. Using this column makes jumping between boards seamless.
- Tags Column
The Tags Column provides a way to organize groups of items across different boards. You can use tags to track category, department, quarters, etc.
By tagging and using Search Everything, you can draw connections between all of your boards across the entire account.
Track milestones with the Gantt View
The Board Views allow you to visualize the information on your boards in a different way. For a robust view of your high-level board, we recommend to use the Gantt View, where you can see all of your milestones in relation to one another. You can move items around to ensure the assignment fits your team’s schedule, and you can click on the item itself to review a card with more details.
The Gantt View can be grouped by person, status, or department for an even more informative breakdown.
Get insights with the chart view
The Chart View is an excellent way to see a breakdown of data on your high-level board. This view can be used to breakdown your board’s data according to the person responsible, the status of your milestones, the department or any other relevant information.
Below, we can see an example of all our data broken down by department but stacked by project manager. This provides visibility into our resource management for this project.
To learn more about the Chart View, check this out.
Automate your workflow
Automations are simple, customizable processes that you can create in just a few seconds. They can be push notifications of specific updates or automatic actions that are taken once an action item is complete.
Here are some useful automations to boost your high-level board: "Every time period, notify someone"
This automation can be used to send a notification to the person overseeing the entire project. This notification can serve as that individual’s reminder to check in on their team, to write a weekly report or anything else that requires a regular, recurring reminder.
"When date has passed and status is something, notify someone"
This automation allows the project manager to be notified whenever a due date has passed and the item is not complete.
Adjust the date of an item to reflect the changes made in the date of its dependency item.
If you choose to add Dependencies onto your board to help define relationships between the items, this automation ensures that a milestone’s date will be adjusted if the milestone’s dependent item is adjusted.
Other ways to gain high-level insights
Now that you’ve learned all about high-level boards, if you are looking to connect several boards together into one visual overview, check out our Dashboards. Dashboards are a great way to get an overview, comparison or breakdown of what’s important to your team.
You can customize your dashboard using a variety of different widgets:
As we’ve discussed here, high-level boards can really help to streamline your workflow by providing an understanding of the big picture. We hope this guide has given you the tools you need to get started!
If you have any questions, please reach out to our team right here. We’re available 24/7 and happy to help.