How A Robust Tech Team Uses Hive To Manage Complex Projects

You may be working on a complex project — perhaps you’re on an engineering team or you work in a robust technology role — but that doesn’t mean your management process also has to be complex. Fortunately, Hive is here to provide structure and organization for even the most complicated projects. Hive has everything you need to manage large-scale, multi-workstream project plans — all in a user-friendly, approachable interface. With this quick start guide, we’ll have your project timeline loaded into Hive in no time. So let’s get started!

Step 1: Where is your project plan now?

Where do you currently track your project plan? Depending on whether you are coming from another tool, or if this is your very first time using a formal system, it’s time to transfer your existing work into Hive. Follow the directions below based on which of the following best applies to you.

a) It’s in another tool & I’m planning to import it

Hive can ingest project data from other tools when it’s exported in common formats like CSV or JSON. Hive has also built importers for tools like Basecamp, Trello, Asana and Smartsheet. If you’re transferring work from another common tool, Follow the import guide here to easily gather project data and import it into Hive.

b) I’m starting from scratch

There’s nothing better than a clean slate! Let’s get you started by creating a New Project. Do this by clicking on New > Project, and choose to include the following information:

  • Title
  • Due date
  • Gantt layout
  • Phases: hold off for now, we will get to that next
  • Shared with: we recommend starting with just yourself for now, but our Draft Mode works well if you’d like to add your teammates, but not notify them of assignments until you’re finished with the plan.

Tip: once your project is created in Gantt view, click the gear icon to populate a few familiar columns, like Start Date, Due Date, Duration & Predecessor.

Step 2: Map out the workstreams

Now it’s time to think about how your project naturally breaks down. Based on the structure of your workflow, follow the best path below.

a) By major life cycle stage or phase of work 

This applies to projects where work is organized based on the life cycle stage, and then individual actions are owned by specific teams or departments. If this is the case, we recommend you set up Phases for your project in Hive. Each Phase will represent those major life cycle stages that everything in your project will be categorized under. Add Phases to your project by clicking on More > Edit Project > and adding Phases there. You can then assign a Phase to new actions, group by Phase, or drag existing actions into your Phases.

b) By workstream or department

In this case, each team runs their own segment of the overall project and we don’t organize into the same lifecycle stage across all work streams. If your department’s work streams are more than 30 specific tasks, we recommend using labels to organize the project. Each department can use the same label on their actions, and then you view your timeline grouped by Label rather than by Phase. Create the labels directly on the action cards using the ‘+’ icon. Here’s everything about labels to learn more.

Step 3: Configure your Gantt chart to work for you

There are many different ways to configure your Gantt chart in Hive. Here are some tips to help you set up your project based on what you’re hoping to achieve. If any of of these would make your life easier, proceed as directed!

I’d like the gantt timeline to auto-adjust my dates, so if one date shifts, subsequent dates should be auto-scheduled by Hive 👉 Turn on Auto-scheduling, or even Strict Auto-scheduling (see link for more).

I’d like Hive to show my action card as completed if all the subactions are completed, automatically 👉 Toggle on this setting in the Edit Project screen:

I’d like Hive to calculate the start and end date of my parent actions, based on the earliest & latest dates of the subactions 👉 Toggle on this setting in the Edit Project screen:

I’d like to be able to view all milestones across all projects at once 👉 Flip those action cards into Milestones and then create your Milestone Report.

Step 4: Add your actions into the project

Use the prompts on the Gantt chart to enter your actions one-by-one. As an alternative, you can copy + paste from a list and Hive will generate separate actions. Yep, that’s a pro tip.

Step 5: Inviting the team & assigning work

Now that you’ve created your project plan, it’s time to bring in the people responsible for executing it. Head to the Invites section to invite everyone who is involved in part (or all) of the project. Remember, your internal team members within your organization would be regular members, while external parties who may need access to a single project or who are outside of your organization will be External Users.

Once everyone has been assigned to their respective actions, it’s time to begin! 📈 Moving forward, team members can refer to their individual My Actions page to see their upcoming task assignments across all projects.

Step 6: Gain approval for deliverables

If your deliverables need to go through an internal or external review process, leverage the proofing and approval capabilities in Hive to receive feedback and track approvals. To begin, upload files for review in the Hive Proofing tool. Hive’s Proofing functionality lets multiple team members simultaneously conduct a review, leave comments, and add markups in real-time. You can also create approval routes that go to multiple users, teams, as well as external approvers (those without Hive accounts).

When it’s your turn to review, you’ll receive a notification and the request for your approval will appear on your My Actions page to easily track all of your approval requests.

Power up with additional Hive functionality:

  1. Kicking off the project with Running a Great Meeting
  2. Keeping track of key dates in Portfolio View
  3. Noting any major concerns through our Risks & Issues Tracker