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|Initial release||January 27, 2008|
|Platform||Ruby on Rails|
|Type||Project management software
LiquidPlanner is a platform-independent, online project management system which features ranged estimates (e.g. 3–5 days) to express the uncertainty in project schedules.[not in citation given] This collaborative software is accessible via modern web browsers and mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, and Android operating system-based devices.[user-generated source]
LiquidPlanner was founded by Charles Seybold and Jason Carlson, both former senior managers of Expedia. The Seattle-based company employs alumni of Microsoft, Expedia, Google, and Intel.[not in citation given] LiquidPlanner launched a public beta at the DEMO 08 conference. The Alliance of Angels named LiquidPlanner as a “Company of the Year” in May 2011. LiquidPlanner also received the “Innovation Award” from Info-Tech Research Group in 2011 and 2012.[non-primary source needed] The company counts more than 1,500 teams across 50 countries as customers from a range of industries including professional service firms, financial services, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, government and education, and telecommunications.
Built using Ruby on Rails, LiquidPlanner is the industry’s only priority-based, predictive online project management solution and claims to be the first software as a service (SaaS) based project management solution to allow users to express uncertainty in their task estimates using ranges. The application employs a probabilistic scheduling engine that is claimed to build more accurate schedules.[not in citation given]
Several authors have noted that estimating in ranges (e.g. 3–4 days, 1–3 hours) is preferable to single point estimates (e.g. 1 hour, 2 days).[unreliable source] Steve McConnell states "simplistic single-point estimates are meaningless because they don't include any indication of the probability associated with the single-point." Project management and scheduling methodologies such as Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) generate best-case/worst-case ranges. However the preponderance of popular project management software does not readily accept ranges as inputs for estimates.
LiquidPlanner accepts ranges as estimates and infers a probability distribution from that range.[unreliable source] It then uses the distributions and the relationships between tasks and people to calculate a distribution for the project as a whole.[unreliable source] By exposing the uncertainty in estimates the developers of LiquidPlanner claim that the uncertainty can then be managed.[non-primary source needed] It then tracks the evolution of these estimates over time. From these uncertainty measures over time it can plot the history of the project estimates. This type of plot is often referred to as the Cone of Uncertainty.
Project managers create work spaces and invite users to participate in a way similar to LinkedIn or Facebook. The workspace can contain multiple projects and keeps a running narrative of tasks, comments, documents, and other project collateral.
In September 2011, LiquidPlanner introduced their free mobile app that connects the LiquidPlanner online project management workspace to the Apple iPhone and iPad. This app is available through the Apple iTunes Store.[user-generated source] Significant updates to its mobile app were made in April 2013.[non-primary source needed]
The LiquidPlanner application programming interface (API) enables project managers to programmatically interact with their LiquidPlanner workspace. With the API, most of the LiquidPlanner project management actions can be automated. For example, you can create a task and then post comments, track time against it, and mark the task done when completed.[user-generated source]
LiquidPlanner is privately held and has raised a total of $2.2 million in funding since incorporation, including a $1 million round raised through the Alliance of Angels Seed Fund. LiquidPlanner was the first recipient of capital from the Seattle-based Alliance of Angels seed fund in June 2009.
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