Smart Q

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What is smartQ?

smartQ is a visual task management system that can be accessed easily online. This management tool allows for the customization of specific project assignments as well as a clear progress tracking system. It is truly designed to assist in multi-step projects; allowing not only multi-steps but also multi-input from various people. smartQ is incredibly versatile allowing users to adjust the settings and customizations to accompany not only their corporate role but also their home and personal life.

Another great feature of smartQ is its reputation for being based on the Kanban production system. Kanban relating to a lean or just-in-time production system that is more of a scheduling concept rather than an inventory system. smartQ utilizes the Kanban idea in order to help determine what needs to be done, when it needs to be completed by, and what resources are required for completion. It does this by dividing the process of the project into visible columns, arranging the columns from the first step on the leftmost column and the completion step the rightmost column. As a process moves throughout the columns toward the right it gives a clear visual representation of the progress of the project. This production idea has helped make smartQ very marketable as its organizational setup increasing productivity for its users.

smartQ is incredibly helpful for those who have already opted to use it for business and personal purposes. As time has passed more and more features are readily available. smartQ now is accessible in seven different languages and can also be accessed through both the internet log in or via email notifications. The most recent update has been the ability to import Excel files to add to the customization of the work tickets. These are only a few of the latest additions, but the program is constantly innovating and much more will come!

To view a short introductory video on smartQ click the following link: http://www.getsmartq.com/videos/VideoIntroduction.php

History of smartQ

smartQ was fashioned by the same makers that created another popular project management tool 5pm. 5pm is a much more complex version of smartQ that allows for email interaction, team collaboration, and progress tracking. The main difference is that 5pm has capabilities to create reports, integration of iCalender, and other features that the more basic smartQ has yet to enable. The creation of smartQ incorporated the efficient concept of lean production. The Kanban layout is a first of its kind in online project management software. See the image directly below to better understand the original layout of smartQ.

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Personal Uses of smartQ

The smartQ application allows many opportunities for its users to incorporate it into their personal lives. The most common way, and most convenient in my opinion, is the ability to accumulate multiple to do lists into a visual helpful format. smartQ offers two views, either the board view or the list view. The board view relates more to the Kanban system whereas the list view is great with making to do lists. This could be helpful for instance if making a grocery list. If your family members can all access your smartQ work board they can log in and add items to the list without being with you.

Another great way to utilize smartQ in your personal life is to organize academic schedules. For instance, myself being a full time worker and a graduate student find it helpful to assign ‘tickets’ in smartQ with important assignments or projects for school. It allows me to visually see all major items I need to complete by various due dates and I can update them as I work on them. This eliminates the need to carry around an overflowing planner and is visually pleasing. smartQ can be viewed in either board or list view. I think the list view is more usable when organizing personal items such as grocery lists or to do lists.


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Additionally, if you are more of a family person and have events and things going on for your children as well as work this is a great way for your whole family to keep an ongoing agenda. One could even go as far as to create chore lists that can be assigned by you as the parent and that your children could access from home.

Corporate Uses of smartQ

As smartQ was created to assist in corporate project management, there are multiple uses for it within the business world. I will do my best to touch on the most beneficial features. The first setting that must be pointed out is the layout of the application. One manager can work on multiple projects at once, adding whichever specific persons to each project as needed. This is great, as a manager can customize each individual project as they see fit. smartQ allows for all team members on a project to work individually and at their own pace while keeping other members updated in real time of their progress. Once changes have been made or tasks are moved throughout the work board all members can see and email notifications can be sent if desired. This allows for those working on the project to feel accountable for their input on the project while allowing the manager to have a holistic oversight without micromanaging their team.

Customization is definitely the biggest characteristic of this application and most flexible uses. Starting from the beginning, the manager gets to create the outline of the work board. A default setting includes columns such as “Submitted”, “Assigned”…all the way to “Completed”. These can be edited or deleted depending on the needs of the creator. Once the layout has been established, the manager can create countless tickets, each representing a different step to the project that needs to be completed. The tickets can be customized from the default or created independently altogether depending on the need. Once completed and assigned to personnel, many features are accessible throughout the completion process. One of these great features is the ability to contain chats on each ticket which allows the assigned personnel to work directly with the manager throughout the completion process. Each message can be public for other team members to view, private just between that person and the manager, or even through an email. See the image directly below just for a brief illustration of some of the customization options available.

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One of the last uses I will mention is the ability for smart Q to create reports and help identify bottlenecks in the project. At an easy glance managers are able to identify where potential bottlenecks are growing in their project. Under the report tab there is also an option for the manager to create a bottleneck report, see an example report below.

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Demonstrations of smartQ

I would definitely suggest referencing the short "How To" videos on the smartQ website. See the image below and select the link to take you there directly so you can explore. There are multiple image shots that can guide you through the creation of your own smartQ project work board.

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http://www.getsmartq.com/help/


I have captured a few screenshots from the smartQ demo site to walk through some of the basic customizations and options within the application.