What-if scenarios is one of the new features of BigPicture, introduced with BP 8.0. This feature allows you to compare different outcomes of your project depending on different variables.
From this article, you will know what are the pros and cons of the What-If Scenarios and how to use them correctly and effectively.
Let’s dig right into the tool!
Working with live scenarios
The scenarios are actually available in two modules. You can access them in the Gantt module, but they will also be available in the Resources module. It’s because the scenarios, at least in the current version, are all about time planning.
If you want to create an alternative scenario, you have to hit the Create New Scenario button, and then you’ll be able to provide its name.
You can also choose, whether this scenario will be private or public. At the beginning, it doesn’t matter. What more, you can change the visibility of the scenario at any time you want.
What happens after we hit the Create button? The new scenario immediately appears exactly like in this picture below:
We can also see that now we have not only the live scenario but also the additional scenario, which allows us to play around with our tool a little bit. The main advantage of this feature is that we can figure out what could go better in our project plan, naturally to achieve better results.
You are in charge
Let’s pay attention to what is happening in the background when the alternative scenario is getting created.
You have to remember that your live scenario, or your scenario that you have been working with previously, is not automatically and immediately synced with Jira anymore. It means that now you are in control when the changes that you’re going to make to your project plan are going to be synced back to Jira. Until you decide to merge the data to your live scenario, it’s visible only to you, or other people that you’re going to share the alternative scenario with.
Moving elements on the timeline
The thing that is definitely worth having a look at is the ability to move elements on the timeline. Right after you decide which element you want to move, just grab it with the cursor and change its position:
Not only can we move the elements on the timeline but also we can change their length. How? Just grab the end, or the beginning of the task and move it to the desired spot. It is supposed to look exactly like that:
So as you can see replanning your project element items is really easy and absolutely doable with What-If Scenarios.
After you make any change, you can notice that there has appeared an indicator, which shows us the scenario’s history.
Now we can review the change and expand it to see what has actually happened. In this case, there are four entries that have been modified. But it isn’t the end of possibilities.
We can also see which tickets have been modified and what the modification was, including which dates changed into which dates.
Thanks to this we can understand exactly what has happened.
To conclude, anytime you move an element on the timeline there is a change being recorded for you to review later on.
Normally, there is no Undo button in live scenarios. In alternative scenarios things are different and the Undo button is located right next to the Merge Changes button. You can see its location in the picture below:
This button allows us to undo the previous change. If we click it, the last moved elements are going back to their original places, and the number of changes decreases.
This feature is extremely useful, especially if you made a mistake or changed your mind.
It’s important to mention that not all actions are allowed in What-If Scenarios so far.
Undoubtedly, the first thing that is still missing from the What-If Scenarios is creating new dependencies between tasks. We can’t grab the task and create a dependency connection.
What if we want to play with our resources and make some changes? It’s impossible too. Obviously, we can see individual resources, but we cannot edit the tasks and change the assignees of tasks.
Another thing that is also missing in What-If scenarios is the ability to populate our scenario with additional elements. We can easily notice that the Plus button, which allows us to add new items to our project plan is inactive.
Happy with all the changes? Don’t forget to merge the data
OK, you have learned how to use a lot of tools, which are available in What-If Scenarios. However, what should be done next?
Assuming that everything went your way, you can now merge the changes to the live scenario. How?
Just find the Merge changes button and click it, as you can see in the picture below:
Then you will be asked for the final confirmation.
If you agree, all the information is going to be synced with your live scenario, which should look exactly like the alternative scenario, that you have been working on.
Any doubts? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
We are experts in implementing BigPicture or any other PMO solutions in the Atlassian environment. We have a huge experience in working with companies from all around the world and we are waiting for you too 🙂
If you feel that we can help you in any kind of a way – definitely reach out to us to schedule a free session!
We will tell you honestly, whether BigPicture is a right fit for you or not.
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