In this article:
1. Introduction to Card Links
With Businessmap, you can easily break down projects and strategic initiatives across all levels of the organizational hierarchy. The tool’s advanced system for visualizing dependencies allows you to create multiple levels of project boards, break down projects into smaller assignments at each level, and connect all aspects with various task relations.
For example, users can make any task a parent or child to another task or specify the processing order by using a predecessor-successor connection. The status of each connected card is visible at a glance so that teams can react to problems in a timely fashion.
Linking cards on different boards or workflows helps you to get better visibility and never lose track of your work.
These are the types of connections that can be established between cards in Businessmap:
- Parent/child — allows the creation of a hierarchical structure of your work.
- Relative — there is no hierarchy between the work items, but they belong to the same working group.
- Successor/Predecessor — creates rules of order in your work.
- Users can link cards/initiatives that already exist in the system.
- Users can use an existing card/initiative to create new cards/initiatives and instantly link them with the selected type of relation. You can learn how to link cards here.
2. Types of Card Links in Businessmap
Let's go into more details:
2.1. Parent/Child Links
With the child/parent relationship between cards, you can slice a big work item or even an entire project into smaller items. This type of relationship enables you to break down a task (parent card) into smaller pieces of work (child cards) and track each child card separately.
The most common scenario with the parent/child relationship is to break down an Initiative and make it a parent card of the smaller pieces of work that get positioned on the Cards Workflow. Check the short video below.
Two cards located on the same Cards workflow or different Cards workflows can be in a parent/child relationship.
2.2. "Relatives" Links
If multiple cards belong to the same group of work items, but there is no hierarchy between them you can link these cards with the relative link to group them. Relative cards are usually of a similar priority.
2.3. "Successors/Predecessors" Links
This relationship creates rules of order in the breakdown of your work via dependencies between the cards. This form of linking, unlike the familiar child, parent, and relative relationships, allows the cards to be dependent on each other with an indication of the order in which they will need to be performed. The new link not only implies but also enforces the relationship between successor and predecessor so the successor card cannot precede the predecessor in the order in which they get updated. In this case, the successor will become blocked and immobile until the predecessor is completed.
3. How Do Linked Cards Get Visualized?
When linking cards, you create a two-way connection between tasks/items. Each linked card has a direct reference to all cards that it is related to. All established links are displayed in the card's preview.
On hover with the mouse pointer over the icon of each link, a handy tooltip with summary info will pop up.
The Arrow icons beside the card titles of the linked cards show whether:
- the linked card is a parent card (arrow points up)
- the linked card is a child card (arrow points down)
- the linked card is relative (arrow points right)
- the linked card is successor/predecessor (diagonal arrows)
The Color code stands for the position of the linked cards on the Board
- The grey color corresponds to the "Backlog"
- The blue color corresponds to the "Requested" stage
- The orange color corresponds to the "In Progress" stage
- The green color corresponds to the "Done" stage
- The purple color corresponds to the "Archive"
The color codes are very helpful when you want to get an idea about the number of incompleted cards.
- To locate a linked card from the same board, just click on its representation and the system will instantly shake the item, highlighting it in yellow.
- To easily locate linked cards from different boards, press the CTRL key when clicking the rectangle. A new tab opens up and the system automatically locates the position of the linked card on the respective board.
The card linking capability is an instrument that plays a major role in the implementation of the Portfolio Kanban Management scenario.