Task Management Features
There are number of task management features available. Below is a list and explanation of each task management feature offered.
- Create and edit tasks
- Assign estimated time to a task
- Assign tasks to projects
- Search tasks
- Prioritize tasks
- Closing tasks
- Scroll through task history
Creating and Editing Tasks
Tasks can be easily created from the tasks page or from a project page. When clicking on add task from either of these pages a new task dialog apears.
Default Task Values
Task Default Project
If the user is on the task page, and a project filter is on, then the new task is by default created with that project seleced. Also if the taks is created from a project page, then that project is selected as the default project for that task.
Task Default Assigned To
If the user has a task filter filled in for assigned to, then that person is by default the assigned to for a new task created from that page.
Each task has a time estimation to complete - this is also known as Planned Budget. This is a required field. It allows the person doing the task to better schedule their daily work. It also helps to keep expectations in line. If the person requesting the task thinks it will take 20 minutes and the person doing the task thinks it will take three hours, then there is an obvious disconnect and the person being assigned the task can clarify requirements prior to start.
There is also an up and down arrow to increase or decrease the when creating or editing a task. This button moves in 15 minute increments. Time can also manually be entered in by simply typing numbers into the box. The estimated time for the task ideally should be set so it can be completed within the day, without carrying over to the next day. However, it is possible to use this for tasks requiring more than one day to complete.
Each task has a project drop down list which allows you to select from projects to assign the task to a project. It may be left blank orphaning the task as not all users want to be forced to use projects, or to have a project for each task.
Tasks can be searched by the following:
- Task Name
- Accounting Code
- Created By
- Assigned To
- Task ID
Future release notes: Accounting codes have not been added to tasks. When they are added, search by accounting code will be enabled.
By default tasks are prioritized as Urgent, High, Medium, Low, None. This can be customized for individual clients.
- Urgent - All other tasks should be put off until this is resolved.
- None - This means that it should not be done at this time or the task is in a thinking stage.
Tasks are also color coded by priority. The color can change by client, but the default colors are:
- Urgent - Red
- High - Yellow
- Medium - Brown
- Low - Blue
- None - Grey
By default tasks are ordered by priority.
Each task has two priorities which help determine the order in which tasks are done: An assigned priority and a project priority. By default projects are placed in the cue on a first come first serve basis within the priority category. If there is one high priority item with an assigned to priority of one, and a second high priority is added, it would get assigned a priority of 2.
The priority can be changed by the persons manager by simply clicking on the item in the users task list and dragging it up or down to re-prioritize tasks. This is the same for the project priorities. If the project priority changes say from medium 14 to medium 1, then that item would also move ahead of all other medium tasks of the same project within the users assigned to list. This does not push the item ahead of other items in the users assigned to list however, this can only be done from the users project list by the users manager.
Future Release Requests and Ideas
- Manager re-assign permissions are not yet enabled.
- When an urgent task is set, have it send an e-mail or text notification to assignee so they are aware it is an urgent matter.
Each task is initially assigned on creation into a priority group: Low, Medium, High, Urgent. When an item is added as Urgent, notification is sent to the user it is assigned to via e-mail, text or phone depending on user preferences.
Task Priority Within Groups
Each task within a project has a unique priority for that task in that project. It also has a priority for the user that it is assigned to.
Priority within a project is initially assigned to the task by the system based on the priority group chosen by the person adding the task and based on when it was entered. For example if the project was marked as Medium, and there where 4 other medium tasks in the project, the new task would be assigned a priority of Medium 5. The project manager can then re-prioritize that new task based on importance moving it up in the list. Moving a task up in the list then re-prioritizes all of the items that this item has been placed above moving them down in the list. So for example if the new Medium priority item was moved to 1 then all tasks previously 1-4 would now be 2-5, and the new item would have been placed as a higher level of importance.
When an item is marked as complete a log is made which timestamps the moment it was marked as complete, the priority it was when marked complete, and who marked the item as complete. Any time associated with completing the task must also be recorded. If no time was required then 5 minutes can be recorded as the time it took to review and mark the task as complete. Also when an item is marked as complete , all the items of a lesser priority are moved up to fill that spot. So if the number 1 priority item is comlete, the number 2 priority item will become number 1.
Task Priority for Users
Each task also has a priority for the user it is assigned to. The user priority and the task priority may not be the same. The priority may be marked high 1 for the project for example, but only High 5 for the user it is assigned to because that user may have already had 4 other urgent tasks from other projects which supersede this new task.
The new task can also be moved ahead of the other 4 tasks in that users priority list by checking with the other project managers and then re-assigning the new task to be a higher priority than the other tasks. Similar to project importance, the other tasks starting with the one it is replacing in priority to those with lesser priority would be re-prioritized to be below the item being re-assigned.
Projects may have only 100 items in them of priorities Urgent, High and Medium, though they can have unlimited low priority items. If there are more than 100 items that are Urgent, High, and Medium then the project should be split into more than one project.
Similar to project priorities, if an item is marked as complete, the priority spot for that item is filled by the next lower prioritized item. For example, when priority 1 is done, priority 2 becomes priority 1.
Scheduled workload for staff
Task Milestones or sprints
Task states manage the state of a given task. In the future states will be handled by the PrimeAgile worflow module. Today, task states are: Open, In Progress, testing and completed by default. The task list can be modified with any options. Tasks marked as completed are hidden by default and re-appear if show completed tasks is selected. When a task is marked to completed, its priority for the project and for the person it is assigned to changes to 0. Also when a task is changed to completed or its state is changed at all, a log of the change is made with a timestamp and who made the change so that history is still reserved. This allows a completed task with a priority of 0 to maintain history that it was an urgent priority and when it was changed to completed and by whome.
A new task that has not been reviewed by the assignee is marrked as new so that the user can easily see that he has a new task. As soon as he has clicked on and reviewed the new task, the new task indicator goes away.
Changing the state of a task to closed hides the task from the list unless show closed tasks is turned on.
Tasks change, they change in priority, they change in who they are assigned to, and they can even change in detail over time. Sometimes it is easier to just close a task and start over, however usually we just change an existing task.
Each change in a task, is logged with a timestamp and who made the change.
If the task priority is changed it is logge on the task history page. If additional notes are added to a task that is also added and when those changes where made.