While we all do our best to plan ahead, projects can be delayed due to unforeseen circumstances (fairly often I might add), and there should be an easy way to account for these changes. This is where TaskRay’s Advanced Scheduler and On-Hold features come in. Both of these features, available to Premium Edition customers, were enhanced in the Fall 2021 Release. Let’s take a look at what was updated, and some tips and tricks to using this dynamic project management duo.
You may be aware of the Advanced Scheduler feature, which made its debut in 2020. Back when we were in the process of designing this feature, we found that a number of the customers we spoke with were spending a significant amount of time moving around dates in projects. When plans change, the Advanced Scheduler helps ensure that a project plan accurately reflects new deadlines or delays by allowing users to make bulk scheduling adjustments. Who knew that a simple utility could help simplify the process of rescheduling tasks in bulk? Well, we decided to do what we could to make it even easier in our Fall 2021 Release with enhancements that include updates to bulk adjustments mode, rescheduling tasks with locked dates, and much more.
When you’re in Plan View, you’ll see a calendar icon that opens up a popover where you can control selection and shifting of tasks in bulk. You can now see the impact of shifting task start and end dates on the overall project before the changes are actually made. This is a great feature for managing changes to those long term projects.
Now that I’ve covered Advanced Scheduler, let’s talk about the other part of this dynamic duo, On-Hold. Think of On-Hold like a pause button. A lot of projects experience delays for many different reasons, and by putting a project on hold, you are able to remove it from your focused TaskRay views. With the latest release, Premium edition customers will notice a new On-Hold tab in the Project Details modal, which allows a user to easily change the status of the project and provide all the relevant details around why the project went on hold, when it can be resumed, or any other information pertaining to the project timeline.
When you place a project On-Hold, an On-Hold record will automatically be generated and provide valuable insights, such as “On Hold Reasons” and “Notes” for you and your team to reference when needed. Based on customer feedback, we also found that users would like additional insights into exactly how long projects have been on hold. With our new enhancements, this can easily be accomplished through the use of the “Current On-Hold Duration (days)” field which can be utilized to determine how many days a project has been in this state. You can place projects on hold multiple times and it will create new records each time it is placed on hold so you can have historical data to report on.
Using Advanced Scheduler & On-Hold Together
Did you know that Advanced Scheduler shines when used in conjunction with TaskRay’s On Hold feature? You can place projects on hold and when they are ready to be resumed, you can use Advanced Scheduler to easily update your timeline in a matter of minutes.
Let’s take a look at an example of how this works. A SaaS company, we’ll call them,“Acme,” is onboarding a new customer and they are using a TaskRay Project to keep track of all the onboarding tasks. The onboarding process typically takes three months from start to finish and, since we are now in November, the holidays are just around the corner. Given that the holidays correlate with taking time off, there will likely be a need to put the project on hold to account for that time. Rather than rushing to finish their onboarding in a crunched timeline, they think the best course of action would be to pause the project to ensure a successful and thorough implementation, and then resume it when the team is ready to get back to work.
Since this will delay the project timeline by a couple of weeks, the onboarding specialist places this project on hold. To reduce clutter, placing the project on hold will remove it from all the TaskRay views for open projects, but this doesn’t make the project disappear entirely. The onboarding specialist and the rest of their team can still easily access such projects from the On-Hold Projects board filter in TaskRay, as well as list views, reports, and dashboards.
Once the holidays are over and the team is back from vacation, the Acme team can resume the project and use the ‘Current On-Hold Duration’ field to determine how much time elapsed during the on hold period. Rather than rescheduling tasks one by one one to account for the on-hold period, the onboarding specialist can make bulk scheduling adjustments with Advanced Scheduler to accurately reflect new deadlines.
This is just one of the many applications of the TaskRay Advanced Scheduler and Advanced On-Hold feature. If you are interested in learning more about these features and how they can be configured, check out this video or you can refer to the below articles:
Reach out to our Customer Success Team at [email protected] if you have any questions or want information on how to upgrade to Premium Edition to get access to these and other advanced features.