All tasks are created equal, or so we thought. Since the dawn of TaskRay time, tasks have been treated equally when it comes to their percentage of contributing to a project’s progress. Simply, if you have a project with 10 tasks, and you complete 3 of them, your project will be 30% complete. It’s been a really great way to visualize and report on project progress, but there was something missing, something off. We realized that tasks are complex beings; there is more to them than just their existence. So we’ve introduced new task weighting capabilities in our Fall 2021 Release for Standard and Premium Editions. Here are some tips on how to give your tasks the individuality they deserve.
Task Weighting for Standard Edition
In the Standard edition of TaskRay, you will have the option to choose between our aforementioned standard task weighting and time-based weighting modes. The standard task weighting mode is simple: every task contributes to the overall project progress equally. But what is the time-based mode all about?
Time-based task weighting is a great way to more accurately capture a task’s true weight against the project if you utilize time tracking. With the time-based weighting mode, the progress is calculated
using the time estimates for how long it would take to complete each task. Let’s say we have 10 tasks in a project, the total number of estimated hours to complete the project is 10, but within the project, tasks have varying time estimates. For example, one task only has an estimate of 15 minutes while another task is estimated to be 3 hours. As you complete each task, the project progress will go up approximately 3% and 30% respectively.
I can see this new feature being really helpful for a lot of use cases, but especially in industries where time tracking is part and parcel with onboarding, like SaaS and Professional Services. Whether you specifically bill the client based on the number of hours spent, or you want to track hours overall for each of your projects to know how much time you spend, now your project progress will reflect each task accurately by referencing hours you estimate them to take.
Task Weighting for Premium Edition
With Premium Edition, not only do you get all of the great features I mentioned above, but you also get the ability to further customize your task weighting capabilities using the Custom task weighting mode. Custom task weighting, as it sounds, allows you to customize task weighting based on any criteria that is meaningful to each individual project by assigning the tasks numeric values for weight. You’re able to better align projects with business processes or special circumstances.
For example, maybe you want to weigh your tasks based on the duration of each task. So you’ve got two tasks, one with a duration of 1 day and the other with a duration of 5 days. In the project, when you complete the 1 day task, your progress will move to 17%, approximately, and when you complete the 5 day task your progress will increase by 83%. Something to think about with this approach is if you can add these task weight values on the template. If so, every project that gets created off of that template will inherit those values and there is less management. Another great example is in an agile project scenario. Each task may be related to a points value. That will have a direct impact on the project progress when you complete tasks that have a higher point value. What about the number of checklist items on a task? If you rely heavily on checklists to accomplish tasks, you can directly tie that number of checklist items to the custom weight that task carries. You could even take that a step further and automate the custom task weighting with the number of checklist items, so users aren’t responsible for updating that field.
Having custom task weighting is great, but what if I wanted to be able to more closely control task weighting at a project level? With the Premium Edition, you can do just that. Your admin can override your org-wide setting and have different task weighting types per project. This is great for orgs that might want to utilize time-based weighting and something else based on the types of projects you run.
As you can see, Premium edition gives you great customization when it comes to task weighting allowing your projects and tasks to progress as you expect them to when completing the work.
Whether you are on the Standard or Premium edition of TaskRay, I see task weighting taking orgs to another level with their onboardings. Having accurate data is so important, and having data that speaks true to your metrics related to project status is part of that, and task weighting is going to get you there.
Keep a lookout for more tips and tricks to come. This Fall 2021 Release has great new features and I’ll be back to give you all you need to know about them and how to crush it with TaskRay.