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In case you missed it, TaskRay’s March 2022 Release included new and enhanced features for external collaboration. I’ve got a really exciting doubleheader for our next installment of Tips & Tricks focused on these features. In part 1, I will be talking through our brand new External Ownership & Completion. This is a revolutionary feature for TaskRay that will change the way that you involve your external stakeholders throughout your project lifecycle You can create more accountability with your external contacts by assigning tasks and alerting them via email that shows a full list of their to-do’s, the ability to mark complete or click a link to view a task on the dashboard within the email, and communicate with the internal owner with email replies.

Let me explain why this is going to be so amazing for you, our valued TaskRay customer. Before this feature was made available by our wonderful Product and Engineering teams, the only way to directly involve an external stakeholder (like a client or a partner) in the project and allow them to actually indicate work they completed was to invest in a Salesforce community, which requires Salesforce and TaskRay community licenses. It can be a big investment and something that not all of our customers are ready to commit to. External Ownership & Completion provides a middle-ground option if you need more external collaboration capabilities but are not necessarily ready or need everything these communities provide. 

Okay, let’s get into the weeds on how you can best use this new feature. 

Note: This feature is part of our Public Collaboration Licenses that are provided to all of our Standard and Premium Editions in order for you to take full advantage.

First thing’s first. You’ll need to go through steps 1 and 2 in this article to make sure that you have all the necessary site settings set up correctly to host the site that will allow your external stakeholders to complete tasks. Once you have the site configured, you will want to run through the utility we’ve provided to configure the rest of the settings for this feature. This utility will assign the necessary license and permission set, as well as create sharing rules on the backend to grant the site access to the TaskRay objects. Additionally, in this utility, you have the ability to add custom branding to the notification email that gets sent to the external owner’s email. We understand that your clients won’t, and frankly shouldn’t, be concerned with anything that has to do with TaskRay, so it will look like your notifications are coming from you.

The final piece that we need to put into place to send the notification is editing the TaskRay Task page layout. There are a few fields we’ve added to the page layout related to external owners. In order to assign someone to the task, you will need to fill out their name and email address. Once you’ve done that, you can send them a notification letting them know they’ve been assigned by checking the box “External Owner Notification Enabled”.

You can either make this update on individual tasks, but if you plan on assigning multiple tasks to the same person, we recommend using Spreadsheet view. This allows you to update multiple tasks at once. The benefit to bulk updating is that it will only send 1 email with all assigned tasks instead of one email per individual task. Who wants more emails?!

There are a few iterations your email notifications may take as you configure these features, including if you pair them with the new Public Dashboard, which I will be outlining in part 2 of this series. Here are what the emails could look like depending on what features are configured in your org. The first image is what the user will receive if only the notifications are set up and not the completion flow or the Public Dashboard. The second image is with the notification and completion flow enabled, but not the Public Dashboard. Finally, the third image is with all features enabled. You’ll notice how more aspects of the notification are hyperlinked. That allows the user to click into them and either complete them or view them within the Public Dashboard. Pretty neat, eh?

So, your external stakeholder gets the email, and they are ready to mark that they’ve completed the task, what should you/they expect?

When they click next on the screen above, their part of the process is done. It also checks the box labeled ‘External Owner Complete’. 

Out of the box, the Task will not officially be considered complete, whether through the “Complete” checkbox or the “List” status, in case the internal user wants to double-check anything before completing it, but that does not mean that you can’t customize the flow to allow that behavior. One other customization option that might be requested often could be to notify the task owner when the “External Owner Complete” checkbox gets checked, and by using Salesforce automation tools you can absolutely set something like that up. 

Another consideration with this process is attachments. What if they need to provide attachments as part of completing the task? Maybe it’s a document, image, or any other type of attachment. While there is no way to add an attachment through the completion process, they can reply right to the notification email with the attachment included which will go back to the internal task owner. That way the attachment can be added to the task or project Files tab. 

As you can see, this opens up a lot of collaboration options with your clients or prospects. To learn even more about External Ownership & Completion, join our Feature Focus webinar on May 3rd. You can register here and if you can’t make it live, you’ll get a link to the recording afterward! And, as always, you can reach out to your Customer Success Manager or with any questions. 

Stay tuned for the second part of our Tips & Tricks where we outline Public Dashboards.