To create a task, go to the workspace, click on a work package on the left and then on Tasks. Because a task always belongs to a work package, it is easy to keep track of it and there are no endless frustrating task lists. Moreover, the task is always in the right context.
To make adding new tasks fast, there is always an input field visible for a task. To "type down" multiple tasks especially fast, press Enter on the keyboard instead of clicking the Create button.
Good to know
Why does my workspace not have work packages?
The workspace shows the work packages where you have a project role of type Performing and which are either scheduled for today or still unscheduled. So if a work package is not scheduled to start until tomorrow, you won't see it in the workspace today.
In the trial version of Octaved Flow, you may have created a project in which you yourself have the role of project manager. You do not see work packages of this project in your workspace - after all, this means that you are responsible for the project management and not for the implementation of the work packages. Just assign yourself the role Performing in a work package and it will immediately appear in your workspace.
When you hover the cursor over task, a dotted "handle" appears on the left that allows you to drag and drop tasks to re-sort them.
Tasks can be indented using the arrow to the right of the input field. The indentation is for better overview, there is no functional dependency.
So when you have completed all indented tasks, decide for yourself if this should also complete the parent task, and then check it off.
Schedule a time slot for a task
The Planning column gives you the possibility to define a time window in which you plan to complete the task:
If 15 minutes is enough to complete a task, but you schedule 3 days, it does not mean that you will stretch the task to 3 days, but that you intend to complete the task on one of the 3 days. Octaved Flow assumes time windows, because in the normal workday something always comes up anyway and it is often difficult to set an exact time. Flexibility makes more sense here than having to constantly look at red warning lights of delayed tasks.
Assign a task to a person
If no person is assigned to a task, Octaved Flow assumes that the person assigned to the work package with a project role of type Performing is responsible for the implementation of the work package and thus also for the completion of the tasks.
This is the normal case for many users of Octaved Flow, i.e. the most common approach. The project, the plan or the order was divided into work packages in such a way that there is exactly one performing team member for a work package. The performing team member creates tasks for the work package and works through them himself.
If several people are responsible for the implementation of a work package, clarity can be created by assigning a task to one of these people. Indentations can also be useful in this case.
A task can also be assigned to people outside the performers of the work package, for example if they are briefly supporting.
Technically, it is possible to assign a task to more than one person. Organizationally, it probably does not make sense in most cases.
Specify effort for a task
Enter the estimated effort of a task in the Effort column. Choose from the following options:
Manual input is also possible, but the options have been chosen deliberately. The selectable times are precise enough to be able to easily determine the progress in the implementation of the work package, but at the same time they are broad enough to allow a quick estimation and to avoid that the estimation takes more time than it is useful in the end.
Good to know
Role of effort in measuring progress
For an example, let's assume that there are 10 tasks to be completed. If 8 of the 10 tasks are done, are we at 80% or not? What if the tasks have completely different efforts? Let's say the first 8 take 15 minutes each, so in total 2 hours. And the tasks number 9 and 10, which are not yet done, have an effort of one hour each. Then in this case, with 8 out of 10 tasks completed, you would be just at 50% completion.
So giving the tasks an effort gives a much more realistic picture of the actual progress. Smaller units lead to greater accuracy and more reliable statements.
If several or even all members of the team assign effort to the tasks, then it is possible to determine exactly where the team currently stands at any time. This is certainly not relevant for all teams, but if it is important for your team, then you now know how to do it.
Under General a progress bar shows how much has already been done. The progress bar shows instead of the number of tasks the task time (completed task time as a percentage of the total task time), if an effort has been specified for all tasks.
Commonly used time specifications for task efforts are:
- 15 minutes
- 1 hour
- 2 hours
- Half day
A project was divided into work packages and then the work package was further divided into tasks. Assuming that you have the best control over the project if a work package is sized in the range of 1-5 days of effort, then a single task should not exceed half a day. For example, if 40 hours comes out as the planned effort for a task, most likely something has gone wrong.
Good to know
There may be good reasons to dimension a work package significantly larger than 5 days of effort, for example for maintenance that extends over a whole quarter. If this has been agreed with the customer, then the work package can and should reflect this.
The 1-5 days are a first point of reference for users who deal with Octaved Flow for the first time and need a feeling for how it is basically intended.
As always, a distinction must be made here between effort and duration. A work package with an effort of 3 days can well be done in a time window of 2 weeks.
Copy tasks from another work package
Tasks can also be checklists to see if everything has been done. If there is a work package with very similar or even the same content, for example for another customer, then the complete list of tasks can be copied. This ensures that no task is forgotten. If work packages with the same content are implemented more frequently, the checklists become more reliable with experience and lead to lower error rates. In addition, copying a complete task list naturally saves time.
- Tutorial on labels->
- Blog post how to set priorities efficiently with labels->
- Tutorial on project planning and task scheduling with Gantt->
- Tutorial on project controlling, including percentage of completion based on task time->
- Blog post on how to use task time to more accurately determine the percentage of completion->