Tracking Tasks

Your work within a project is tracked by the values you enter against the tasks assigned to you.

The Current tasks list displays all the tasks that are currently assigned to you, efforts remaining and their due dates. You can enter new status information for tasks in you Current tasks list by clicking on either the task name or its ID. This will take you to the Task detail page.

If you enter comments and change the status of an task multiple times within a single reporting period, only the last change will be reported for that reporting period. For example, if you belong to a project in which the project owner has designated that the reporting period is one week long starting each Monday, and you enter a comment in the Comments field of one task that you are assigned every day from Monday through Friday, only the comment you entered on Friday will be reported for the reporting period. Using the Comments field in this fashion can be useful in helping you to keep track of where you are in your task; however, it is important to remember that only the last entry is reported for the reporting period. Clicking the Update task button will hold any values and comments you have entered on this screen so that when you return the Task details screen, the values you entered remain. You can change these values throughout the reporting period; however, at the end of the reporting period, the last updated values become the reported values for that reporting period.

Note: Project Dashboard has Monday to Friday as working days in a 7-day week.

Note: A Unique ID number is generated for every task created in a Microsoft Project plan. When this plan is imported by Project Dashboard, the same Unique ID number in the project plan is taken as the Task ID number by Project Dashboard. This improves mapping of Task IDs more accurately between Project Dashboard and Microsoft Project. For personal tasks that are created by the task assignee, the Project Dashboard generated unique number is displayed. For example, if you add a Personal Task within a task (for example, Task ID 2) assigned to you; the Project Dashboard generated ID would be different (for example, 30). The personal task will read like this, "ID: 2-30" under the original task which indirectly means "Unique ID (the number in the project plan) - Project Dashboard generated ID".

Tracking your progress

As you work in a project, it is important to report your progress to the Project owner and other interested parties. The Tasks tool allows you to do quickly and simply. The following defines the information that is tracked through the Tasks tool:

Planned date
Task planned dates are defined by the project plan. Any changes to the planned date must be made in the project file and then imported into Tasks. You cannot modify the Planned dates through Tasks.
Actual date
Task actual dates are provided by the project members assigned to individual tasks.

Note: Project Dashboard accepts and displays time units in English only, irrespective of browser or site setting.

Efforts
Efforts represent work and are entered in work-days, where a work-day is 8 work-hours of work. Plan efforts are computed directly from the project plans, whereas the actual or expected efforts are entered by the user. Plan Effort is computed based on task duration, resource assignment and resource multitasking using a uniform distribution. Actual or Expected efforts are broken up into Effort spent, Current Effort and Effort Remaining.
Effort spent is the effort spent from the beginning till the present work period (usually the current week).Current effort is effort spent by a team member on a task for the present work period (usually the current week).
Effort Remaining is the amount of effort needed from the subsequent week till task completion.
Comments
Comments are additional details for task status that help elaborate on the tracking data entered against each task.

To begin tracking your progress on your assigned tasks:

  1. On the Current tasks list, click on either the name or ID of the task you wish to update. This will take you to the Task detail page.
  2. Enter your progress information in the Efforts section. The fields you can update in this section are:
    • Progress: Progress is represented as a percentage. Completed tasks have a value of 100% in this field.
    • Current: This field indicates the number of weeks, days, or hours that have been applied to an task during the current reporting period.
    • Remaining: This field indicates the number of weeks, days, or hours still required to complete the task.
  3. Enter the dates you expect to start or finish the task in the Schedule section. You can enter dates directly in the Actual start date and Actual end date fields. Alternatively, you can click on the calendar graphics to access the date picker to select the desired dates. The Actual start date field is editable as long as the progress percent is set to zero.
  4. Enter any relevant notes in the Comments field.
  5. Click the Update task button to lock your values in place. Only the values available at the end of the reporting periods will get saved against the task for that reporting period.

You can update past reporting periods if no updates have been entered for subsequent reporting periods. In other words, if you miss a reporting period, you can fill in the periods missed so long as you go back and fill them in order.

Note:

Completing tasks

Once you have completed all work associated with an task, you can mark it complete. Marking an task complete sets the Progress percent to 100, the Remaining effort level to 0, and the Actual end date to today's date. Tasks that are completed will also be removed from your Current tasks list for future reporting periods.

Once you have marked an task complete, it will only appear in your Current tasks list if the filter option is set to All, current reporting period.

You have multiple options for marking tasks completed. You can:

Note: Tasks that have 0 days duration can also be tracked, provided they are not flagged as milestone tasks.

Status Reminders

Status reminders are sent to all the members of a project at the end of the reporting period. Even if you have forgotten or neglected to update the status for the status reports in the projects you are working on, each project will send out a separate notification by the end of its reporting period.

The reminder email will contain:

Note: No status report reminders will be sent when the project is Locked or Deleted.

Note: The status report reminders summary is sent to the discussion selected by the project owner for that project. The selected discussion is used and a Missed Report Summary is archived. So when a project manager associates subscribers to this discussion, the report goes to the subscribers.

When a project has users with missed reporting periods, at the end of the reporting period;

Self planning

The Self planning page provides the list of tasks that you will be working for the selected reporting period. Unlike the Current tasks list, this page lists all the attributes of the tasks, except comments, and allows you to enter status for more than one task at a time.

The cumulative summary section at the bottom of the Self planning page calculates the totals for each column in the list.

Note: Project Dashboard accepts and displays time units in English only, irrespective of browser or site setting.

The following fields in Project Dashboard correspond to fields in a Microsoft Project Plan:

Planned Start- This corresponds to Start in the Microsoft Project Plan. Project Dashboard reads this from the Microsoft Project Plan during plan import.

Planned End- This corresponds to Finish in the Microsoft Project Plan. Project Dashboard reads this from the Microsoft Project plan during plan import.

Actual Start- This corresponds to Actual Start in the Microsoft Project Plan. Project Dashboard does not read or write data into the project plan as it is internal data.

Actual End- This corresponds to Actual Finish in the Microsoft Project Plan. Project Dashboard does not read or write data into the project plan as it is internal data.

Current Effort- This corresponds to Actual Work in the Microsoft Project Plan. Project Dashboard does not read or write data into the project plan as it is internal data.

Remaining Effort- This corresponds to Remaining Work in the Microsoft Project Plan. Project Dashboard does not read or write data into the project plan as it is internal data.

Progress- This corresponds to %Complete in the Microsoft Project Plan. Project Dashboard reads data from %Complete and writes data into %Complete.

Progress percentage

The progress percentage for individual tasks can be entered in the Self Planning page by each resource working on a project. Let us suppose that a particular leaf task has four resources working on the same task. Each resource will enter a value as his or her progress in his or her Self Planning page. To get the cumulative percentage of the total effort expended on this particular leaf task the system applies the following formula:

(P1 x D1) + (P2 x D2) + (P3 x D3) + (P4 x D4)

D1 + D2 + D3 + D4

Where, P represents the progress percentage entered by each individual resource, and D represents the numbers of days taken or expected to be taken to complete the task by each individual resource. This formula is applied and the overall progress percentage of the task calculated and displayed in the Schedule page.