How to Benefit from Task Management with Orangescrum

How to Benefit from Task Management with Orangescrum

Task management is an integral part of our lives (personal & professional). We start it right from our school days yet we do lag poorly at times and need constant push, support or policies to enforce the practice.

Over time, technology replaced our writing pads with a zillion project & task management tools and collaboration platforms to get through our work day.

Call it industry best practice, competition or compulsion, we all are overwhelmed with the use of one or more collaboration tools and yet struggle to get things done!

  • Are the tools not adequate?
  • Do they not support your work processes?
  • Are they not user friendly and cumbersome to use?
  • Are they not effective?
  • Or you just don’t want to use one?

You may have a longer list, but the truth is –

“If chosen right, task management tools like Orangescrum work wonders for you and give a lot of your time back to you!”

As Hayley Turner, CEO, Hailstorm Development experienced it first hand –

“My team (Hailstorm-Development) and I LOVE Orangescrum! We are a flexitime remote business solution specialist agency, and this tool has enabled us to actually create this company. Without you all, we wouldn’t even exist!”

What is it that worked so well for them and thousands of other such established agencies?

Let’s dive in!

Meaningful breakdown of your Projects

The whole point of using an extensive yet simple project management software is to get your ducks in a row!

Align your teams, organize all the activities with centralized focus on the project goals and deliver well!

As a very first step, setup a project and break it down into meaningful “Task Groups”. A project in Orangescrum can have unlimited task groups.

Task Group:

A task group is a structural breakdown of your overall project into meaningful modules, phases or stages if you will.

E.g.1. You are building a web app. So you can break each of the pages like the login page, signup form, settings page etc. into individual task groups and then further add all executable tasks under these respective task groups.

E.g.2. Now you are also supposed to do all the marketing and SEO work for the new web app. Then you can create one task group dedicated to “Marketing & SEO” task group and then create tasks and subtasks for each type of content like “About us, Contact us, homepage, product, features” etc. pages.

Task Group

Hope you got the drill.

Note: remember these examples as we will be using them further to make it meaningful. Read on….

List down all activities to the smallest manageable chunk

The Task Groups provide a basic structure to your project and set a high level view of how things would flow over how many stages or modules.

On the other hands “Tasks” are the soul of your project. Tasks is where all the action is and where all the fine lines of your master piece come together.

I was very impressed with the ease of use of its interface and all its features to manage projects. It is a platform that can be customized to our needs. Migrating my projects to Orangescrum was super easy

                            – Clotilde Rodriguez, Digital Project Manager, Imagevo, France

Why so?

For a very simple reason that tasks capture the essence of every single activity that is to be performed to achieve the end goal!

Sub Task

While you begin with your task breakdown structure you must have well-defined task attributes:

Task Title –

A brief statement indicating what the task is about.

Task Description –

Additional details of a task that are required to understand execute the task successfully.

Assign To –

Responsible team member who will do the actual task execution.

Estimated Hours –

Expected hours that are required to fulfil the task with quality outcomes.

Task Type –

Custom task attribute that allows you to categorize tasks in a meaningful manner. There are a few Default Task Types available in Orangescrum SaaS Project Management Tool with the freedom for you to define your own task types for individual projects as well.

Task Labels –

Similar to task type, Labels are the custom attributes that are used to categorize tasks. You can assign multiple task labels to a single task.Task Labels can help you quickly see certain things that several tasks have in common, like requirements, locations, dependencies, or important time constraints.

Task Linking –

Linking 2 tasks in order to provide an easier reference between associated tasks.

Files & Attachments –

Any associated artefacts, plans or requirements documents needed for the task execution.

Subtasks and sub subtasks –

Subtasks are means to split a task into smaller tasks for easier tracking & completion of the parent task.All the subtasks are linked to a parent task, but have their own priorities, progress%, assign to, start/end dates and task types.

Checklists –

Minute activities you must track but not significant to be treated as tasks. Each task, subtask can have their own and unlimited checklist items.

Once you have defined the above attributes, here is what you get:

  • End to end clarity on all tasks that are required for successful completion of the project.
  • Time estimates assigned to tasks help you see how close you are w.r.t the contractually defined timelines.
  • Assignment help you with proper resource allocation. So you do not overload resources or leave some idle.
  • Task types and linking enable proper classification of tasks that help to easily identify errors or misses and monitor progress.
  • Subtasks & checklists cover even your most minute of tasks and ensure a very tightly coupled execution.

Task list

Before we progress further, i would like to emphasize on the use and significance of task types, labels and task linking.

Task Types can be your overarching umbrella of task categories e.g. development, research, enhancement, bug, change request, idea etc.

At the same time, labels are another level down for adequate representation. Let’s go back to our examples above.

Say, you have a bug on the signup form. So the task type becomes “Bug” and the label = “Signup form”. Now using the filters on the task list page you can quickly see how many bugs were reported for the signup form & start digging deeper –

  • Which resource worked on the signup form
  • How must extra efforts were deputed for these bug fixes
  • Were the requirements or specifications not well-defined
  • Was there missing info presented at later stages etc.

Similarly, the importance of task linking too cannot be overlooked.

Say, you are deep down in execution and midway around the 100th task you find out there are a few other activities that are needed to be done to accomplish the task. Hence you create some more tasks. Now you can link each of these new tasks to that one task using the linking option – “Derived from”.

We have 3 types of task linking

  • Related to
  • Duplicated by
  • Derived from

Hope this helps.

Execute, collaborate & Monitor

So far we have seen how we can get our projects organized and tasks broken down with all the required information and categorization. We planned well.

Great! How does the execution look?

Once the tasks are assigned and the teams get into execution mode, collaboration and active brainstorming is needed.

Task comments, status updates, alerts and notifications come to mind. Orangescrum exceeds in these departments too.

“Notify via email” comes in handy when you want to notify other project personnel (who may not be directly involved with the task) about the task progress.

All comments can be seen in a single view and team member can respond with their inputs over emails anytime from a device of their choice with the email and desktop notification features in Orangescrum.

Also, a very detailed and action packed task list view covers everything you may need in terms of task execution and monitoring.

Smart filters by assignee, status, created by, time stamp, labels and types help you get crisp and to the point info of your project tasks with a few clicks.

Task Filter

Kanban View is the most popular view within Orangescrum. You can see individual task buckets by status as you can create custom tasks status for each of your project.

Basically, custom status workflow is the ability for you to replicate your work process. You can create as many status workflow as you like.

The idea is to replicate the logical lifecycle of your tasks from start to finish in way that are directly aligned to the project at hand. E.g. the stages of task flow for a development project would be different to that of a marketing content publishing blog.

The important thing to note here is, the Kanban view is crucial to your daily scrum meetings or the famous stand-up meetings. One look and you get the true state of affairs. Teams can quickly highlight their issues, raise concerns & seek help and enable smoother execution of your tasks.

Project Monitoring is thus simplified and insights packed actions are instantaneous! Risks, open items and delays do not fall through the cracks; rather are dealt effectively and on time.

In addition to the filters, detailed csv exports aid in further data massaging and analytics. Thus access to clutter free information and guarantee factual inputs to faster decision making.

Bring it all together!

As they the fun is in the journey and not at the destination. Rightly so, task execution is indeed where all the fun is.

Rapid task assignments, status updates, comments & replies and animated discussions on the right course of action help us with quality deliverables.

With successful completion of each task group you inch closer to project success one storey at a time!

Overall, robust task management offers you

  • Complete control over your project execution
  • Increased clarity for your project team
  • Greater alignment of the team with the common goal
  • Chaos free task collaboration
  • Centralized platform for the entire team
  • Time savings from building manual status reports
  • Better alignment with your established & time tested processes
  • Improved team coordination and morale
  • Motivated workforce with higher productivity

Don’t trust me yet???

Simpler UI helped us to do tasks quickly. Orangescrum simplifies the process of project management for our organization with its power collaboration tools. We couldn’t be happier with Orangescrum!

                                        – Jamie Smith, Director of Marketing, USA

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