A task is a work item or activity with a specific purpose within a defined period of time or by a deadline. Tasks are related to a larger goal and form part of a project.
Example: You want to build a house. That's a big, complex project with many work items to complete. So you would will want to break this project down into smaller work items (or tasks) so that you can manage this complex job. You may have tasks such as "Make house foundation", "Build house frame", "Lay bricks", "Put on roof", "Install windows", "Add doors", "Install locks", etc.
Tasks belong to projects.
Tasks have a name, description, a start date, end date and duration.
Tasks can have constraints to make sure they start on certain dates for finish on certain dates.
Tasks can be ordered so that one or more tasks must finish before another starts. These tasks are called predecessors or dependencies.
There are 3 different types of task in Projectal:
- Summary Tasks. Summary tasks allow you to organize your tasks into groups of sub tasks so they are easier to navigate and manage. They summarize all the tasks within the summary task. You can create any number of nested groups of tasks to organize your projects and tasks.
- Tasks. Tasks are work items or activities that have a start date, end date and duration.
- Milestones. Milestones are tasks with zero duration that represent an important achievement in a project such as when certain tasks have been completed, or when client payment is triggered, or when client handover is triggered.
Example: A client has requested some animation work from your studio and you wish to create a project schedule for the upcoming work. The client wants to receive the first draft on 23rd November, 2023. In your project, this date would be a milestone and perhaps called something like "First Draft Handover". Next, you would break down the requested animation work into its various assets and under each asset would be the various work items (or tasks) required to be completed - such as Layout, Rigging, etc. The assets would be summary tasks, and the required work under each asset would be the tasks.
You can add skills to your tasks. Skills are the expertise that is required to complete the task.
Example: A task may require some mid-level animation skills to complete it.
This a very useful since Projectal can use advanced skills matching to find and rank staff from your staff pool that have these skills and are available to complete the task. This helps take the guesswork out of staff resourcing and eliminates the need for maintaining separate resourcing spreadsheets.
When assigning skills to your tasks, you can also specify the level of skill required - namely, junior, mid-level or senior.
You can add resources to your tasks. Resources can be any equipment or items that are required to be used to complete the task.
Example: A VFX shot may require 3 x cameras, 2 x screens and use of stage.
This a very useful from a resource planning or capacity planning perspective since this allows you to track what resources are required to complete tasks with your projects.
When assigning resources to your tasks, you can specify the number of units required (e.g. 3 x cameras) and the utilization percentage (e.g. 50% means only required half the time).
You can assign staff to your tasks and track them as they complete the task. This lets you know at all times which staff from your staff pool are working on tasks in projects. Assigned staff can add their work effort into Projectal so you can track the total work effort and actual costs to complete each task.
Example: Jane has been assigned to an animation task. As she works on the task, she updates the progress of the task and the amount of time spent completing the task. This data is used to measure the progress, costs and ETC of the project.
Images, videos and files
You can attached images, video and any type of file to tasks so that you can have all the information relating to a task close at hand.
You can add, edit and delete notes with your tasks so that all information is retained and shared with staff as a task is completed. Notes could be from the staff working on the tasks, or from other staff assisting or from clients.
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