Editing a Task

Modified on Sun, 09 Oct 2022 at 11:56 AM

To edit a task in Projectal, follow these steps:


  1. Go to the Projects screen by clicking Projects on the left sidebar.
  2. Find the project you wish to work on and click on it to enter the project.
  3. Click on Tasks or Gantt on the left sidebar to enter the Tasks view or Gantt view of the project.
  4. Select a task and click the Edit Task button on the Tasks screen toolbar or Gantt screen toolbar.
  5. This will display the Edit Task screen.



Name

Enter the name of the task.


ID

Enter an optional identifier of the task.  It could be the short code for the task.


Project

This is the project that the task belongs to.  It cannot be changed.


Parent Task

Click to select the parent summary task for the task.  This lets you organize your tasks into a hierarchy of tasks for the project.


Type

Select the type of task being created:

  • Summary Task: A summary task groups sub tasks and shows their combined information.  They allow you to break down or structure a project into smaller phases of work packages so that the project is better organized and tracked.
  • Task: A task is an activity or work item that is required to be completed in a project.  A project can can any number of tasks that are required to be completed.
  • Milestone: A milestone is a specific point in time within the project’s life cycle that marks specific events.  For example, it could be a payment milestone or a delivery milestone or an approval milestone.


Priority

Select the priority of the task.  Possible priority values are Unknown, Low, Normal, High.


Complexity

Select the complexity of the task.  Possible complexity values are Unknown, Low, Medium, High.


Color

Click the color swatch to set or clear the color for the task.  The color can used in other screens to highlight items by task.


Description

Enter the description of the task.


Start Date

Enter the start date and start time of the task.


Tip: If the task has its schedule mode set to "Auto Scheduled", then the start date of the task may be changed by Projectal when the project is auto scheduled.  If you do not want the start date changed, then set the task's schedule mode to be "Manually Scheduled".


Finish Date

Enter the finish date and finish time of the task.


Tip: If the task has its schedule mode set to "Auto Scheduled", then the finish date of the task may be changed by Projectal when the project is auto scheduled.  If you do not want the finish date changed, then set the task's schedule mode to be "Manually Scheduled".


Estimated Duration

Enter the amount of time required to complete the task.  This is an estimate (or a guess or a prediction) of the time required to complete the task.  You can use the following units to specify the time required:

  • - minutes.  Example: 30m = 30 minutes.
  • - hours.  Examples: 6h = 6 hours. 1.5h = 90 minutes.
  • - days.  Examples: 10D = 10 days. 3.5D = 3.5 days.
  • - weeks.  Examples: 3W = 3 weeks. 6.5W = 6.5 weeks. 
  • - months.  Example: 2M = 2 months. 1.25M = 1.25 months.
  • - years.  Example: 1Y = 1 year.  2.5Y = 2.5 years.


Actual Duration

Enter the actual amount of time that has been spent on completing the task by the assigned staff.  This is the work effort by the assigned staff.  Click on Actual Duration to display the Edit Actual Duration screen.  


Enter the work effort into New Effort for each assigned staff.  Click the Commit button to save your entry.


Click the Clear Effort To Date button to remove the work effort from the assigned staff.


You can use the following units to specify work effort by the assigned staff:

  • - minutes.  Example: 30m = 30 minutes.
  • - hours.  Examples: 6h = 6 hours. 1.5h = 90 minutes.
  • - days.  Examples: 10D = 10 days. 3.5D = 3.5 days.
  • - weeks.  Examples: 3W = 3 weeks. 6.5W = 6.5 weeks. 
  • - months.  Example: 2M = 2 months. 1.25M = 1.25 months.
  • - years.  Example: 1Y = 1 year.  2.5Y = 2.5 years.


Schedule Mode

Select the way you want the task to be scheduled.  There are two options:

  • Auto Scheduled.  This settings allows Projectal to adjust the task's start date and finish date to optimize the project schedule so that the project and its tasks are sequenced and arranged in an optimal manner.
  • Manually Scheduled.  This setting tells Projectal to not adjust the task's start date and finish date when optimizing the project schedule.  You may want to set a task to be manually scheduled when you know a task must start and finish on certain dates and you don't want the task moved in the project schedule.  


Tip: You can turn on / off auto scheduling for a project so that the project is not auto scheduled when changes are made to tasks within the project.  To do this either go to the Edit Project screen and set the schedule mode to Manually Scheduled, or click the Project Schedule Mode button on the Tasks screen toolbar. 


Stage

Select the stage (or status) of the task.  


Tip: The list of available stages for a task are defined in the project that the task belongs to.  Go to the Edit Project screen and add the list of stages you want to have for the tasks in the project.  For example, you may want 4 stages - Ready, In Progress, Client review and Completed. 

 

Estimated Time To Complete (ETC)

Enter the estimated time to complete (or ETC) the task.  ETC is the remaining time that the assigned staff requires to complete the task.


Progress (%)

Enter the progress of the task.  This value represents the percentage of work completed on the task by the assigned staff.


Constraint

Select the constraint that you wish to have applied to the task.  Constraints are known restrictions or events within a project that must be applied whilst completing a task.  


Important: Constraints are applied for tasks that have their schedule mode set to Auto Scheduled.  Tasks that are manually scheduled do not have constraints applied to them and they can be set to any start date or finish date in a project schedule.


These are the possible constraint types:


  • As Soon As Possible (ASAP).  Schedules the task to start as early as it can. Uses no constraint date. 
  • As Late As Possible (ALAP). Schedules the task as late as it can without delaying subsequent tasks. Uses no constraint date. 
  • Finish No Earlier Than (FNET).  Schedules the task to finish on or after a specified constraint date. 
  • Finish No Later Than (FNLT).  Schedules the task to finish on or before a specified constraint date. 
  • Must Finish On (MFO). Schedules the task to finish on a specified constraint date. 
  • Must Start On (MSO).  Schedules the task to start on a specified constraint date. 
  • Start No Earlier Than (SNET). Schedules the task to start on or after a specified constraint date. 
  • Start No Later Than (SNLT). Schedules the task to start on or before a specified constraint date.

Tip: For most projects where you wish to finish the tasks as quickly as possible, then the task constraint should be set to As Soon As Possible (ASAP).


Example: A task in a project will only be ready to be started on the 1st March 2023.  You would set a constraint for this task in Projectal as Start No Earlier Than (SNET) with a constraint date of 1st March 2023.


Skills Needed

Click the Add Skill button to add the skills that are required to complete the task.  This will display the Skills screen to allow you to choose the required skills and skill levels (Junior, Mid, Senior) for the task.


Tip: Projectal uses these skills to help you find the best suited staff within your staff pool to complete the task.  Projectal contains skill matching and availability matching algorithms to determine and rank staff from your staff pool for the task. 


Assigned Staff

Click the Add Staff button to add staff from your staff pool to complete the task.  This will display the Staff screen to allow you to choose staff from your staff pool to complete the task.


There are 4 tabs on the Staff screen that you can use to choose your staff:

  • List. This lists all staff in your staff pool as a flat list.  You can show and hide columns.  You can sort the list. You can search for certain staff.
  • Recommended.  This lists and ranks staff that using availability matching and skills matching algorithms to help you find the right person for the task.  Click the Settings button the Recommended tab to adjust the ranking of recommended staff.
  • Org Chart.  This lists staff in their companies and departments so that you can quickly find staff according to their department.
  • Generic.  This lists all the generic staff that you defined.  You may want to assign generic staff as a placeholder rather than actual staff to a task whilst you are in bidding, budgeting or planning phases of a project and you are not ready to assign actual staff from your staff pool.


Tip: Get the most out of Projectal by using the Recommended tab on the Staff screen.  Projectal will find all staff in your staff pool that have availability and have the required skills to complete the task.  It will list the most suited staff to complete the task.  This can help you to quickly find the best person for the job and help you to avoid staff over allocations and under allocations.


Assigned Resources

Click the Add Resource button to add any resources that are required to complete the task.  This will display the Resources screen to allow you to choose required resources to complete the task.  Adding the required resources lets you understand and track the availability and costs of resources.


Example: A VFX shot may require certain equipment such as cameras, lighting and screens. 


Fixed Cost

Enter the fixed cost of the task.  The fixed cost is also called the awarded cost or the fixed budget of the task.  If there is no fixed cost or budget for the task, then leave it blank and the estimated cost will be used to determine overall costs for the project.


Tip: Click the arrow on the right hand side of the Fixed Cost label to view either the Fixed Cost Gross or Fixed Cost Net costs.  Gross costs are without rebates applied and Net costs are with rebates applied.


Currency

Select the currency of the costs for the task.


Estimated Cost

View the estimated cost to complete the task.  The estimated cost to complete the task is calculated by using the task's estimated duration, the assigned staff's cost rate and assigned staff's utilization.  This provides a real-time cost metric to the estimated costs that will be incurred to complete the task by the assigned staff.


Tip: Click the arrow on the right hand side of the Estimated Cost label to view either the Estimated Cost Gross or Estimated Cost Net costs. Gross costs are without rebates applied and Net costs are with rebates applied.


Actual Cost

View the actual cost of completing the task to date.  The actual cost is calculated by using the task's actual duration (or work effort completed by the assigned staff thus far) , the assigned staff's cost rate and assigned staff's utilization.  This provides a real-time cost metric to the actual costs that have been incurred to date to complete the task by the assigned staff.


Tip: Click the arrow on the right hand side of the Actual Cost label to view either the Actual Cost Gross or Actual Cost Net costs. Gross costs are without rebates applied and Net costs are with rebates applied.


Rebates

Click the Add Rebate button to select the rebates that should be applied to the task.  This will display the Rebates screen to allow you to choose the applicable rebates or tax incentives.  Rebates are used to determine the Gross and Net costs of tasks within a project.


Files

Click the Add File button to display the Files screen.  Select a file attach to the task.  Multiple files can be attached a task.


Predecessors

Predecessors are other tasks that impact when a task can start or finish.  They are also called dependencies.  Projectal allows you to link up all your tasks so that they are started and finished in the correct sequence.


There are 4 types of predecessors in Projectal:

  • Finish-to-Start (FS).  The finish date of one task drives the start date of another.
  • Start-to-Start (SS). The start date of one task drives the start date of another.
  • Finish-to-Finish (FF). The finish date of one task drives the finish date of another.
  • Start-to-Finish (SF). The start date of one task drives the finish date of another.


Example: In a VFX project, a shot's tasks must be sequenced so that a Layout task needs to be completed before a Rigging task can be started.  In this case, the Rigging task has the Layout task as its predecessor task.


When setting a predecessor or dependency, you can also add an optional lag time (or lead time).  This is the number of days between starting or finishing the linked tasks (depending on the type of predecessor used).


Example: Once a Animation task has been completed, then a Compositing task can be started after a 2 day delay. 


Click the Add button to add a predecessor.


Click the Edit button to edit the selected predecessor.


Click the Delete button to delete the selected predecessor.


Image

Click the Add Image button to add a thumbnail image to the task.  This image will be shown in the Edit Task screen.  It is also viewable as a column in the Tasks screen and Gantt screen,  It can also be displayed in cards on Kanban boards


Tags

Select tags or type in tags to help categorize or classify the task.   There are two ways to add tags:

  • Click the Add Tag button to display the Tags screen.  Select tags from your existing collection of tags and they will be associated with the task.
  • Or, click inside the Tags editor and a new empty tag will be displayed.  Type in the name of the tag you want and press Enter to save the new tag. As you type your tag name, a list of existing tags that partially match the typed text will be displayed and you can choose one of them for faster tag entry.


Notes

Click the Add Note button to add a note about the task.  You can add as many notes as you like.  They are listed chronologically.

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