Task management – creating a new task

Firstly in task management you choose a task name at the top of the form.  If you don’t choose one a ‘task 37’ type name will be assigned automatically.  Use description to provide any details about what the task involves.

Next select whether the task in Normal (where you decide scheduling, resources and % complete) or Summary (used as a summary of a set of underlying tasks which will determine scheduling, % complete etc).  Then select if the task is to be in one of the existing summary groups or at the top level of the plan.

Task Management

Finally the duration section, here you can determine and start and end dates of the task either fixed from Calendar or moving depending on predecessors and durations.

This is the essential information for the task, you can proceed to Resources and costs tab or create the task.

Adding Resources and Costs

Depending on its purpose the Planner file you open may have all three tabs visible  or some other combinations.  Typical combinations are as follows:

Small project – Combined Planner file supports all three tabs for full data collection.

Large project – separate files for Schedule/Plan, Risks and Issues, possible also separate Decisions and Action Registers.  Possible that Plan isn’t used and an MS Project plan or some other file type is used instead.

Other – use as a RAID log is quite common with just Risk and Issue tabs in use.  A separate Plan file either in Planner of another format is used.

The appropriate tab combination can be set up in the Options-Program View area of Planner (unless this has been locked by the template generator, note it will be open in standard PIAB templates).

Updating tasks

You can easily personalise Planner.  You can change the resource model and mode of % complete calculation.  You can also change the risk and issue types, categories and calculation basis.  You can change this in individual files for one project. You can also change the template versions of files in the method template.  Your personalisation’s are then used every time on each new project.  You can also lock your template file to stop others changing it.

As well as personalizing Planner you can also personalize the guidance.  You can produce your own guidance and host it yourself on an intranet site also Sharepoint or something similar.  You then just change the link location in Planner that the Guidance button should point to.  You change the link locations in Options.

What can I now do with my Plan and tasks?

If you are doing your task management in Planner standalone or as a template from Community Edition then you can analyse your plan using views and export or print your results as required.

If using a PIAB commercial product your data will be available rolled up to summaries.  You can see it easily at project, programme or portfolio level.

If you are using Small Team or Enterprise Editions you will be able to produce resource profiles for your team.  You can alos generate user specific task lists accumulated across all plans in the system. Your email reminders will be sent out to people based on the status and content of their tasks by email.