What are Tasks in Function Point?

As agencies often need to handle multiple concurrent projects, a robust project management system like Function Point is an essential tool to ensure project success. Function Point offers a comprehensive set of features to manage tasks and schedules that help improve your team’s workflow and productivity. 

This article explores the importance of tasks within the Function Point software and provides insights into their benefits. You’ll learn various methods to create and share tasks to optimize resource allocation and enhance your project management practices.

The Roles of Tasks in Function Point

In your Function Point agency software, tasks are your calls to action. They’re a great way to give team members things to work on, or a selected group of team members a collaborative item to work on together. Tasks can be organized within a Schedule, be stand-alone to-do items on a Job, or act as a personal to-do list.

Job-related tasks are time-trackable and can be associated up to your service buckets to be billed out accordingly. Tasks that are part of a Schedule, can be marked as a predecessor or dependent of other Tasks within the same Schedule. And tasks on Schedules can also be easily viewed as a Gantt.

As a big project can be divided into key sections, Tasks can also be broken down into subtasks with clear start and end dates. These Tasks go through a lifecycle, such as Draft, Assigned, In Progress, Finished, and Approved. In addition, Tasks can be transferred between team members as necessary and delegated to specific individuals at the Role level.

To learn the difference between a Task and a Service, please review our support article: Tasks vs Services in FP.

How Tasks Improve Your Workflow

Tasks break down the estimated hours for a job into detailed work that needs to get done. They’re assigned to one or more staff to complete, and typically have a start and end date.

Tasks are the individual pieces of a puzzle. When a team member receives a task, they know what needs to be done, how much time they have, and when it’s due. They work on their assignment, putting the puzzle piece in its correct place. When one task is done, they move on to the next; and when all the tasks are complete, the project is finished. Because all the guesswork is gone (each team member knows which piece of the puzzle they’re working on at all times) your workflow becomes more efficient and projects are completed quickly.

Sounds Great! Where can Tasks be created?

1. From the Dashboard

On the Tasks/To-Dos Dashboard tile, click the Quick Task button.

Enter any information you deem important and click Submit. Or, click Show More to see additional fields, including those to associate this task with active work, making it time-trackable and possibly billable.

2. Ad Hoc – From the Job or Board

From a Job Details page, click the Add New menu, and choose Add Task.

From a Job Board, click New Task.

Aim to include information that will help the assignee – including start and due dates, and estimated hours to complete. It is also advisable to select a service bucket, so that tracked time will be probably stored and allocated.

3. Add a Schedule to a Job

From any Job page, choose the Add New menu, and click Add Schedule.

The system will pre-pick the option to use the structure of the Estimate as the basis for the structure of the Schedule. However, if you have created Schedule Templates, they will be available for use from the drop-down icon. You can also choose to adjust the Schedule Name, Description, and member of the team to Manage.

Click Submit when ready.

The content from the Estimate has come over for us. Click anywhere into the now created Schedule to easily inline edit any information, and break down chunks of time into smaller calls to action for different members of your team. From this page, you can also readily copy any group of tasks or individual tasks.

Looks easy enough. But can I assign multiple staff to one task?

Yes! Shared Tasks allow you to create one Task with multiple staff assigned to it. They save you time while offering an easy way to track billable hours. And like any other Task, they are reflected in your Resource Allocation, are time trackable, can have predecessors and dependencies, and are visible on the Tasks/To-Dos Dashboard tile.

Add a Shared Task to a Job

Creating a shared task is just like creating a regular one. The only difference is that you change the “type” to “shared task”. This allows you to select multiple assignees.

Required fields are marked in blue. Recommended fields to fill in include:
1. Give the Task a name and description. Provide as much detail as needed so the assignee(s) know what’s expected of them.
2. Change Type to “Shared Task”.
3. Choose the Service bucket to which time tracked to this Task should be stored.
4. Choose start and due dates and times as applicable.
5. Begin typing a name, or simply press your spacebar to see a list of your staff members, organized by role. Pick a role to populate the Assigned To field with everyone under that role, or just select different people under different roles as you see fit.
6. Choose the Task Status. Make the Task “Assigned” if you want it to appear on staff Dashboards, and for staff to be aware that this Task is on their plate.
7. Enter the number of hours per staff member for this Task. Here I’ve inputted 2 and have 3 staff on the Task, so the system is showing a 6-hour total.

Click Submit when ready.

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How to Create Task Dependencies

In the same Schedule, Tasks can be linked to other Tasks as predecessors or dependencies. Each Task can have one predecessor and multiple dependencies. 

However, the ability to create Task dependencies is subject to user permissions. You need 5 specific permissions for handling Tasks: Add, Delete, Delete Others, Update, and Update Others. Missing any of these, you won’t be able to utilize the dependencies feature.

There’re 2 ways to create task dependencies: in Tasks View and Gantt View. 

1. Create Task Dependencies in the Tasks View

You can connect a predecessor and a dependency task from the Task details page, which is accessible by clicking on the task name in the Grid View, Gantt View, or any screen displaying a list of tasks.

In the full screen/ detail view of my Task, go to the Dependencies function located at the bottom right of the page. To add a predecessor to the Task, simply click on the “+ New Predecessor” button. Similarly, to add a dependency to the Task, click on the “+ New Dependency” button.

By selecting either “New Predecessor” or “New Dependency,” a search box will appear. Then, you can choose the relevant predecessor or dependency for the current Task from others on the same Schedule. Finally, click “Create Linkage” to establish the connection. 

If you want to remove the predecessor or dependency, or select a different one from the Schedule, simply click “Unlink”.

2. Create Task Dependencies in Gantt View

From the Gantt View of any Schedule, hover over a Task, and small buttons will appear at both ends of the task bar. These buttons allow you to create the predecessor/dependency linkages.

If you need to modify the linkages, simply click the connective line to Unlink Tasks.

Task Milestones

Agencies typically use milestones to mark significant events achieved during the project’s progress. Milestones provide a broader overview of how work is advancing across various stages or different departments. Adding milestones to a Task is completely optional, and it can be done either from the Task page itself or from the Schedule view.

Setting up Milestones 

Although there’re some predefined Milestones in the FP system, you can add your own customized Milestones. To do so, navigate to the Admin menu and select “System Set Up” > “List Maintenance”.

In the “Select a List” page, choose “Milestone” to access the “Edit List Items” section. 

Here, use the available controls to create new Milestones or modify existing ones. Organize the Milestones by easy drag-and-drop feature or the automatic alphabetical ordering. Remember to save any changes made before exiting the page.

Add a Milestone to a Task

When you create or edit a Task, you can associate it with a specific Milestone. Simply select the desired Milestone from the drop-down menu, and click “Submit” to save your changes.

Add Milestones on the Schedule

FP software has a dedicated column in the Schedule view where you can add or edit Milestones directly. As you make changes, remember to click “Save Changes”.

Tips for Tasks Management

To maximize the benefits of Function Point, you should follow these best practices and guidelines for task management to stay organized, meet deadlines, and achieve project objectives with greater efficiency and success.

  • Prioritize tasks: Identify and prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. Use techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix to determine which tasks require immediate attention.
  • Set clear and specific goals: Clearly define the objectives and outcomes for each task. This helps team members understand what needs to be accomplished and provides clarity on expectations.
  • Communicate expectations. Clearly express the task requirements, deadlines, and any specific instructions or guidelines. Promote open communication for team members to seek clarification and suggest new ideas.
  • Break down complex tasks: Break down complex tasks into smaller, manageable sub-tasks for better planning, allocation of resources, and tracking of progress.
  • Assign tasks appropriately: Assign tasks to team members based on their skills, expertise, and availability. Consider workload balance and ensure that each person knows their responsibilities.
  • Set realistic deadlines. Set realistic and achievable deadlines based on the complexity of the task, available resources, and potential dependencies.
  • Delegate and empower. Delegate tasks to teammates and empower them to take ownership and responsibility. Encourage autonomy, while providing support and guidance as needed.
  • Regularly review and update tasks. Things don’t always go out as planned, so you should continuously review progress and update task lists to reflect changes in priorities, deadlines, resources, or project requirements. 
  • Celebrate milestones and completion. Recognizing and celebrating the completion of tasks and milestones will enhance morale and motivate the team to continue their efforts.

Final Thoughts

The proper use of our tasking system provides a boost to your agency’s productivity. Every day, creatives show up knowing what needs to be done. Moreover, they help project managers track whose workload is full of tasks and who has room to take on more. And finally, they allow team members to focus on their strengths and be assigned tasks that suit their skillset. With Function Point’s task management system, agencies can work more efficiently to deliver exceptional results and achieve success in a competitive business landscape.

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