Working with Project Tasks

Purpose

This tutorial shows you how to make use of the WebCenter Interaction Collaboration feature to collaborate more effectively on projects. You create and manage tasks in a Collaboration project in ways that are similar to how you create and manage tasks in other project management applications.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create task lists, create tasks, assign and claim tasks, update and view project status, attach documents to task lists and tasks, and subscribe to a task list.

Time to Complete

Approximately 1 hour

Topics

This tutorial covers the following topics:

 Overview
 Prerequisites
 Creating a Task List
 Creating Tasks
Assigning and Claiming Tasks
Updating and Viewing Project Status
Attaching Documents to Task Lists and Tasks
Subscribe to a Task List
 Summary

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Overview

What are Project Tasks?

WebCenter Interaction Collaboration makes it easy for portal users to collaborate, or work together on projects that are stored and managed on the portal. One way portal users can collaborate on a project is by defining task lists for portal projects, and within those task lists, creating and managing tasks.

This tutorial shows you how to perform several common operations related to project tasks. We will use a sample project from our own environment, so what you see on your portal will be different. However, using our examples as guidance, you should be able to perform similar operations using your own portal projects.

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Prerequisites

Before you perform this tutorial, you should:

1.

Ensure your portal has at least one project on it. The project does not need to have any task lists or tasks defined yet.

2.

Ensure that you are a member of the project.

3.

Ensure you have added the My Projects portlet to a My Page. (This task is described in the Working with Project Documents tutorial.)

4.

Ensure you have added the project you would like to work on to the My Project portlet. (This task is described in the Working with Project Documents tutorial.)

5.

Ensure the portal is up and running.

6.

Log into the portal.

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Creating a Task List

Most projects are composed of many individual tasks. When you start defining tasks for a project, it is useful to group them into task lists. A task list is a list of individual tasks that are required to complete one phase of a project. You can think of task lists as containers for a set of related tasks.

To create a task list, perform the following steps:

A. Navigate to the project Tasks page
B. Create a new task list

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A. Navigate to the Project Tasks Page

As part of the prerequisites, we assume you have a My Projects portlet on one of your My Pages, and you have added the project you would like to work on to that portlet. To navigate to the project Tasks page, perform the following steps:

1.

On your My Page, in the My Projects portlet, click the name of the project. (In this example, the project is called Jazepam Clinical Trials. Your project will probably have a different name.)

 

The project Overview page displays. The Overview page provides a quick summary of the project: a description of what the project is about, a general announcement, recently edited documents, and recent messages. You can get a quick impression of the project from the Overview page.

 

2.

To navigate to the Tasks page, click the Tasks tab.

 

 

The Tasks page appears. This page is used to manage tasks that are pertinent to the project. (Your Tasks page will have different contents, and there may not be any folders or tasks listed.)

 

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B. Create a New Task List

To create a new task list, perform the following steps:

1.

Here is a sample project Tasks page. Your Tasks page will have different contents.

 

 

To create a new task list, start by clicking the New down arrow on the toolbar, just under the Overview tab.

 

2.

Select the Task List option.

 

 

The New Task List window displays.

 

3.

Type the name of the task list, and optionally a description. Using the checkboxes, indicate whether to display this task list on the project Calendar page, whether tasks can include weekends and holidays, and when to notify portal users about this task list.

 

4.

When you have finished, click the Finish button.

 

 

The project Tasks page redisplays, and your new task list appears in the left pane.

 

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Creating Tasks

Now that you have created a task list, you can create one or more tasks in that task list. Perform the following steps:

A. Create a single task
B. Create multiple tasks

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A. Create a Single Task

To create a single task, perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, ensure the task list in which you want to create a new task is selected. (In this example, we select Recruit Participants. Your example will probably be different.)

 

 

Then click the New down arrow, select Tasks, and select Single.

 

 

The New Task window displays.

 

2.

Type the name and (optionally) a description of the task, and select a duration (how long it should take to perform the task). Using the format m/d/yyyy or selecting from the date chooser, specify a Start Date and Due Date.

 

3.

Specify other options as follows:

bullet If this task is dependent on other tasks, click Dependent on tasks link and select the appropriate tasks. (In this example, the task is not dependent on other tasks.)
bullet Use the checkboxes to indicate whether the task is a milestone, and whether to display the task on the project Calendar page.
bullet To assign this task to one or more portal users, click the Assigned to link. (This functionality is demonstrated in a later topic in this tutorial.)
bullet If the task is partially complete, type the percentage complete in the Status field, and use the radio buttons to set the risk indicator: green (no risk), yellow (moderate risk), or red (high risk).
bullet Indicate the Notification schedule: whether to notify the portal users who are assigned to this task by email when the task is assigned, on the start date, and/or on the due date.

When you have finished configuring these options, click the Finish button.

 

 

The project Tasks page redisplays, and your new task is listed in the right pane.

 

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B. Create Multiple Tasks

To save time, you can create many tasks in one step. When you create many tasks at once, you cannot set all of the options that are available to you on the New Tasks window. (If necessary, you can configure these options later, after the tasks are created, by editing task properties.)

To create many tasks at once, perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, ensure the task list in which you want to create a new task is selected. Click the New down arrow, select Tasks, and select Multiple.

 

 

The Create New Tasks window displays. In this window, you can configure the task name, description, start date, and due date for multiple tasks.

The configuration options in the lower half of the window are similar to those in the New Task window, and they will apply to all of the tasks you list in the upper half of the window.

2.

When you have finished defining the new tasks and configuring these options, click the Finish button.

 

 

Back on the project Tasks page, your new tasks are listed in the right pane.

 

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Assigning and Claiming Tasks

Once task lists and tasks have been defined, it is important that tasks be assigned to specific portal users so it is clear who is responsible for completing each task, and when the task is due. You can assign a task to one or more portal users, or you can claim a task yourself. Perform the following steps:

A. Assign a task when you create the task
B. Assign a task after the task is created
C. Claim a task

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A. Assign a Task When You Create the Task

You can assign a task to one or more portal users when you create the task. Perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, ensure the task list in which you want to create a new task is selected. Click the New down arrow, select Tasks, and select Single.

 

 

The New Task window displays.

 

2.

Type the name and (optionally) a description of the task, and select a duration (how long it should take to perform the task). Using the format m/d/yyyy or selecting from the date chooser, specify a Start Date and Due Date. Specify other options as described in an earlier topic.

To assign this task to a portal user, start by clicking the Assigned to link.

 

 

The Choose Users window displays.

 

3.

To search for one or more users, expand the appropriate folder by clicking the plus sign to its left. In this example, we expand the Project Members folder.

 

4.

Select the portal user or users to which you want to assign this task. Then click the Finish button.

 

 

Back on the New Task window, the Assigned to field shows the portal users who have been assigned to this task. (In this example, we have assigned the task to Dmitri.)

 

5.

Specify other options as needed, and then click the Finish button.

 

 

The project Tasks page redisplays, and your new task is listed. In the details pane below, the assignee or assignees are listed.

 

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B. Assign a Task After the Task is Created

You can assign a task to one or more portal users after the task is created. Perform the following steps:

1.

In the project Tasks window, select the task in the right pane.

 

2.

With the task highlighted, click the Assign Tasks down arrow.

 

3.

In the Assign Tasks dropdown menu, select To Others.

 

 

The Choose Users window displays.

 

4.

To search for one or more users, expand the appropriate folder by clicking the plus sign to its left. In this example, we have expanded the Project Members folder.

 

5.

Select the portal user or users to which you want to assign this task.

 

6.

Then click the Finish button.

 

 

The project Tasks page redisplays, and your new task is listed. In the details pane below, the assignee or assignees are listed.

 

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C. Claim a Task

You can claim a task for yourself either when you create the task or after the task is created. In this example, we demonstrate how to claim a task after the task has been created. Perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, select the task list containing the task you want to claim. (In this example, we are logged in as Dylan, and we select Recruit Participants. Your example will probably be different.)

 

2.

In the right pane, select the task you want to claim.

 

3.

Click the Assign Tasks down arrow, and select To Me.

 

 

The project Tasks page redisplays, and the details pane in the lower right pane indicates that the task as been assigned to you.

 

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Updating and Viewing Project Status

One of the important elements of effective project management is monitoring progress. The portal makes it easy for those performing tasks to indicate their progress, and at any point in time, portal users can view the status of the project as a whole as well as the status of task lists and individual tasks.

When tasks are first created, they have a status of 0% complete (unless the portal user creating the task sets this higher). When work on a task is in progress, the assigned user(s) can change the completion status in accordance with how much work has been completed (between 0% and 100%). When the task is done, the task status should be set to 100% (complete).

At any point in time, portal users can check the overall status of a project, the status of each task list in the project, and the status of individual tasks.

Perform the following steps:

A. Update task status
B. View project status
C. View task list status
D. View task status

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A. Update Task Status

It is important for the completion status of a task to be kept up to date. Usually, portal users who are responsible for completing a task can update that task's completion status. Perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, select the task list containing the task you want to claim. (In this example, we are logged in as Dmitri, and we select Recruit Participants. Your example will probably be different.)

 

2.

In the right pane, select the task whose status you want to update.

 

3.

The details pane in the lower right pane displays the properties and task history of the selected task, including the status of the task. To change the completion status, type the new status in the Status text box. (If this text box is not editable, you do not have the required permissions.)

 

 

In this example, we have changed Status to 25% complete. Notice that the Task History section has been updated and now includes this status change event. (In addition to listing status changes, the Task History section records the task creation date and any changes in task name, user assignment, start date, due date, and status notes.)

When a task list is selected in the left pane, you can also see the completion status of each task in both the Timeline and Table views. See the topic View task list status for details on these views.

 

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B. View Project Status

Portal users can check the status of projects, task lists, and tasks. To view the overall status of a project, perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, select the project. (In this example, we select Jazepam Clinical Trials. Your example will probably be different.)

 

 

When the project is selected in the left pane, the right pane displays all the task lists along with the number of tasks they contain, the status of each task list (risk indicator and percent complete), the start date, and the due date. (In this example, we display the Table view. You can toggle between the Table view and the Timeline view. See the topic View task list status for details on these views.)

The details pane in the lower right pane specifies the number of task lists in this project, overall status, when the first task starts, and when the last task is due to end.

 

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C. View Task List Status

Portal users can check the status of task lists. Perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, select the task list whose status you would like to display. (In this example, we select Recruit Participants. Your example will probably be different.)

 

 

In the right pane, you can see all the tasks associated with the selected task list. In this example, we show the Timeline view. (If your display is in tabular format, you are in Table view. See the next steps for details.)

The Timeline view uses task bars against a calendar backdrop to indicate the start and end date of each task. The black bar in the middle of the status bar indicates the completion status of that task. Task dependences are indicated as well. (In this example, the Call candidates task is dependent on Create candidate contact list and Prepare recruitment pitch, and Summarize results depends on Call candidates.)

The details pane below shows overall task list status (risk indicator and percent complete).

 

2.

To switch to Table view, click the Table View button.

 

 

The Table view displays. The Table view lists the tasks in the selected task list along with which portal users each task is assigned to, task status, start date, and end date.

As with the Timeline view, the details pane below (not visible in this image) shows the overall task list status.

 

4.

To switch back to the Timeline view, click the Timeline View button.

 

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D. View Task Status

Portal users can check the status of individual tasks. Perform the following steps:

1.

To view the status of a task, select the appropriate task list in the left pane, and select the task in the right pane ( Timeline or Table view). The details pane below shows the task status using a risk indicator (green, yellow, or red) and the completion percentage.

 

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Attaching Documents to Task Lists and Tasks

It may be useful to attach relevant documents to task lists or tasks, for example a document providing necessary input, or a document summarizing the results of a task. Before you can attach a document to a task or task list, it needs to be uploaded to the project using the project Documents page. The tutorial entitled Working with Project Documents explains how to do this.

Once a document has been uploaded to the project, you can attach it to either a task list or a specific task. Perform the following steps:

A. Attach a document to a task list
B. Attach a document to a task

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A. Attach a Document to a Task List

To attach a project document to a task list, perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, select the task list to which you would like to attach a document. (In this example, we select Recruit Participants. Your example will probably be different.)

 

2.

In the details pane on the lower right, click Attach Documents.

 

 

The Choose Documents window displays.

 

3.

Select the document(s) you want to attach to the task list.

 

4.

Then click the Finish button.

 

 

Back on the project Tasks page, in the details pane (lower right), the document(s) you have attached are listed next to Attachments.

 

5.

To open an attachment, click its link.

 

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B. Attach a Document to a Task

To attach a project document to a specific task, perform the following steps:

1.

In the project Tasks window, in the left pane, select the task list containing the task to which you would like to attach a document. In the right pane ( Timeline or Table view), select the task itself. Then, in the details window (lower right), click Attach Documents.

 

2.

The Choose Documents window displays.

 

3.

Select the document(s) you want to attach to the selected task.

 

4.

Then click the Finish button.

 

5.

Back on the project Tasks page, in the details pane (lower right), the document(s) you have attached are listed next to Attachments.

 

6.

To open an attachment, click its link.

 

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Subscribing to a Task List

If you want to be notified via email each time a a project task list changes (for example, if status is updated, or a task is assigned), you can subscribe to the task list. Perform the following steps:

1.

On the project Tasks page, in the left pane, select the task list to which you would like to subscribe. (In this example, we select Recruit Participants. Your example will probably be different.)

 

 

In the details window in the lower right, click the Subscribe button, selecting either Immediate Email or Summary Email. (If you do not see the Subscribe button, then you do not have permission to subscribe to project task lists.)

 

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Summary

In this tutorial, you learned how to:

 Create a task list
 Create tasks
Assign and claim tasks
Update and view project status
Attach documents to task lists and tasks
Subscribe to a task list

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