While your project schedule should be predetermined to the best of your knowledge in your Project templates, there does come a time when you may need to update your project's schedule to meet the current needs of the client project(s).
This guide will cover the steps of creating new tasks on a blank schedule, as well as adding tasks to an existing schedule. Plus some advanced features to give you a further understanding of how the schedules are designed to work for you.
NOTE: The Schedule screen will now update if someone else is editing the same schedule at the same time.
In the setup of any project, you will see "Schedule". Clicking on this will open your project schedule.
The Schedule screen provides the following features:
- The schedule can be set to auto-save when moving from field to field or save changes only when clicking the SAVE button.
- The Gantt view, task details, and copy from are fixed panels, that can be hidden or shown in any combination.
- You can view task-based conversations.
- Assignments, though visible/editable via the Task details panel, can open up into a separate panel. This panel allows navigation between tasks.
- You can create "column sets". These are predefined sets of columns that you can toggle between to allow you to view/edit the information that is necessary at that time, ex. setup of schedule may have different columns vs. traffic.
Show task details
From the upper right of the schedule click on Task details.
The task details allows you to adjust and view all task-related information
Along the top of the Task detail panel you will see:
-Navigation to next/previous task
-View/edit current task detail
-View/edit current task to-do list
-View/edit current task conversations
Edit task details
The tab is separated into assignments at the top, task plan, actual and other information.
This area allows you to adjust the planned areas of the task, this includes plan start, plan complete, duration, constraint, & predecessors.
NOTE: This panel is the only area that allows the setup of cross-project predecessor links.
This area allows you to set how actuals are tracked and to edit %complete, priority, actual start, & actual complete dates.
This section is used to set up task controls, such as track budgets & allow on all timesheets.
This tab allows you to add/edit/view to-do lists for the selected task.
This tab allows you to add, edit & view all conversations for the selected task.
Schedule view toggles
Show/hide Gantt view
From the upper right corner, click on Show the Gantt chart icon.
Once open you can select day, week, or month views
Show/hide copy tasks from templates/projects
In the top right corner, click on Add task from the Templates icon.
Select a template or project from the drop-down list. You are able to copy all tasks or drag-n-drop tasks from displayed tasks into the current schedule.
Show/hide task details
Clicking on the Assignments from the grid or the task details will open the new Assignments panel.
The new assignment panel will be more focused on who is already on the project and which services are budgeted.
Be sure to let us know if you have any feedback on this new screen.
Edit column sets
You can now create custom column sets, instead of choosing the columns by the security group.
NOTE: You will need at least the Security Right of "---Allow access to lists" in order to be able to edit columns sets.
You can also override the label of each column to suit your preference.
Once a column set is added, the drop-down will then appear for all users. Default layout relies on the columns for that security group.
Creating a new schedule
When creating a new schedule, the project schedule screen will appear rather empty, with the only option to add a task.
NOTE: If you are working in a project template, there are no dates listed, just days in duration for each task.
Click Add a task.
Name the task and enter the days on which you plan to complete the task.
NOTE: Track budgets are checked by default for all new assignment-level tasks.
Click on the Pencil icon or where it says Add under the assigned section to access the Edit assignments panel.
Click on Add a new assignment to add a User (optional if you plan to assign by service later), service, or total hours (allocation of time).
Click on Insert row if you want to have multiple users collaborate on a single task.
Now when you look at your schedule you can see the user's initials or the name of the service assigned.
Add additional tasks by clicking on Insert row from the schedule.
Notice how the predecessor link forms automatically.
Now continue to fill out the remaining tasks to fulfill your project schedule needs.
Adding tasks to an existing schedule
Let's say you have the following schedule and you want to add a revisions task after the reviews task.
One way is to click on the Insert below plus sign on the task you want to enter the new task below.
Enter the new tasks name, duration of days, and assigned people.
The end result would look something like this. Note how the reviews task now has two predecessors. To adjust predecessors, see the next section.
The other way is to simply click Insert row at the bottom of the schedule and then drag and drop the task to where you want it to be.
The new task is inserted at the end.
Drag and drop the task to its desired place in the schedule.
After the task is moved. Note how the predecessors are based on where the task was originally added.
There are times when you may want to fix the predecessors for the entire schedule. To do this, please review the following steps.
Click the checkbox at the top to check all tasks. Then select the Unlink button.
Now, all the tasks will have the same start date (today).
Click the checkbox again to highlight all tasks and now click the Link option that appears.
The end result would look something like this, where all tasks now push out based on the previous task.
Advanced schedule features
Switch to project
You can switch to another project's schedule right from the schedule you have open.
To do this, click on the Search icon next to the project number.
Then from the drop-down, choose the project you want to switch to in the schedule.
You can enter the client ID for more refined results.
Then click GO!
By default, the schedule direction for new projects is set to 'from project start'. This works best with the 'as soon as possible' constraint. The design here is that your assigned users work based on the task's start date and not necessarily the due date. The schedule status will turn red if any task's due date pushes past the project's due date.
You can change the schedule direction to 'from project completion'. Doing so will make each task constraint set to 'as late as possible'. When using the schedule this way, your predecessors will then work backward from the last task's due date. And if a task is not completed by the task due date, then the task will permanently turn red and cannot auto-push forward.
The default task constraint is 'as soon as possible'. The design here is that the current task is ready to start now, based on the use of predecessors. The other constraints allow you to adjust how each task behaves.
See the Task constraints [in-depth guide] for more detailed info.
This refers to the link established between tasks and is designed to push the planned start date of the next task, based on the actual completion date of the previous task.
Predecessors are created automatically based on where you are adding a task to the schedule.
For more on this, please refer to the All about predecessors [in-depth guide].
Auto pushing of task dates
By default, the system will update the active project's tasks plan start & plan due dates each night if the task has an actual start and/or actual completion date.
There are three main settings that control this automation.
- Push schedule dates on tasks: Auto-pushes the tasks plan start date nightly.
- Push schedule end dates on started tasks: Auto-push the tasks plan complete date nightly.
- Actual dates change the plan date: Instantly adjusts the remaining tasks/predecessors plan dates based on the actual completion date of the previous task.
These system-level settings can be adjusted, but you will then have to manually update each project's schedule to compensate for any actual changes.
This feature is designed for use in campaign-related projects. This allows you to have a task in project 1 "trigger" the start of a task in project 2.
Admin/Manager > System setup > Account information > Transaction preferences > Projects > Schedule options > Allow cross-project predecessors
Once the transaction preference is set, the project's task predecessor will allow you to pick a project and task.
1) Select the task you want to be triggered by a different project task
2) click +Predecessor
3) select Project and task
NOTE: The cross-project setting triggers a "project schedule" recalculation in the background. This service is triggered every 2 minutes. Once this is set up in "project 2" close the schedule and let the service trigger before performing any further edits on the project 2 schedule. This will allow the proper plan start date to be set up on the task. If you open it prior to the service being triggered it may cause a refresh loop.
For more info on these settings and more, please refer to the Transaction preferences [in-depth guide].