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Audience

Team members, project managers, resource managers and executives

Description

Project Insight allows teams to report on every item in the solution. Task and milestone reports are useful for all team members. Some resources like to view and update all assignments from a task report. Managers like to view overdue tasks or critical tasks by person, project or department. Learn how to create and leverage task and milestone reports in this training.

Benefits

  • Leverage task reports to know what each person is working on
  • Learn how to roll up, group by and sub-total task reports

Key Points


Transcript

Viewing task and milestone reports is an integral part of managing your projects.

All stakeholders including team members, project managers and executives will view task and milestone reports at various phases in the project life cycle.

Team members will want to view a list of tasks assigned to them and see what their upcoming work is.

Project managers will want to see the status and health of tasks on their projects.

Executives will want to see reports of milestone tasks across their portfolio.

Viewing Tasks

Your team members may run a formal report to get a list of all their tasks, however, they can also access a list of their tasks in some quick and easy ways.

The first is from a Team Member Home Screen. You just click on tasks, and you can see all the upcoming tasks assigned to you. These aren’t all your tasks, just the tasks you need to work on within the next seven days.

You can change that time frame by clicking on the Display Options icon.

It is set to display just the tasks that start within 7 days or sooner. You could increase or decrease that if you want.

For example, change this to 1 day.

Now it will only show tasks starting within 1 day or that are overdue.

There are some other options here to change what tasks are displayed on this list and what data shows with you those tasks.

You can change those as you require.

For example, click on Start Date to show that on the form.

Click Save.

The list is updated to reflect the current settings.

The Start Date also is displayed.

Click X to close the task list.

Another way to view your tasks is on the dashboard.

Click on My Insight.

This is a dashboard where you can also see a list of your tasks.

You can also click on the Display Options for this list to change what is displayed. It’s the same options as you can set for tasks on the Home Screen form, however, they are different settings for each form.

You can see that the changes you made on the settings on the Home Screen, didn’t affect these settings on your Dashboard.

Click X to close the Display Options screen.

You can also access a list of your tasks from the left navigation.

Expand your left navigation.

Click on My Work.

Click on Tasks.

A list of your tasks is displayed and you can access them from anywhere in the system with one click.

For your average team member, just being able to access their task list through these different options is sufficient most of the time. However, in some circumstances you may want to view task reports with different parameters than are available here.

Task Reports

To do that, Click on the Reports icon.

Click on the Task section, if it is not already selected.

Collapse the left navigation to give you more room.

Anyone has the ability to run a task report. However, you will still only see tasks that you have access to see.

Different stakeholders will run the task report for different reasons. You’ll see different examples of that.

Different Types of Task Reports

There are two different types of tasks reports you can run.

The first is a straight task report.

It lists the tasks from the projects. For one task on a project, there will be one line on this report that corresponds to that task and the information is concentrated towards the task.

The second is a task resource report.

This lists one line per resource on a task. If there are two resources assigned to one task, you will get two lines on your report, where as the task report, you would just get one line.

This report was designed to give you more details about the resources working on a task, versus the task level details.

For now, click on Create Task Report.

The Display & Filter Options layer opens.

You can use the various sections in this report to filter data and also to identify what columns of data you want on the report.

Default Task Report Options

For example, by default the report is set to show tasks that have a start or an end date that occur in the current month.

More information on how the date filter works can be found in the Creating and Running Portfolio and Project Reports training session.

By default, you also only see tasks from active projects.

Click on the Project Type & Project Options to expand it out.

You can see that it is set by default to Include only Projects Marked Active.

Click on the Project Type & Project Options to collapse it.

If you just leave all the defaults, and click the Run Report icon, you are going to see a list of all tasks in active projects that you have access to view, and that have either a start date or an end date that occurs within the current month.

You can see at the top of the report, what the filter parameters are so you know at a glance what data is selected to appear on this report and you don’t have to go searching for that detail.

There are also some default columns which are showing on the report. That includes the project name, the project number, the task name, duration, work status and start and end dates.

You can also see the resources assigned to the task. By default, it is showing all tasks for all resources.

Sorting Data on the Report

You can see there is an arrow on the Start Date column header but no other column headers.

This arrow indicates that the report is sorting by the task start date and because the arrow is point upwards, it is in ascending order, with tasks starting the earliest, listed first.

You can click on the Start Date column header text to reverse the order, so that it is descending order with later tasks listed first.

The arrow is now pointing downwards which indicates descending order.

To sort on a different column that Start Date, click on the header text for that column.

For example, click on the text for the Project column header. It is now sorting in ascending order by the project name.

You could sort on more than one column by.

For example, if you want to see all tasks in alphabetical order within each project, click on the text of the Name column to sort by the task name.

Now click on the text for the Project column header.

This creates a sort, first by Project and then by alphabetical order by the task Name.

If you clicked on the Start Date text first, then Project, it sorts first by Project and then date order by Start Date of the task, instead of alphabetical order by the task name.

So that’s one way, you can organize and view your data, just by sorting on the currently displayed columns.

Run ‘All My Tasks’ Report

A common task report that your team members may want to run is a list of all tasks assigned to them.

From the Home Screen, Dashboard and left navigation, you can see your task list for a certain time frame for active projects, but you may want to run a task report instead so that you can see additional columns of data or tasks for planned projects as well.

Click on the Display Options icon.

Click on Report Filter Type Options to expand that section out.

Click in the drop down for Report Filter Types.

You can see there are a lot of options here that you can use to select different types of tasks.

Scroll down to the filter types starting with the letter T.

To expand the width to see all the text, click on the double arrows in the lower right hand corner and drag the drop down wider.

Now scroll down until you see the option, Tasks I’m Assigned as a Resource.

Click on it

Click on the white space anywhere on the layer to exit out of that drop down.

Click Run Report.

This shows you all the tasks you are assigned to for active projects within the period.

In the Resource column, you will see your name listed.

Of course, since you are running this task report for your tasks, you may want to remove it from your view except in the case where you are not the only resource assigned to task, and you want to see the other resources as well.

Customize, Save and Share Task Reports

This may be a report that you want to save, so you can rerun it whenever you wish.

To save this report, click the Save Report icon at the bottom of the report.

You need to enter the name of the report. Type My Tasks for the Month.

It is a best practice to name the report in a manner that indicates what the report is and how information will be displayed on it.

Click Save.

You’ll receive a message that your report has been saved. Click Ok.

If you hover on the Reports menu option, and hover on Task reports, you can see that saved report listed. This gives you one click access to see a list of your tasks for the month.

Click on the report to run it.

If you decide that this report may be useful to all your team, you can easily share it with them.

Click Save Report again.

In the Share With, click in the Companies drop down.

Click My Company.

This will share this report with any other team members assigned to your company.

Click on the white space on the form to exit out of the drop down.

Click Save.

You’ll receive a message that your report has been saved. Click Ok.

All the other users in the company will now have this report listed on their task reports.

However, the filter that you set is dynamic. If any other user runs this report, they are going to see only tasks that they are assigned to as a resource. They won’t see the same report you do, they will see the report as it is applicable to them.

If you didn’t want the report to be dynamic and really only wanted to list tasks assigned to a specific resource, regardless of who was running the report, then click the Display Options icon.

In the Report Filter Type Options, click on Tasks I’m Assigned as a Resource to remove that.

Click on Report Filter Type Options to collapse that section.

Click on Department, Resource Type/Role and Resource Options to expand that section..

Click in the drop down for resources.

This is where you would select a resource to hard-code into the report and not have it dynamically updated based on who was running the report.

If you selected a resource here and also had the filter for tasks you’re assigned as a resource selected, both criteria would have to be true in order for the task to be selected. That means, you would have to be assigned as a resource and this user would also have to be assigned as a resource. That’s a great way to view tasks you’re working on with another specific resource.

Click on Department, Resource Type/Role and Resource Options to collapse that section without making a selection.

You have now removed any resource filtering options on this report and it will once again print for all resources.

Group by and Subtotal

You have a lot of other options as well when running task reports.

Group by Project

A common way to view tasks is to group them by projects.

Click on the Group By/Sub Total Options to expand that out.

Leave the Type set as Group By.

More information on this setting is in the Creating and Running Portfolio and Project Reports training session.

In the Column drop down, select Project.

This will group the report by Project.

Leave the Sort Direction as Ascending. You could set it to descending if required.

Click the plus sign icon to add that grouping.

This is important. You have to remember to click the plus sign to create the grouping.

Click the Run Report icon.

You can now see the report displays in a collapsed view with the projects listed.

The number of tasks for that project that meet the report filter criteria is displayed, i.e. this is the number of tasks scheduled to start or end sometime this month.

Click on the blue bar to expand the data and see each task for that project.

Click on the blue bar to collapse it again.

You will notice that you have the project name twice. Once in the group,

And also in each detail line.

It is a recommended best practice that if you group the information by a certain column, that you remove that column from details section.

To do that, click the Display Options icon.

Click Group By/ Sub Total Options to collapse that section.

Click on the Column Selection Options section to expand that out.

In the Selected Columns, double click on Project to remove it.

You may also want to double click on the Project Number to remove it as well.

Even though you aren’t grouping by that, it is redundant information on the task detail line when you’re grouping by project.

Nested Grouping

You can group by more than one column.

For example, maybe you want to group by resource type/role. That is, you want to see how many tasks in each project are assigned to a specific role.

Click on the Column Selection Options section to collapse it.

Click Group By/ Sub Total Options to expand that section again.

Click in the Column drop down and select Resource Type/Role.

Click the plus sign icon.

Click the Run Report icon.

You can now see the number of tasks, per role on each project.

Click on blue bar for the role to expand that section and see the tasks.

Update Tasks from Task Report

It is possible for you to actually update task information directly from this report.

One scenario where this may occur is when you have a resource assigned to a task, but that resource is an external contractor or vendor that you have not given access to Project Insight. You can use this task list to update tasks on their behalf.

Another scenario is where you have team leads or supervisors that update tasks for their team, instead of their team doing it themselves.

Click on the % Complete Checkbox and drag it wider to view the entire column label.

This is where you can quickly mark a task as complete.

Click on the check box.

That’s it. The task is set as complete.

You can see that the Work Status got changed to Done.

If you have multiple resources assigned to a task, it would mark the work as being completed for all the resources.

Remember, you can view all tasks on this report that you have access to view. This may include tasks that you are not a resource on.

If you aren’t a resource on a task and you’re not a project manager or scheduler, then you can’t update the status from this report.

If you are a resource on that task or you are the project manager or scheduler, you can also update the status of the task and also enter comments and time, by clicking on the Work Status text for a particular task.

This displays the Update Status layer.

From here, you can click in the drop down for the Work Status and update that.

Click on the Comment section to expand that out and enter a comment.

Click on the Time section to expand that out and enter in the Actual Hours.

More detail on this Update Status layer is in the Track Your Time and Enter Expenses training session.

Click Save.

Project Managers or project schedulers have additional functionality right from this report. They can right click on a task and have some options to Edit the task or even Suggest a Resource.

These update functions right from the report view makes it easy to select and update a number of different tasks across projects. For example, if a team member was off sick, you could select all their tasks assigned to them for the week and then have Project Insight suggest alternate resources.

Click anywhere on the white space on the form to exit out of that menu option.

You can also edit a task by click the Edit icon.

This takes you to the task add/edit form. Only the project manager or scheduler can edit the task details. Editing a task using this form is covered in more detail in the Build Your First Project training seminar.

Click the back button to return to the report.

Run all Overdue Tasks

This task report is showing all tasks regardless of their status.

It is including tasks that haven’t been started, are in progress or are done.

You can also see some sections have the end date displayed in red.

Click on blue header bar of that section to expand it out.

You can see that the task is overdue, because the End Date of the task is displayed in red.

Obviously, if a task is overdue, it needs your attention. To view and focus only on overdue tasks, click on the Display Options icon.

First, remove the grouping by Resource Type/Role as that is not important on the overdue task report.

Click on the Remove icon next to it.

Click on the Group By/ Sub Total Options to collapse that section.

Click on Report Filter Type Options to expand that section out.

Click in the drop down for Report Filter Types.

Click on Overdue Tasks.

Click on the white space anywhere on the layer to exit out of that drop down.

Click Run Report.

You can see that it still remembers what sections you had expanded previously.

You can also see that the query at the top now says it is only Overdue Tasks.

Click on the other projects to expand those out.

This is a list of all the overdue tasks and that were scheduled to occur this month.

You can review this list and address the reasons why the tasks are overdue and make the appropriate adjustments if necessary.

Of course, there are health indicators that you can monitor as a task is in progress to see if it is going behind schedule before you miss the due date, to see those, click the Display Options icon.

Click on the Column Selection Options section to expand that out.

In the Selected Columns, click on Name, because you want to add the health indicators just before it.

In the Available columns, scroll down to the columns starting with the letter I and double click on Indicator – Health.

Click Run Report.

You see obviously that each task has a red – behind schedule indicator because this is an overdue tasks report, but there are also some other automatic indicators as well that reflect problems in budget, cost and hours.

These indicators will start to appear automatically when a task is going off track but sometimes for shorter duration tasks i.e. less than a day the time frame is too short for in progress indicators to be meaningful and they just directly become overdue.

In either case, you may want to save this report and put it on your dashboard so you know immediately if a task on a project that you are managing becomes overdue.

This is a report that project managers commonly use.

To save it, click the Save Report icon at the bottom of the report.

You need to enter the name of the report. Overdue Tasks.

Click Save.

You’ll receive a message that your report has been saved. Click Ok.

You will see how to put a saved report on your dashboard later on in this session.

Create a Milestone Report

Another very common report that you may want to run is a milestone report.

Milestone tasks are very important on your project plan. Milestones may dictate deliverables or billable actions and they are often used in reporting.

To set a task as a milestone, you can do it directly from this report by clicking the Edit icon option and then checking the Milestone option on the task add/edit form.

More commonly though, you would create milestones when you are creating your project plan.

To do that, expand out the left navigation.

Click on Projects in My Work to expand that out.

Click on the Software Development project.

Collapse the left navigation.

Click on the arrow next to the Scope Summary task to expand it out, if it is not already.

A best practice that you should follow is to create a separate task to specifically indicate a milestone.

You don’t want to use the summary task to indicate a milestone, you want a separate task that represents the milestone.

You can see a separate task called Scope Complete has been set.

This is the milestone task for this phase of the project.

To see the full task details, right click on the Task, hover on Edit Task (inline) and select Edit Task Full.

You can see the Milestone flag is set.

Sometimes, project managers may try and use the summary task as the milestone task. This is not recommended.

The rule is to create a separate task specifically to represent the milestone.

This is required for reporting purposes. Summary tasks, with many child tasks may take weeks or months to complete. You don’t want milestones spread over a long duration, you want a very succinct and clear milestone event. That is why it should be a separate task that represents the milestone only.

Another best practice when creating that milestone task on your project plan is to make sure that it has 0 duration or a duration of 1 day or less.

Project Insight will allow you to enter a longer duration for a milestone task, but most often it is set with 0 duration or a duration of 1 day.

Usually the work hours for the milestone task are set as 0 as well.

Again, it is a best practice to have no financials recorded on the planned task amounts so you don’t want any Work Expense or Work Billable Expenses on your milestone tasks either.

Down below, are the Proposed Hours, Rate, Time and Expense fields.

This is where you do want to record financials, such as the billable amounts for labour and Time for milestone tasks. This is just touched on briefly in this training session. If you need more details attend the Managing Project Budgets for Professional Services training session and the Managing Fixed Price Projects training sessions.

Click the Back icon several times until you return to the task report.

To view milestones, click the Display Options icon.

Click on the Report Filter Types Options section to expand that out.

Click on Overdue Tasks to remove that filter.

In the Report Filter Types, type in MIL.

The list is narrowed down to those types that match that.

Click on Milestones.

Click on the white space anywhere on the layer to exit out of that drop down.

Click on the Report Filter Types Options section to collapse it.

You may also want to expand out the date range.

Click in the Dynamic Date Range drop down. Select Current Quarter.

Since this will be a smaller list of tasks, you may want to remove the grouping by as well.

Click on the Group By/ Sub Total Options to expand that section.

Click on the Remove icon next to the projects grouping to remove it.

Click on the Group By/ Sub Total Options to collapse that section.

Since you are no longer grouping by project, you will want to add back in the project column on the detail line.

Click on the Column Selection Options section to expand that out.

In the Selected Columns, click on Name, because you want to add the project name just before the task name.

In the Available columns, scroll down to the columns starting with the letter P and double click on Project to add it.

Click Run Report.

You can see all your milestone tasks and you can also see the health of those tasks.

You will also see that there are completed tasks still showing on this list.

You may want to make a few other adjustments to this milestone report.

Click Display Options.

Click on the Report Filter Types Options section to expand it out.

Click in the drop down for Report Filter Types.

Click on Incomplete Tasks.

Click on the white space anywhere on the layer to exit out of that drop down.

Click on the option that says Return only tasks that match all selected task report filter types on the left.

This means select only milestone tasks and ones that aren’t yet complete.

This setting basically sets the Report Filter Types with AND logic.

It means that all report filter types must be true in order for the task to be selected.

If it is left unchecked then it is an OR relationship, and if any one of the report filter types is true, then select the task.

Click on the Report Filter Types Options section to collapse it.

Now click on the Project Type & Project Options section to expand that out.

Click on Include Tasks in Projects Marked Planning.

Now you will see all incomplete milestone tasks for both planning and active projects.

Click on the Project Type & Project Options section to collapse it.

You may want to group the milestones by the week in which they occur.

Click on the Group By/Sub Total Options to expand that out.

Leave the Type set as Group By.

In the Column drop down, select End Date Month.

This will group the report so that you can see what milestone tasks occur in what month.

Click the plus sign icon.

Click on the Group By/Sub Total Options to collapse that.

Expand out the date range.

Click in the Dynamic Date Range drop down. Select Current Year.

This will give you a picture of your milestones for the entire year.

Finally, you may want to some of those financial metrics onto the task report that we briefly discussed earlier.

Click on the Column Selection Options section to expand that out.

In the Selected Columns, click on Work Status, because you want to add a new column just before that.

In the Available columns, scroll down to the columns starting with the letter P and double click on Proposed Total to add it.

You may also want to remove columns that you wouldn’t normally need on this type of report.

Double click on the Indicators – Health, Work Status, and the Resources to remove it from the report.

Click Run Report.

Now the task report, lists on all the incomplete milestones for both planning and active projects for the entire year.

It groups them by month.

You can also see what you are proposing to bill customers in that month.

Click on the date to expand that out and see the milestones tasks that occur within that date.

Click on the date to collapse it again.

At the bottom of the report, you can see the proposed value of all the outstanding billables for the entire year.

The milestones can be used to determine your proposed total revenue and is broken down by month.

Customize, Save and Share Task Reports

To save this report, click the Save Report icon at the bottom of the report.

You need to enter the name of the report. Type in Milestones by Month.

To share this report with others, in the drop down for the User, click the name of the User you want to share the report with.

You can also share with Groups of users. Click on the drop down for Groups to do that.

Click Save.

You’ll receive a message that your report has been saved. Click Ok.

Other users that you share this report with, will still only be able to see the data they have access to see. They will not see exactly what you are seeing if you have different access than they have.

Whenever, you or any other users that you shared this report with, run this report, it is real-time data as it resides currently in the database.

Refreshing Totals

Click on a date to expand a section out again.

Remember that you can update tasks right from the report view if you are assigned to the task or you are a project manager or schedule.

Click on the % complete for a task to mark it complete.

This report was set to show only incomplete tasks, but you have marked a task complete.

As soon as you do that, you will have a refresh option at the top and bottom of the report because Project Insight recognized that the information was changed and no longer matches those filters.

To fix that, just click Refresh Totals.

That completed milestone is now gone.

If you had exited out of the report and rerun it again, that task would be removed automatically because real-time data is used. This is just a way to have the refresh occur while you are still on the report.

Reports on Your Dashboard

If you have a saved a report that you access often, you may want to display that report on your Dashboard.

Click on My Insight icon to navigate to your Dashboard.

Click the > on the Tasks to collapse that section.

Hover on the Dashboard Options, icon and hover on Reports and click on Report 1 to put a report section on the dashboard

You can now see that report component on your dashboard.

Click on the Select a Report link

The report Display Options layer opens.

In the Report drop down list, select the name of the saved report you want to display.

In this case, you want to see all your overdue tasks as soon as you log in, so you can review them and address problems.

Click Save.

The report will now show on your dashboard.

Task and milestone reports give you instant access to the data that is important to you and they enable you to pro-actively manage projects, manage your work and do forecasting and planning.


Online 10/20/2015
Updated on: