You are on page 1of 169

AtTask Fundamentals

Course and Exercise Manual

Education
Copyright © 2011 AtTask, Inc.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by
any means, whether electronic, mechanical, photocopying, sound recording, or otherwise, without the prior
written consent of AtTask, Inc., except as permitted by law.
Printed in the United States of America.
First Edition, September 2010 (rev. 20110202)

2
3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION TO ATTASK ..................................................................................................................................... 9!
Lesson 1.1 AtTask Terms to Know ...................................................................................................................................................................... 10!
Lesson 1.2 AtTask Structure .................................................................................................................................................................................. 12 !
Lesson 1.3 Logging In and Out ........................................................................................................................................................................... 14 !
Lesson 1.4 Navigation .................................................................................................................................................................................................17!
Lesson 1.5 TeamHome Navigation ..................................................................................................................................................................23 !
Chapter 1 Exercises ...................................................................................................................................................................................................24 !
CHAPTER 2 PROJECT MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW ................................................................................................................. 25!
Lesson 2.1 Project Management Activities .................................................................................................................................................26 !
Lesson 2.2 Understanding Other Roles’ Responsibilities.................................................................................................................29 !
CHAPTER 3 BASIC PROJECT CREATION .................................................................................................................................. 33!
Lesson 3.1 Create A Project..................................................................................................................................................................................34 !
Lesson 3.2 Adding Tasks to a Project...........................................................................................................................................................46 !
Lesson 3.3 Other Gantt-Related Activities.................................................................................................................................................. 50!
Lesson 3.4 Assigning Role Resources to Tasks ....................................................................................................................................64 !
Lesson 3.5 Using Team Builder .........................................................................................................................................................................69 !
CHAPTER 4 PROJECT TEAM ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................. 75!
Lesson 4.1 Updating Task Assignments........................................................................................................................................................77!
Lesson 4.2 Recording Notes...............................................................................................................................................................................93 !
Lesson 4.3 Reviewing Notes ............................................................................................................................................................................... 97!
Lesson 4.4 Condition Updates...........................................................................................................................................................................98 !
Lesson 4.5 Attaching Documents to Projects........................................................................................................................................ 100!
Chapter 4 Exercises................................................................................................................................................................................................ 102 !
CHAPTER 5 LOGGING ISSUES .................................................................................................................................................... 103!
Lesson 5.1 Creating Issues.................................................................................................................................................................................. 104 !
Lesson 5.2 Viewing and Updating Issues ................................................................................................................................................. 108 !
Chapter 5 Exercises ..................................................................................................................................................................................................110!
CHAPTER 6 PROJECT ANALYSIS ................................................................................................................................................ 111!
Lesson 6.1 Search Options ...................................................................................................................................................................................112 !
Lesson 6.2 Using Views, Filters, and Groupings ..................................................................................................................................... 117!
Lesson 6.3 Built-in Reports: List and Chart .............................................................................................................................................. 120!
Lesson 6.4 Exporting Search Results and Reports............................................................................................................................ 123 !
Lesson 6.5 Dashboards .........................................................................................................................................................................................125!
CHAPTER 7 ATTASK HELP............................................................................................................................................................ 129!
Lesson 7.1 Using the Help Desk....................................................................................................................................................................... 130!
Lesson 7.2 The AtTask Community ...............................................................................................................................................................135!
Lesson 7.3 Internal Support Systems ...........................................................................................................................................................137!
END-OF-DAY EXERCISES .............................................................................................................................................................. 139!
WHAT’S NEXT?...................................................................................................................................................................................141!
Course Feedback.......................................................................................................................................................................................................141!
Professional Services Options............................................................................................................................................................................141!
AtTask Standard Courses......................................................................................................................................................................................141!
APPENDIX A ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 143!
APPENDIX B ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 147!
APPENDIX C ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 163!

4
INTRODUCTION

We would like to welcome you to the AtTask Fundamentals education course. We are honored to have you as a
guest at our education center.

The intention of our education program is to provide you with a world-class education experience and assist you
in obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the full potential of the AtTask solution.

Each AtTask education course has been designed to provide an opportunity for you to increase the depth of your
product knowledge and reduce your personal learning curve.

As an end user, the skills you will learn during your education experience will be applicable to your daily
responsibilities and add value to your organization. You will be able to share your new knowledge with fellow
team members to create a highly effective project team.

Thank you for your time and dedication to making AtTask an essential part of improving your organization’s
value and efficiency. If you have any questions, feel free to contact anyone on the Professional Services team.

In Service to you,

Jackie Golden
VP, Global Professional Services
AtTask, Inc.

5
YOUR COURSE OBJECTIVES

In order to assist the course facilitator to understand and help to meet your needs for this training course, please
provide a list of goals you would like to get out of this training. You will be asked to share these with the class,
and the instructor will incorporate, as much as possible, your objectives throughout the training.

Objectives for this Course

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

6
TENTATIVE TRAINING SCHEDULE

Time Estimates
(Eastern Time)
! Introduction 10 min 10:00 am - 10:10 am
! Introduction to AtTask 30 min 10:10 am - 10:40 am
! Project Management Overview 40 min 10:40 am - 11:20 am
! Break 10 min 11:20 am - 11:30 am
! Basic Project Creation 90 min 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
! Lunch 60 min 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
! Project Team Activities 30 min 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
! Logging Issues 30 min 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm
! Break 10 min 3:00 pm - 3:10 pm
! Project Analysis 40 min 3:10 pm - 3:50 pm
! AtTask Help 40 min 3:50 pm - 4:30 pm

7
8
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO ATTASK
“In the successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.”

Lou Holtz

An organization can be structured in many different ways. The structure of your organization will determine the
modes in which it operates and performs, ultimately deciding its success. AtTask was designed to make it easy
for project team members to find their work and see what they need to see in order to do their job. This chapter
will show you a simple and quick way to view the work you have been assigned and navigate within the
software.

9
LESSON 1.1 ATTASK TERMS TO KNOW
Accomplishments: The Accomplishments tab (or report) is located on each Team Member's profile.
The purpose of the report is to display all completed tasks and issues by the user.
Commit Date: The Commit Date is the agreed upon completion date set by the resource(s)
completing the work item.
Done: The 'Done' option allows you to indication when a task is complete or when part
of a task is finished. The Done button can be customized with additional options
for teams.
Help Requests: Help Requests are used in Stream to mitigate concerns and resolve issues
submitted by Team Members. By submitting a request or issue to a Help Request
Queue, a Team Member is able to communicate needs to the best individual or
individuals to get work done.
I’m Working With: The I'm Working With filter appears on the left-hand menu when a Team
Member accesses the Team area of the Team Member interface.
My Updates: This report displays the feed of updates provided by people who are working on
the same projects as you, as well as those who belong to the same Team as you.
The My Updates tab (or report) can be added to portal profiles within the Project
Management side of AtTask.
Notification Flag: A Notification Flag appears to inform a Project Manager when a change has
occurred to a task regarding a commit date.
Personal Tasks: Personal Tasks represent the work a Team Member performs outside formally
organized projects. Personal tasks provide the ability to capture all work you are
doing in one place and prioritize normal daily-activities along with assigned
work.
Project Condition Update: This is a view option generated on a report to allow project managers to see the
condition of current projects, tasks and issues.
Recent Updates: The Recent Updates area contains a streaming feed of notes and comments
generated as project managers and other team members post updates to their
tasks or issues. You will find the Recent Updates on the Home page of the Team
Member interface.

Stream: A Stream tab appears in both the Team Member interface and the Project
Management interface. In the Team Member interface, the Stream tab is located in
the Team area (accessed by clicking the Team link in the top navigation). It
contains a live feed of updates from users working with you. In the Team
Member interface, a Stream tab appears on the Project, Task, and Issue landing
pages to display just the notes and comments pertaining to that object.
Sorting: This feature allows Team Members the ability to control how items appear in the
Working On tab. The fields in the view of the report control the sort options that
appear in a Team Member interface report.
Team Member Views: A unique view specifically created for the Working On and Requests tabs in the
Team Member interface. Configuring the teams and assigning the view to those
teams represents the most efficient method to distribute the views.
Team Member: The term refers to any resources that function in a project collaborator role.
Team Requests: A Team Request represents a pending work item that unassigned to a specific
user resource. Instead, the request is assigned to a Team (a collection of resources
that perform the same type of work) and any member of the team can potentially
accept responsibility for the task.
10
Team: The Stream Team is a collection of people related by a common role or purpose.
This is different from a project team. Stream teams are individuals who may have
diverse job roles or serve various purposes, but are associated with a team in
Stream.
Work On It: The Work On It button communicates to project managers, team members, and
other key stakeholders when you accept a work item. When this button is
selected, AtTask transfers the work item from the Work Requests, or Team
Requests report, to the user’s My Work tab on the Team Member Home page.
Work Requests: A Work Request represents a pending task or issue assignment. Work Requests
are found on the Home Page of the Team Member interface under the Work
Requests tab.
Working On: In general, the term Working On refers to a report, which contains work items
users have agreed to complete. The Working On tab (or report) found on the
Home page of the Team Member interface contains the list of the Work Requests,
Team Requests, and Personal Tasks a team member has committed to complete.

11
LESSON 1.2 ATTASK STRUCTURE
While each organization must adopt their own unique Project Management Lifecycle (PML) – and many
organizations implementing AtTask already have – AtTask has been built upon a standard project lifecycle that
corresponds with industry standards. Once you understand this approach, you will be better equipped to deviate
from the AtTask Project Management Lifecycle and adapt it to match your own established methods. It is
important to organize your projects into phases that are industry-specific.

WHAT AM I LOOKING AT?


AtTask is essentially a collection of projects. AtTask is a web-based project management tool.

Figure 1. AtTask Projects.

Projects are made up of work. This work is either represented as tasks or issues.

Figure 2. AtTask Work Items.

12
A Task is an item of planned work that must be An Issue is an item of un-planned work that must be
completed in order for the project to complete. preformed in order for the project to complete.

Generally, a project plan consists of a Work If the issue is recorded against a task, the issue must be
Breakdown Structure (WBS) or a task list. completed before the task can be considered complete.

13
LESSON 1.3 LOGGING IN AND OUT
As mentioned previously, AtTask is a web-based Project Management tool. Your AtTask system administrator or
core implementation team will provide you with the URL your organization is using to access AtTask. You will
also be provided with login credentials for your own user account. If you do not know this information you will
want to find out who your System Administrator is and ask them to enlighten you.

If you do not already know your organization’s URL, you need to contact your AtTask administrator and/or the
implementation manager to access this information. Once you have this information, write it down.

http:// /

After inputting the AtTask URL, you will be presented with the Login Screen. See Figure 3.

14
Figure 3. AtTask Login Screen.

Input the Username and Password provided by your AtTask administration and then click the Login button.

My Username:
Never write down or disclose your AtTask password.

To log in to AtTask

1. Go the application URL.


2. Enter your username followed by your password.
3. After entering the password, click the Login button, or press the Enter or Return key.

NOTE

To log out of AtTask, simply click on the Logout link in the upper right of the
interface.

15
LESSON 1.3 EXERCISES
Exercise 1
If you know your organization’s AtTask URL, go to the login screen and then bookmark the page in your
browser or drag the URL to your desktop.

Exercise 2
Take the URL and login credentials provided by the AtTask Team Member course facilitator and login to
the testdrive account you will use for the rest this training.

16
LESSON 1.4 NAVIGATION
When you have logged in, your will see a page similar to Figure 1-4.

Figure 4. The AtTask Home Page.

17
Portal Tabs
Across the top of the interface you will notice a series of tabs (see Figure 2-3). Each tab contains anywhere from
one to three reports.

Figure 5. AtTask Portal Tabs.

NOTE

Portal tabs can be configured by your AtTask administrator to display unique reports needed
for your daily operations. You may see slightly different reports in your actual AtTask
environment.

18
The My Tasks Tab
To find the work that has been assigned to you, simply click on the My Tasks tab. In many AtTask
implementations, this is the only place team collaborators need to go to find their work.

Figure 6. The My Tasks Tab.

This tab contains three reports, and you should be aware of what each of these displays.

My Upcoming Tasks
The My Upcoming Tasks report displays tasks that meet all of the following criteria:
! Incomplete tasks
! Tasks on current projects
! Tasks assigned to “you” (the logged in user)
! Tasks due to start before the end of next week.

NOTE

The tasks listed in Figure 6 do not all belong to the same project. This report provides a view
of upcoming tasks across all the current initiatives you are working on.
19
My Issues
The My Issues report shows all incomplete issues that are assigned to “you”.

My Approvals
The My Approvals report displays projects, tasks, and issues that are awaiting your approval.

TIP

If the My Tasks tab is the first thing you want to see when you log in to AtTask, make sure the
My Tasks tab is being viewed and then click on the Pin Tab icon ( ) in the upper right of the
AtTask workspace.

20
The My Tasks Menu-Option
The My Upcoming Tasks report on the My Tasks tab only displays outstanding assigned items due in the next
few weeks. You may want to see all of your incomplete tasks. Simply click the My Tasks link on the left hand
navigation.

Figure 7. The My Tasks Report.

NOTE

This report is essentially the same as the My Upcoming Tasks report except the date range is
excluded from the filter.

21
To view the upcoming Tasks and Issues assigned to “you”

1. From the AtTask Home page, click the My Tasks tab.

To view all incomplete Tasks assigned to “you”

1. From the AtTask Home page, click the My Tasks link.

TIP

From most reports you have the ability to apply an additional Filter, change the View,
and set a Grouping. Apply the Active Tasks filter and observe what happens to your
list.

NOTE

In this case, Active means tasks that can be worked on right now. The planned start date
has passed and predecessors are complete.

22
LESSON 1.5 TEAMHOME NAVIGATION
AtTask presents a simplified the home page and navigation designed for Team Members. All work items
assigned to a team member appear on the home page as soon as he/she logs in. Other information related to
work is only one or two clicks away from the Home page.

1. Work Calendar: This calendar shows selected and completed work.


2. Working On: This is a team members personal work list. Only tasks and issues selected by the individual
team member will display here.
3. Work Requests: Team members go to this report to review, select, and reply to work requests assigned to
him/her.
4. Add Task: Team members can create individual tasks to capture all the work he/she is doing outside of
assigned project work.
5. Recent Updates: Displays a live feed of updates submitted by others you work with.

23
CHAPTER 1 EXERCISES
Exercise 1
Go to the My Tasks tab and click the Pin Tab icon. Click on the My Tasks link in the left-hand navigation
and, finally, click on the AtTask logo in the upper left corner of the page. Make note of the tab displayed
by default.

Exercise 2
Go to the My dropdown menu to select the Tasks option.

! What is the difference between this and the My Upcoming Tasks report?
! Do you notice any difference between this and the My Tasks report accessed through the left-hand
navigation?

24
CHAPTER 2
PROJECT MANAGEMENT
OVERVIEW
“The secret of all victory lies in the organization of the non-obvious.”

Marcus Aurelius

This chapter provides a brief overview of the AtTask Project Management Lifecycle (PML). The PML is a
reference for a logical sequence of activities. These activities are directed at achieving a project’s goals or
objectives. Regardless of scope, any project goes through a series of stages during its life.

Depending on the approach you take, this lesson will help you get a better understanding of what AtTask Project
Management can do for you and how it can be used within your own organization.

25
LESSON 2.1 PROJECT MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES
In general, to complete a project successfully, specific activities must take place. The Project Management Institute
(PMI) identifies five process groups (or phases) of a project’s lifecycle. The Six Sigma business strategy offers two
variations of a project methodology, depending on the type of project.
PMI Process Groups Six Sigma (DMAIC) Phases Six Sigma (DMADV) Phases
1. Initiating 1. Define 1. Define
2. Planning 2. Measure 2. Measure
3. Executing 3. Analyze 3. Analyze
4. Monitoring and Controlling 4. Improve 4. Design
5. Closing 5. Control 5. Verify

Even in an Agile environment there is an established workflow for taking an idea and transforming from a
backlog item into stories, sprints, and releases.

Regardless of the methodology you use in your organization, without following certain steps at the inception of
the project, you create a greater risk of failure for the project. Likewise, commonly accepted steps take place
during a planning phase and an execution phase.

The purpose of this lesson, and course, is not to instruct you on which methodology you should subscribe to;
rather, one of the several purposes is to identify the need of establishing a methodology. Once a methodology is
adopted, you can begin to translate the methodology activities into AtTask activities and features.

Figure 8. The Waterfall Project Management Lifecycle

26
Now is an appropriate time for you to ask the question, “How do I complete these activities using AtTask?” The
image below identifies how the waterfall activities correspond to AtTask features.

Figure 9. Waterfall Lifecycle with AtTask Features.

After you have identified your project management methodology and mapped the methodology activities to
AtTask features, you are ready to begin sorting out who is responsible for completing each AtTask activity and
using the different AtTask features.

NOTE

As stated previously, this course does not suggest using one methodology over another. In
Lesson 2.2 you will be introduced to the AtTask Project Management Lifecycle (PML). The
AtTask PML illustrates how to efficiently use AtTask to take a project request from the Idea
state through to the Complete status.

When followed, the AtTask PML provides a higher degree of data integrity, all individuals
know their responsibilities, and the features in AtTask begin to compliment each other.

27
LESSON 2.1 EXERCISES
Exercise 1

After completing the Fundamentals course, sit down with your AtTask Consultant and/or your
organization’s Implementation Team to fill in the following diagram.

28
LESSON 2.2 UNDERSTANDING OTHER ROLES’
RESPONSIBILITIES
While there are several approaches to completing projects, AtTask is designed to fit best within a traditional
waterfall environment. However, AtTask is flexible enough to accommodate a myriad of methodologies.

Regardless of the methodology your organization uses, one of your first tasks is to learn how AtTask was
designed to work. Once you understand how each feature works, you are then prepared to deviate from the
intended use and come up with other creative approaches to using the software.

You will begin by reviewing the AtTask Project Management Lifecycle (PML). The Lifecycle identifies several
activities that need to be performed to initiate, plan, execute, and eventually close a project.

The AtTask Project Management Lifecycle workflow in this course focuses on three
primary PPM roles:

1) Portfolio Manager: This may include Portfolio/Program Managers, Executives,


Resource Managers, and other Stakeholders.

2) Project Manager: This may include Project Managers and Resource


Managers.

3) Team Member: This is any resource on the project responsible for


receiving and updating assignments in AtTask.

* Each Portfolio Manager activity is accented with a red dot, the Project Manager activity is blue and Team Member
activities are yellow.

By understanding and implementing the following steps, you will be better able to build your project, understand
what needs to be done and decide who will do it. This lesson introduces two versions of the AtTask Project
Management Lifecycle (PML) with the steps each role will complete throughout the process of completing a
project.

The Simplified AtTask Project Management Lifecycle depicts the workflow of AtTask activities when using only
the Professional features of the software.

Figure 10. The Simplified AtTask Project Management Lifecycle.

29
The Standard AtTask Project Management Lifecycle represents the steps and activities completed by Project
Managers and Portfolio Managers who are using Enterprise features such as the Portfolio Optimizer and
Capacity Planner.

Figure 11. The Standard AtTask Project Management Lifecycle.

The Standard AtTask PML provides a greater degree of Executive oversight and cleaner transitions between
typical waterfall activities.

Whether using one of the AtTask Project Management Lifecycles or another one specific to the activities your
organization needs to complete in AtTask, documenting the workflow of project management activities is an
essential step to a successful implementation of AtTask. A documented workflow communicates a clear
transition between the activities of all project collaborators, and it distinguishes the lines between Executive
leadership and project management responsibilities.

NOTE

The remainder of this course utilizes the


Simplified AtTask PML to provide you with
a foundation of knowledge for the system.
The AtTask Project Manager and the AtTask
Portfolio and Resource Manager courses take
a deeper look at specific AtTask activities,
using the Standard AtTask PML as a guide.

30
The Standard AtTask Project Management Lifecycle
For your reference, the following provides an explanation of each activity in the Standard AtTask Project
Management Lifecycle. This is meant to be a guide as you develop your own project management methodology.

The Initiation Phase:

Project Request: This involves assessing the project and preparing to document a Business Case.
Portfolio Managers will prepare a project shell and include a description, information and any necessary
criteria to be submitted for further review.

Complete Business Case: By completing a Business Case you are able to present your reasons why a
project should be approved by your organization, and what value it will provide. It also allows you to
outline your goals, costs, and risks, create a scorecard, and ultimately calculate your Return on
Investment (ROI) and any benefits or opportunities involved. The Project Manager coordinates and
gathers information, helping the sponsor to complete the Business Case to be submitted for approval.
Changing the status of the project from Idea to Requested indicates the Business Case is complete.

Initial Approval: Once project requests are submitted, an appropriate committee or individual will
review all submissions to determine if they should be included as a priority in the project portfolio. The
status is then changed from Requested to Approved or Rejected.

The Planning Phase:

Plan Task Schedule: After defining the project, and getting the approval necessary to move forward,
Project Managers will change their Approved projects to the Planning status to communicate the active
stage of the project to stakeholders. Project Managers decide what tasks are needed and define schedule
durations and job roles using the Gantt chart.

Reserve Resource Estimates: Assess your requirements and observe availability for each job role using
the capacity planner. While in the planning status, the Portfolio Manager should include the project in the
Capacity Planner to reserve resources in the resource pool budget. The initial resource estimates provided
in the request will be used until a more detailed plan is prepared.

Prioritize projects: Decide what projects take precedence by comparing projects competing for the same
resource budget using the Portfolio Optimizer. From there you can better ascertain how to proceed,
determine the significance of each project, its tasks, and when a project will be implemented.

Submit Schedule for Approval: Once you have organized your priorities, projected your timeline,
identified critical dates, (absolute or relative to a start date), and completed the Business Case, you will
submit the schedule for approval.

Validate Resource Requirements: Review the resources available to your project. Verify with Project
Managers the needs, requests, the number of resources necessary to do specific jobs, and the hours
available in the schedule. Detailed planning and scheduling is often made with a Capacity requirement-
planning tool. For organizations that have a formal Resource Manager role, this is his/her primary
activity in AtTask.

Reconcile Schedule with Approved Budget: Make sure all aspects of the plan correspond with
approved schedules and project scope. If necessary, reconcile and reassess changes to match the resource
budget. Make sure you have what you need for a project.

31
The Execution Phase:

Resource Project with Team Members: This where you make job assignments. Using the Team Builder
tool, assign specific user resources to tasks meeting the skill sets identified through the initial role
assignments during planning. You can update your project status to Current at this point.

Accept Task Assignments: Take time to review your task assignments, work required, schedule
commitments, and understanding of a concrete outcome. If you have questions or concerns, take time to
resolve them with your Project Manager.

Negotiate Commit Dates: Once the schedule is approved, make sure each team member has accepted the
assigned tasks, understands their individual roles, and the expected contributions from the team as a
whole. If there are concerns over a team member’s ability or availability to complete an assignment, now
is the time to address it and try to resolve any concerns.

Update Task Assignments: In order to communicate fully with other project stakeholders, Team
Members should update the status of their tasks on a regular basis.

Manage Issues and Track Project Progress: As a Project Manager, you are responsible to make sure all
goes well on the project. By consistent management of the issues that appear on each task, and working
quickly to resolve concerns, you will be able to help each team member be successful and thereby assure
the success of your project.

Record Issues and Update Issue Assignments: It is imperative that you keep track of and record all
issues that emerge on a task or a project. Due to the magnitude and scope, some issues may result in
creating a new task solely to settle the issue. By updating the issue status you allow others to see your
progress and help to work out any issues that may emerge before it becomes a detriment to the project.
Uncontrolled issues are one of the most common causes of delay and failure on projects.

Review Hours and Add Billing Records: While the project is being executed, management
undertakes the process of reviewing and monitoring deliverables including managing time, cost, change,
tasks, issues, and all other forms of communication within the project. Hours are recorded to provide cost
and billing estimates as well as to schedule projections. Hours can also be used to generate billing records
that will be important when you create billing reports.

The Closure Phase:

Utilize the Process Improvement Worksheet: The Process Improvement Worksheet allows you to
compare and reconcile your template plan with the actual results of your projects created from a
template. This worksheet will assist you in improving your templates by comparing them to empirical
data.

32
CHAPTER 3
BASIC PROJECT CREATION
“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”

Theodore Levitt

Creating a project is the first step to structuring the way it will be managed. Once a basic format is established
you can better determine the activities necessary to organize and carryout the project. Depending on your project,
and the tasks throughout its life, you can begin to establish a functional approach and conduct the activities and
strategies to complete it. Having a well thought out plan is essential to the success and overall satisfaction in the
completion of any project.

This chapter shows you how to set up a project in AtTask. Here you will learn to:

! Create a project

! Add tasks to a project using the Gantt chart

! Assign resources to tasks in the Gantt chart

! Attach a document to a project

! Create and utilize a project template

33
LESSON 3.1 CREATE A PROJECT
Figure 12. Project Creation.

The first step to creating a project in AtTask is to create a container where all the project details will reside. These
details can include company and group associations, tasks and issues, as well as documents, notes, and hour
entries.

Figure 13. Project Attributes and Components.

34
Depending on the organization, this step is completed by either the executive sponsor or the project manager.

To create a new project

1. From the Create menu select the Project option.

2. Fill in the relevant information for


your project on New Project form.
3. Click the Save button.

NOTE

Project creation does not need to be long and drawn out. While there are approximately 30
fields to choose from on the Project Details and Related Information tabs, most organizations
do not use all of these fields.

Many of the fields have defaults that can be set on the Project Management Preferences page
and never have to be changed on the project creation form. Other fields, you may decide to
ignore because they do not feed the reports your organization uses to receive value from
AtTask.

Since not all the project data fields are relevant to every organization, this training will elaborate only on the
fields that are universally used by most organizations. For a full understanding of fields not discussed during this
course, refer to the diagrams on the following pages that define each field on the New Project form.

35
Commonly Used Project Fields
Project Details Tab Related Information Tab
1. Project (Name) 1. Owner
2. Description 2. Sponsor
3. Planned Start Date 3. Company
4. Template 4. Portfolio
5. Program

As defined by your organization’s project creation steps, project managers may also need to go to the Custom
Data, Approvals, etc. tabs to fill out additional information.

NOTE

Many fields can be set either by default as system preferences or they can be set in the
template. A well-defined template not only saves time while building out a work breakdown
structure, but it also streamlines the Create Project step and builds consistency across project
definitions.

The following attributes can be automatically populated through the template:


1. Related Information tab: Milestone Path
2. Custom Data tab: Category
3. Queue Properties tab: Publish As Help Desk
4. Queue Properties tab: Types of Issues
5. Queue Properties tab: New Issue Fields
6. Approvals tab: Existing Approval Process

NOTE

Many project components can also be set by default through the template:

1. Documents
2. Expenses
3. Goals
4. Queue Topics
5. Reminder Notifications
6. Routing Rules
7. Risks
8. Tasks
9. Team Members

36
Figure 14. New Project: Project Details.

More Information About a Few of the Project Details Fields


Schedule Mode and Planned Start/Completion Date
You can schedule a project from a start date or a completion date. If you schedule from the start date, you will
need to indicate the project’s planned start date. If you schedule it from completion date, you will need to indicate
the project’s planned completion date.

As you create additional tasks, AtTask will consider the durations and predecessors of all the tasks in the project,
and automatically calculate the planned project completion or start date depending on the schedule mode you
select here.

To select a date, click the calendar icon ( ).

37
Condition and Condition Type
In AtTask, you can automatically or manually set the project’s overall condition. There are three possible project
conditions:
! On Target. The project is on time and in good shape.
! At Risk. The project is behind the planned schedule, but not yet late.
! In Trouble. The project has passed the planned completion date and is late.

The condition is automatically calculated based on the progress status of the project. However, it is possible to
manually override the condition by modifying the Condition Type dropdown field.

By default, the condition type is set to Progress Status, which means AtTask will automatically track the project’s
condition based on the progress of the project’s tasks. If you change the condition type to Manual, you must set
the condition to On Target, At Risk, or In Trouble manually and manage any changes among these conditions by
hand.

Status
The status of the project communicates to team members what stage of the project lifecycle a project is in. Unlike
the condition, this setting requires a manual change as you move from one stage of the project lifecycle to
another. AtTask offers several possibilities for a project’s status:
! Idea. The project is still in an idea stage and has not yet been formally requested.
! Requested. The project has been requested, but no planning has taken place.
! When selected the Rejected and Approved status options become available.
! Planning. The project is not underway but is being planned.
! Current. The project is underway and active.
! On Hold. The project is on hold, perhaps because other projects have taken precedence or because of
financial constraints. However, interest in the project remains, so it is placed in a holding pattern rather
than dropped.
! Complete. The project is finished. The project manager normally manually sets the project as complete as
he or she verifies that all work is done.
! Dead. The project is no longer being pursued and it is not expected that it will be reactivated.

The following figure identifies the possible status selections from each status.

38
Figure 15. Status Progression

NOTE

System Administrators can customize


Project, Task, and Issue status options. If
your account of contains different or
additional status options, be sure to request
information regarding the intended use of
each status from your Implementation Team.

39
Figure 16. New Project: Related Information.

40
More Information About a Few of the Related Information Fields
Completion Mode
Completion Mode has two options: Manual and Automatic. Manual is the default setting and requires the project
manager to update the status of the project must be manually updated to ‘Complete’ once all tasks and issues
within the project have been completed, in the Project Details tab.

When you select Automatic, AtTask changes the status of the project to ‘Complete’ when all of the project's tasks
are complete and all issues have been resolved. After this occurs, you cannot change the status of the project
unless you change this field back to Manual.

Update Type
Using Update Type, you can set the circumstances under which AtTask updates the project's schedule timeline
and associated labor costs. The following list describes the update types you may choose.
! Automatic. Each day, project schedules and costs are updated automatically.
! On Change. Updates occur automatically as changes are made to project and task schedules.
! Automatic and On Change. Updates both automatically and on change. (This is the default option. Best
practice is to use this option.)
! Manual. Updates only when you manually choose to update the project.

Schedule
When a specific schedule is attached to a project, AtTask uses that schedule to calculate the project timeline. If
you do not assign a schedule, then AtTask assigns this project the system default schedule, which is Monday
through Friday 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. When only a job role is assigned to a task or multiple users are assigned to a
task, AtTask uses the schedule that is assigned to the project. If no schedule is assigned, the system default
schedule is assigned. Otherwise, AtTask will use the schedule assigned to a single user to calculate the project
timeline.

Recorded Changes
The Recorded Changes checkboxes determine which changes are recorded as notes so you can track changes
made to the project. In AtTask, this function is also called an audit trail. These records help you track the
following changes:
! Status Change. This includes changes that affect the status of a project such as completion percent or
project status.
! Attachment Action. This includes changes to a document that has been attached to an object.
! Scope Change. This includes changes in project scope, such as changes to the duration of tasks, forced
working dates in schedules, work assignments, and so forth.
! General Edit. This includes additional changes that have taken place, such as changes to names,
descriptions, and other informational fields that are not covered by the other types of changes.

41
Review
Project creation is made easier when you realize you will not be using all of the project fields that make AtTask
versatile. Using only the fields in the Commonly Used Project Fields lists, the specific steps to create a project
would be:

1. Go to the Create menu to select the Project option.


2. Input a name into the Project field.
3. Provide a narrative Description of the project.
4. Select a date the project will start on.
5. Select a Template.
6. Click on the Related Information tab.
7. Identify the project manager in the Owner field.
8. Identify the Sponsor of the project.
9. Identify the customer of the project in the Company field.
10. Select the Portfolio and Program this project belongs to.

42
Practice Exercise 1
Scenario:

Your boss just informed you that you will head up the opening of an overseas office in Germany. This is a
high profile project and you know it will be carefully watched. To make sure you are thorough, create a
project container for the Overseas Office Opening. You want to start planning the project as soon as possible.

Steps:

1. Create a new project and name it Overseas Office Opening.


2. Provide a brief description.
3. Using Schedule from Start Date, set the planned start date to next Monday.
4. Set the project status to Planning.
5. On the Related Information tab, set yourself (Michael Scott) as the Owner.
6. Select Ryan Howard as the Sponsor.
7. Select Dunder Mifflin, Inc. Corporate in the Company drop-down.
8. Make sure the Group is set to Management.
9. Click Save to create the project.

Practice Exercise 2
Scenario:

You have been selected to manage the company's next software release. You're not sure when you need to
begin the project, but the software is scheduled for release in six months.

Steps:

1. Create a new project and name it Semi-annual Software Release.


2. Provide a brief description.
3. Set the project status to Planning.
4. Select the New Product Development template.
5. On the Related Information tab, set yourself (Michael Scott) as the Owner.
6. Select Dunder Mifflin, Inc. Corporate in the Company drop-down.
7. Make sure the Group is set to Management.
8. Click Save to create the project.

43
LESSON 3.1 EXERCISES
Exercise 3.1
After completing the Fundamentals course, sit down with your AtTask Consultant and/or your
organization’s Implementation Team and build out your organization’s specific project creation steps.
Realizing different projects may have different initiation steps, you are provided with several step
outlines below.

Our Project Creation Steps for Projects

1. Go to the Create menu and select the Project option.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Our Project Creation Steps for Projects

1. Go to the Create menu and select the Project option.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

44
Our Project Creation Steps for Projects

1. Go to the Create menu and select the Project option.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Our Project Creation Steps for Projects

1. Go to the Create menu and select the Project option.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

45
LESSON 3.2 ADDING TASKS TO A PROJECT
Figure 17. Plan Task Schedule.

Once you have created the project container to hold all the project details, tasks can be added to through the
Gantt chart. The first step is to access the Gantt chart.

From the Navigation screen of the newly created From the Navigation tab or any other project-level
project, simply click the Gantt Chart button in the screen, click on the Gantt Chart link on the left-hand
workspace. navigation menu.

Clicking either the Gantt Chart button or link will present you with your task plan in an interactive Gantt tool.

46
Figure 18. Gantt Chart Diagram.

47
To create a task in the Gantt chart

1. In the spreadsheet section of the Gantt chart, click the + Add Task… link. A new task row will appear.

2. Double-click the cell containing temporary (default) Task Name, and input a name for the task.
3. Enter necessary task attributes in the columns that follow.
As you enter tasks in the spreadsheet, the Gantt chart will automatically display the bar representation of
these tasks on the right.
4. When you are done, click the Save button.

Commonly Used Task Fields


As with the creation of a project, when creating a task you have a lot of options you may or may not use.
However, depending on the overarching objectives of your AtTask implementation, some of the fields may
become more important to you (and other Project Managers as well).

Task Creation Fields


1. (Task) Name
2. Duration Type
3. Duration
4. Work Required
5. Planned Start Date and/or Predecessor

If you want to add or remove a particular column, click the Add and Remove Columns
icon ( ), and check or uncheck the column you wish to add or remove.

You can rearrange column order by dragging a column heading to where you desire, or
you can resize a column by moving the border between two columns using your mouse
cursor.

Practice Exercise 3.2.1


Scenario:

An organization preference is communicated to you from the system


administrator and the AtTask Implementation Manager that all Project
Managers need to use the Duration Type and Work Required columns in
addition to the columns shown by default in the Gantt tool.

Steps:

1. Click the Add and Remove Columns icon ( ) to display the available
options.
2. Select the Duration Type and Work Required options.
3. Click anywhere else in the Gantt tool to close the options menu.
48
Practice Exercise 3.2.2
Scenario:

Rearrange the columns on the worksheet panel of the Gantt tool to look like the image below.

Practice Exercise 3.2.3


Scenario:

Build out a simple task list for the Overseas Office Opening project.

49
LESSON 3.3 OTHER GANTT-RELATED ACTIVITIES
This section provides instruction on performing the following Gantt Chart activities:

1. Creating Subtasks
2. Defining Predecessor Relationships
3. Setting Duration and Effort Estimates
4. Editing Tasks

1. Creating Subtasks
An important part of defining a project’s task list is to identify parent-child relationships. Parent tasks allow
project managers to organize project plans and communicate the sub-deliverables that make up a larger task.

To create a subtask in the Gantt chart

1. Right-click on the task that you want to become a subtask.


2. Select the Indent option.

SCENARIO

The Review locations with agent task and the Finalize rental agreement task are both sub-
deliverables of the Secure office location task. Additionally, Purchase office equipment and Obtain
telecom services are children to the Office Build task.

Update the project plan to reflect these parent-child relationships. You project should appear
as follows.

To set multiple tasks as subtasks at one time (to complete the scenario described above)

1. Click on the task number for Review locations with agent.


2. Shift-click on the task number for Finalize rental agreement.
3. Control-click on the task number for Purchase office equipment – (Command-click on Mac).
4. Control-click on the task number for Obtain telecom services.
5. Right-click on any of the highlighted tasks.
6. Select the Indent option.
7. Click the Save button to commit your changes.

50
2. Defining Predecessor Relationships
As you notice, all tasks in the Gantt Chart line up at the planned start date of the project, which means all tasks
are scheduled to start on the project start date. Now what you need to do is to sequence those tasks so they will
accurately represent the task schedule you need for the project.

One way to sequence tasks is to specify a start and completion date for every task. You can do this simply by
double-clicking into the Start Date field and inputting a new date, or you can drag the task bar to a different date
on the Gantt tool.

However, this method has the potential to create problems when you are managing these tasks later. If you
specify a start and completion date for each task, you will need to manually edit all tasks and change those dates
when any one of the tasks is adjusted.

To avoid this problem, it is recommended you simply set durations and effort (work required) estimates for tasks
and use predecessor relationships to sequence the tasks. This method will allow AtTask to automatically update
the scheduled dates of dependent tasks when any predecessor task’s duration changes.

To create a predecessor relationship between two tasks using the chain function

1. Select the tasks that need to occur in sequence.


2. Right-click on either of the selected tasks, and click the Chain
option.
The relationship will be applied to all selected tasks.

51
SCENARIO

The Secure permissions to open office task must occur before the Secure office location task can
begin. Additionally, the two subtasks in the Secure office location task should occur in sequence.

Update the project plan to reflect these predecessor relationships. You project should appear
as follows.

To complete the scenario described above

1. Click on the task number for Secure permissions to open office.


2. Shift-click on the task number for Secure office location.
3. Right-click on any of the highlighted tasks.
4. Select the Chain option.
5. Click on the task number for Review locations with agent.
6. Shift-click on the task number for Finalize rental agreement.
7. Right-click on any of the highlighted tasks.
8. Select the Chain option.
9. Click the Save button to commit your changes.

52
Practice Exercise 3.3
Scenario:

The Office Build task should start after the Secure office locations task is complete, and the Hire office support staff
task should occur after Secure permissions to open office.

To build these relationships

1. Click on the task number for Office Build.


2. Control-click the task number for Secure office locations.
3. Right-click on either of the selected tasks, and select the Chain option.
4. Click on the task number for Hire support staff.
5. Control-click the task number for Secure permissions to open office.
6. Right-click on either of the selected tasks, and select the Chain option.

Alternate approach to build these relationships

1. Click into the Predecessor column for the Office Build task.
2. Input the task number of the Secure office locations task – 2.
3. Click into the Predecessor column for the Hire office support staff task.
4. Input the task number of the Secure permissions to open office task – 1.

53
3. Setting Duration and Effort Estimates

Duration Type Summary


Duration Type selection is an important, if not critical, part of project planning. Without selecting the correct
Duration Type and providing realistic Duration and Work Require estimates it becomes difficult to project costs,
duration, and communicate the amount of time project collaborators should spend on each task.

Figure 19. Duration Type Chart.

54
An important part of communicating expectations for task assignments to team members is to plan the duration
and effort for each task. Realistic duration and effort estimates also allow you to derive financial estimates, track
allocation across projects, and more accurately use the Capacity Planner.

What’s the difference between Duration and Effort?


Duration:
The total window of time allocated when the work will be completed.

Effort (or Work Required):


The total number of man-hours needed to complete the task.

SCENARIO

The following table outlines the Duration and Effort expected for each working task in the
Overseas Office Opening project.

Secure permissions to open office task is expected to take 1 month to complete, but is only
expected to take 60 hours of effort.

Duration Effort

Secure permission to open office 1 month 24 hours

Review locations with agent 2 weeks 16 hours

Finalize rental agreement 1 week 8 hours

Purchase office equipment 2 days 6 hours

Obtain telecom services 2 weeks 20 hours

Hire office support staff 4 weeks 40 hours

Duration Types
Calculated Assignment:
Calculated Assignment is normally used when a single resource is assigned to the task. It provides Project
Managers with the ability to input individual duration and effort estimates.

55
Calculated Work:
Calculated Work is best used when multiple resources are assigned to the same tasks and additional resources do
not decrease the duration of the task. Instead, by adding resources, the total number of hours increases.

The default assumption for Calculated Work tasks is that all resources assigned to the task are allocated for the
full duration of the task. Therefore, the Work Required field is inactive when the Calculated Work option is
selected. However, project managers can change the allocation of each assignment by inputting a percentage onto
the assigned resource (i.e., [25%]) following the name listed in the assignment column.

In the following image, make note that when one resource is assigned the Work Required is set to the number of
hours available in the Duration.

When two resources are assigned, the Work Required is double the Duration (in hours).

Notice the Work Required decreases to 25% of the Duration (in hours) when [25%] is appended to the
assignment.

56
Effort Driven:
The Effort Driven duration type is used when multiple resources are assigned to the same task and the duration
of the task decreases.

The default assumption is that all resources assigned to the task are allocated for the full duration of the task.
When Effort Driven is selected, the Work Required field becomes inactive. Appending a percentage (i.e., [25%]) to
an assignment, designates the daily commitment needed for that resource during the duration of the task. The
Work Required is always set equal to the Duration (in hours).

When working heavily with Effort Driven tasks, it is recommend you add the Planned Duration column to the
worksheet to see the impact of multiple assignments.

Note that nothing changes when a single resource is added to the task.

However, when a second resource is added or the percent allocation of the resource increases, the value
displayed in the Planned Duration column will decrease.

57
Notice that when the percentage allocation of a single resource is reduced the Planned Duration increases
proportionately.

58
SCENARIO

The following table outlines the Duration and Effort expected for each working task in the
Overseas Office Opening project.

Secure permissions to open office task is expected to take 1 month to complete, but is only
expected to take 60 hours of effort.

Duration Effort

Secure permission to open office 1 month 24 hours

Review locations with agent 2 weeks 16 hours

Finalize rental agreement 1 week 8 hours

Purchase office equipment 2 days 6 hours

Obtain telecom services 2 weeks 20 hours

Hire office support staff 4 weeks 40 hours

To input the Duration and Work Requires values for each task provided in the above scenario

1. Change the Duration Type for each working task to Calculated Assignment.
2. Input 1 month into the Duration field for Secure permission to open office.
3. Input 24 h into the Work Required field for this task.
4. Repeat these steps for the other working tasks using the suggested values.

TIP

To change the Duration Type in the Gantt worksheet, you do not have to double-click into
the cell and select it from the drop-down.

You can simply highlight the field and type ‘a’ for Calculated Assignment, ‘e’ for Effort
Driven, and ‘w’ for Calculated Work, and then navigate away from the cell.

NOTE

It is not necessary to provide duration or work estimates for parent tasks because they are
defined by the summary of their children tasks.

59
4. Editing Tasks
There are three ways to modify tasks apart from editing the task in the Gantt worksheet:

1. The Edit Task dialog box in the Gantt tool


2. The Edit Task page
3. The Bulk Edit page

To access the Edit Task dialog box in the Gantt Chart

1. Highlight a task by clicking on the task number.


2. Right-click on the task and select Edit Task.

Selecting the Edit Task option will open the Edit


Task window. In this window, you have three
tabs:
1. Details
2. Predecessors
3. Assignments

Under the Details tab, you can change common


task attributes.
Under the Predecessors tab, you can change the
information about predecessor relationships.
Under the Assignments tab, you can edit task
resource assignments. Please also remember that
information in the Gantt spreadsheet is editable as
well.

To access the Edit Task page

1. Highlight a task by clicking on the task number.


2. Right-click on the task and select the View Task option.
3. Click the Edit Task link in the left-hand menu.
The Edit Task page is usually only needed for
advanced task setup.
Most task attributes can be set through the Gantt
Chart. However, to modify certain default task
creation settings (defaults are usually set globally
and do not deviate from task to task), you will
need to access the Edit Task page.
Actions that can be completed on the Edit Task
page that cannot be completed in the Gantt Chart
include:
1. Setting Revenue and Cost Types
2. Creating Cross-Project Predecessors
3. Assigning Custom Data Categories
4. Setting Approval Processes

60
To access the Bulk Edit page

1. Highlight the tasks you wish to make the


same change to by Control-clicking on each
task’s task number.
2. Right click on any of the selected tasks.
3. Select the Edit Tasks option.

4. Enable the field(s) you wish to modify for all


of the selected tasks.
5. Input a value into or select the option for the
field(s) you enabled.
6. Click the Save button to store the changes.

61
Gantt Chart Keyboard Shortcuts

Action Key Stroke


Delete Delete

Undo Control Z

Redo Control Y

Zoom Out One Level Control -

Zoom In One Level Control +

Zoom to Fit Control 1

Indent Task(s) Control ]

Outdent Task(s) Control [

Open/Close Sidebar Control \

Save Control S

NOTE

Mac users should use the Control key, not the Command (⌘) key. In many cases the
Command combination will work; however, in others the combination is an already
established browser shortcut that will navigate you from the current page.

TIP

If you are interested in using AtTask for resource management and/or financial reporting, be
sure you have added (and instruct all Project Managers to add) the Duration Type and Work
Required fields to the worksheet side of the Gantt.

62
Practice Exercise 3.3.2

SCENARIO:

Create the portion of the project plan show below for the Semi-annual Software Release project created in the
previous lesson.

NOTE: Be sure to include realistic Duration and Work Required estimates.

63
LESSON 3.4 ASSIGNING ROLE RESOURCES TO TASKS
After creating tasks for a project, the next thing that you need to do is to assign resources to the tasks you created.
While it is possible to assign either role or user resources at this stage in the game, it is recommended you only
assign roles to the tasks.

To assign job roles to tasks in the Gantt chart

1. Click the Show Sidebar icon ( ).


2. To assign a job role, click the job role tab ( ). A list of
all job roles will be displayed.
3. To assign a job role, drag the name of a resource to a task.

To assign users to tasks in the Gantt chart

1. To assign a user, click the user tab ( ). A list of all


users will be displayed. Users are grouped by their default
job role. Click on the name of a job role to see the users that
fill that role.
2. To assign a user, drag the name of a resource to a task.
3. You can use the Search bar to narrow your list of job roles
or users.

To remove the resource assignment

1. On either the worksheet or chart of the screen, select the


task you want to remove the resource from. The name
will appear on the sidebar under the People Assigned
label.
2. Place the mouse over the name in the sidebar, then the
delete icon will appear.
3. Click the delete icon ( ).

Assignments can also be modified through the Assignments column of the worksheet panel. This is sometimes
the preferred method for adding and removing resources on tasks. The Gantt Chart tool uses predictive type
ahead functionality to streamline the process of adding resources. Simply use commas to add multiple resources
to the same task.

64
Why do you suggest only adding role resources at this point?
There are several reasons it makes sense to only add role-based assignments at this point in the planning process.
They include:

1. If you intend to use strategic resource planning tools like the Capacity Planner, a role assignment on tasks
is necessary to ensure the most accurate information is being used in that tool.
2. Billing override rates for calculating task revenue only work on tasks with role-based assignments.
3. You don’t have insight into how resources are already allocated. The tactical resource-planning tool, the
Team Builder, provides this vision. It is recommended you wait until the project is about to launch and
use the Team Builder to make the user assignments.
4. Depending on the duration or length of the project, you may not know who is going to be available six
months to a year out into the future, and you don’t want to resource your project only to find out a
person is not available or no longer works for the company – another reason to wait until project launch
to use the Team Builder.
5. The Team Builder works best when it matches on role assignment and user availability.

In short, you don’t have to build your project plans with role assignments; it is only a recommendation. However,
if you plan on taking advantage of the functionality dependent on role-based assignment, it is strongly
recommended you adopt this practice in your project planning.

TIP

Don’t make a decision on whether your organization requires role assignments on tasks until
after you have completed the remainder of this course, or at least wait until the section on
using the Team Builder.

65
Assigning Tasks to Teams
You are now able to assign tasks to teams. A Team is a group of individuals that can complete the same types of
work. This includes individuals of diverse job roles or purposes who often function in a working unit.

Requests appear in the Team area as long as no other team member has claimed the work item. If a Project
Manager assigns a team to a task, the task will show up on each team member’s Team Requests tab. The
individual will then have the ability to accept the team task.

Keep in mind individuals may belong to multiple teams.

To Assign a Task to a Team in the Gantt chart

1. Add the Team column to the Gantt chart by clicking on the Add or Remove column icon and selecting
Team.
2. Type the name of the team you wish to assign in the Team column.
3. Click Save. The task will now show on the Team Requests tab.

NOTE: You can also assign a team to a task or issue through the Bulk Edit option.

The task will now appear on the Team Requests tab where team members can select the task, agree to a commit
date and update progress.

66
The project manager’s Working On tab shows the top three work items their team members have committed to
work on. These items are either listed according to the priority given to them by the Team Member or by commit
date. To see all work items a team member is working on, click the More option.

67
Practice Exercise 3.4

Add at least one job role assignment to each task in the Overseas Office project you created in the Lesson 3.2
exercises.

Steps:

1. Go to the Recent menu to select the Overseas Office project.


2. Click the Gantt Chart link in the left-hand menu.
3. Expand the Resources Sidebar and activate the Roles view.
4. Drag a role onto several of the working tasks in the project plan.
5. If the Team column is not already displayed, locate the Add or Remove Columns icon and include the
Team column.
6. Assign the Creative Team to one of the tasks by typing the team name in the Team column next to the
task you want assigned to them.

68
LESSON 3.5 USING TEAM BUILDER
Figure 20. Resource Project with Team Members.

In addition to the Team Management tool, AtTask provides a more advanced function that allows you to manage
your project team and assign them to tasks. This function is called Team Builder.

The purpose of the Team Builder is to provide an intuitive, user-friendly interface for creating and managing a
project team and assigning them to tasks. AtTask’s internal scheduling engine and matchmaking logic can
determine the best match between team members and tasks they should be assigned to. This matching is based on
job roles assigned to tasks and users’ job roles and work schedule. The Team Builder’s matching functionality will
help you make smart decisions. The matching functionality is most effective when tasks are assigned to job roles
first, users are assigned to their appropriate job roles, and user schedules are correctly set up. You can also view
resource allocation of users in the Team Builder.

To access to the Team Builder, simply click Team Builder in the contextual menu from a project page.

69
Figure 21. Team Builder Interface.

The interface is divided into two major areas, and users and their work schedules are displayed in the upper
panels and tasks and the project schedule in the lower panels.

To add users to a project team with Team Builder

1. Go to the User panel.


2. If you have already assigned a group to the project then click on the Group tab in the panel. Users in the
group are displayed in the panel. Decide which users you want to include on the project team and select
the check box in the Add User to Project Team column.
3. You can also click on the All tab and all AtTask users will be displayed in the panel. Select the check box
again to add a user to the team.
4. Now click on the Team tab and all users who have been selected will be displayed under the tab.
5. To remove a user from the project team simply uncheck the checkbox next to that users name.
6. Click the Save button to save your changes.

70
To assign a user to a task in Team Builder

1. Click on the far left cell of the desired task’s row from within the Task panel.
2. All users who are available to perform the task will be highlighted in the User panel (NOTE: users will
only be highlighted if matching criteria is selected in the Team Builder preferences).
3. Drag the task and drop it on the name of the user who you would like to perform the task. This action
automatically (1) adds the user to the project team if the user was not on the team, and (2) assigns the task
to the user.
4. To remove the task assignment simply right click on task name in the User Panel and select Unassign
Tasks.
5. Click the Save button to save your changes.

You can also click on a user’s name in the User panel and all the tasks that the user can perform will be
highlighted in the Task panel. AtTask performs this match making highlight based on the following criteria:
! User’s job roles found in user’s profile
! User’s Team Job Role
! User’s Available Work Hours

Matching only works if:


! You assign job roles to the tasks in the project, and/or
! Users have their work schedule in AtTask.

The most effective way to use the Team Builder may be to assign job roles to the tasks in Gantt chart and then
come back to the Team Builder to determine which users can perform each task.

Use either the Work Schedule and Task Schedule panels as a reference when you are making decisions about
whom to include in the teams. In the Work Schedule panel, you can see the users’ available work hours. Any cell
in red indicates that the user is over allocated for the particular time period.

The Task Schedule panel lets you view a Gantt view of tasks, the hours required for tasks, or the remaining hours
needed to complete tasks. If you assign the task to a user the work required or remaining hours will empty out.

The drop down menu in the upper-right corner of the Team Builder gives you the option to change how the Team
Builder displays users’ allocation. User allocation can be displayed in Hour, FTE (Full Time Equivalent; by default
8 hours is one FTE), or Percent.

71
Other Team Builder Related Actions
! Hold down the mouse button (left mouse button on a two-button mouse) and move the cursor left and
right on the timeline. It will zoom in and out of the Work and Task Schedule panel.
! Right click on the timeline (Control-Click on the Mac). It will open up a menu from which you can choose
different zoom options.
! If a task has subtasks or a user has task assignments, they are hidden by default. Click the triangle next to
the name of a task or user to show or hide the subtasks or the assignments.

Table 1. Team Builder Icons.

Icon Name Icon Description


Zoom In and Zoom Zoom into or out of the Work and Task Schedule panels.
Out
Undo and Redo Undo or Redo the most recent action.

Preference When you click the Preferences icon, you can (1) control what information
to display in the columns in the User Panel; (2) control what information to
display in the columns in the Task Panel; (3) control what information to
display in the Gantt chart; and (4) customize match making conditions
Full Screen Toggle between full-screen and normal views of Team Builder.

Edit Job Roles Edit team members’ job roles. You can only edit the job roles that are
assigned to the project. Before you click this icon, make sure that you
have assigned job roles to the project.
Legend Provides an explanation of the colors used in Team Builder.
Filter Filter and search users or tasks based on different filtering options.

72
Practice Exercise 3.5.1

SCENARIO:

You have built a project plan and assigned job roles to all of your tasks. Now you want to solidify your project
team and begin to populate their work schedules with project work. Use the team builder to add another user
to the team and assign some of the tasks to users.

Adding a user to the project team:

1. Access a project using the Recent drop down menu.


2. From the Navigation Tab, click on the Team Builder area button.
3. In the top left section change the tab from team to all.
4. Select the user you want to add to the project team by clicking in the box on the left.

Assigning a user to a task:

1. Click and hold the left side of a task, drag it up to the user section, and drop it on the name of the
desired user.

Practice Exercise 3.5.2

SCENARIO:

You have built a project plan with job roles. Now you want to assign names to tasks based on who is available
and who has the right skill set. Activate the matching tool and use it to find someone best suited for a task
outside the project team, and assign him or her accordingly.

Activating the matching tool:

1. Click on the preferences icon and select the matching tab.


2. Activate the matching function to match on work required and user roles and click OK.

Assign someone to a task outside the project team:

1. Change the tab setting on your user list from 'Team' to 'Group' or 'All'.
2. Click on the left side of a task and use the matching tool find someone outside the project team who is
suited to complete a task.
3. Review the user's scheduled hours in the calendar and compare to the work required for the task.
4. Assign them to the task by dragging the task name over the user name.

NOTE: Assigning a user to the team from the group or all tab may require the appropriate access level. If
you have the appropriate access, the user will automatically be added to the project team.

73
74
CHAPTER 4
PROJECT TEAM ACTIVITIES
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent”

John Donne

In project management, it is important to remember that planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring
about completion of a project is dependent on how the project is undertaken at each phase. Team management is
imperative to establishing a higher level of construct; that is managing a group of related and interdependent
resources that may be working on several equally related and interdependent projects.

In the previous chapter, you learned how to assign users and job roles to tasks using the Gantt chart. Whenever
users or job roles are assigned to tasks, these resources are added to the project team. It is often necessary to find
ways to communicate to your team members so they know what you are doing and how your project is
progressing.

This chapter introduces two methods for communicating assignment progress to project managers and other
team members. You will learn how to access and utilize specific update tools. The tools you will focus on are the:
! Update Task Assignments
! Completion Status Worksheet
! Updating Timesheets
! Recording Notes
! Reviewing Notes
! Attaching Documents to Projects

75
Before addressing the topics listed above, briefly review two steps included in the AtTask Project Management
Lifecycle that are not discussed directly in the course material.

Task Assignments

Figure 22. Task Assignments.

In the Project and Portfolio Management software, team members who receive assignments from project
managers usually indicate they have accepted the assignment in one of two ways:

1. They communicate via note (discussed later in this chapter) that they will get the work done, or
2. They change the status of the task from New to In Progress (discussed later in this chapter) that they have
actually started working on the task.

In the first scenario, team members sometimes include in this communication more time and/or resources are
needed to accomplish the work on time. If this request is made, then the next step of the Project Management
Lifecycle should take place.

Negotiate Commit Dates

Figure 23. Negotiate Commit Dates.

When users need additional time and/or resources, the Project Manager needs to work with the team member(s)
assigned to the task to identify ways the task can be completed on time without drastically increasing the planned
scope of the task.

In the past, this negotiation may or may not have occurred inside of AtTask. Generally, when it took place in
AtTask, it was in the form of note communications. Now the ideal tool for negotiating new commit dates is
available as Updates because updates sent through AtTask become part of the project or task history or Stream.

If you plan on including these steps in your organization’s Project Management Lifecycle, pay particular attention
to the Updates lessons that follow.

76
LESSON 4.1 UPDATING TASK ASSIGNMENTS
Figure 24. Update Task Assignments.

This lesson will show you how to prepare your team members to perform updates to their task assignments. As
the project manager you can rely on your team members to provide updates so you know when the next steps of
the project can begin. They will also benefit from updating their tasks because it eliminates work from their own
to do list and they won’t have to remember where they left off.

By the end of this lesson, know how to:


! Navigate to the Updates tab.
! Use this interface to provide updates.

77
Updates Tab

To Navigate to the Updates tab

1. From the
AtTask Home
page, go to
the My Tasks
tab.
2. Identify a
task you need
to update,
and click on
the task’s
name.
You will be
presented
with the
Update
Status tab
where you
can review
the task
details and
see
attachments
and other
details.

3. Click on the
Updates tab
if you are not
already there.

You will then


see the
update field
for the task. .

78
The Update Task Status Tab.

Completion Status

There are two fields that help communicate the state of a task: Status and Percent Complete.
! Status: Allows you to identify the status of a task through a standard label. The default
options are:
! New
! In Progress
! Complete

79
To Update a Task Using Percent Complete

1. Navigate to the More tab and select the Update Task Status option.
2. Under the Completion Status drop down, choose the option that best applies and set a percentage that
best fits the status of the task.

NOTE

When you change the status to Complete, AtTask will set the Percent Complete field to 100.
Likewise, if you set the Percent Complete to 100, AtTask will change the status to Complete.

80
Actual Start Date
As soon as you make a change to either of the Completion Status fields, the Actual Start Date field is set to one of
the following dates:
! Today’s Date and the Current Time: This date is used if the task is started early.
! The Planned Start Date of the Task: This date is used if the Planned Start Date and Time is in the past.

NOTE

In case you forget to set a more accurate start time, @AtTask will assume that everything was
started on time or ahead of schedule. You are the only person that can provide a more
accurate date.

Actual Completion Date


As soon as either of the Completion Status fields is set to Complete or 100, the Actual Completion Date field is set
to today’s date and the current time.

Hours
Another important piece of data you can provide while making updates to your assignments is the number of
hours (amount of effort) you have spent on the task. Project Managers will use this information to make more
accurate project plans in the future.
This directly benefits you because project and functional managers have more realistic expectations on how long
certain activities take to complete. When you record hours, you provide the real life data they need to do their
jobs better, which in turn makes your job easier in the future.

Hours
The Hours field is where you input the number of hours spent on the task since your last update. Table 3-1
provides examples of acceptable values and common decimal representations of fractions of hours.

Table 2. Acceptable Hour Inputs.


NOTE

Time Value Hours Entry AtTask stores all previous hour entries
5 minutes .08 individually, so be sure you only input your
share of the hours worked since your last
10 minutes .16
update.
15 minutes .25
30 minutes .5
45 minutes .75
1 hour 1
90 minutes 1.5
2 hours 2

81
Apply Hours To
This dropdown field displays the other resources assigned to the task. It is designed to allow managers to record
time on behalf of another team member. You will not normally need to utilize this field.

TIP

If the update Task Status tab is the first thing you want to see when you click into a task, while
viewing this tab, click on the Pin Tab icon ( ) in the upper right of the AtTask workspace.

The following figure provides brief descriptions of each Update Task Status tab field.

Figure 25. Update Task Status Tab Diagram.

82
Timesheet Mode

The Timesheet Mode allows you to update hour entries to create a more accurate record of work.

To Access and Use the Timesheet Mode

1. Click the Timesheet Mode link on the


Update Task Status tab to display the
Timesheet Mode interface.

2. Input hour entries for each day. Use the back arrow to see the dates for the previous week.

Figure 26. The Update Task Status Tab with Timesheet Mode Enabled.

83
When will I need to use the Timesheet Mode?

There are several reasons why you may need to backdate your time entries. These might include:
! If you forgot to log time for a previous day. You should always try to put your hour entries on the day
you did the work for more accurate reporting and so project managers can create better plans for future
projects.
! If you have been working on a task for multiple days or weeks, working a total of 20 hours on the task,
and this is the first update you are providing. You may want to spread out the 20 hours across the several
days instead of claiming you worked 20 hours on a single day.

84
Completion Status Worksheet
If you have several tasks to update, it can be time consuming to have to click into each task, provide the update,
go to the AtTask Home page, and repeat.

Figure 27. The Update Cycle

2. Go to
1. Find a the
Task Update
Status Tab

4. Go to
3. Update
the @task
the Task
Home

To avoid this back and forth, you may consider using the Completion Status Worksheet, which is available from
any task list.

To access and use the Completion Status Worksheet

3. From the Home page, go to the My Tasks


tab.
4. Use the checkboxes to the left to select
several of the tasks you need to update from
the My Upcoming Tasks report.

5. Click on the Status Worksheet option from


the more options drop-down.

The Completion Status Worksheet is shown below.

85
Figure 28. The Completion Status Worksheet.

The Completion Status Worksheet organizes tasks by project and only displays the tasks selected from the task
list.

Notice nearly all the same fields appear on the Completion Status Worksheet as seen on the Update Task Status
tab.
! Status and Percent Complete work just like these two fields on the Update Task Status tab.
! Hours also represents the amount of effort since your last update.
! The Start and Completion fields are the same as the actual date fields on the Update Task Status tab.
They represent the actual dates the work began and was completed.

NOTE

Parent tasks (tasks that have subtasks) cannot be updated and are grayed out when they
appear in the Completion Status Worksheet.

TIP

The Apply Hours To option does not appear on this worksheet. Through the Completion
Status Worksheet you cannot record hours for another resource. Go to the Update Task Status
tab to do this.

86
The Timesheet
The Timesheet is another interface you may want to use to record time spent working. Depending on your
organization’s requirements, your Implementation Team might recommend this as the sole method of time entry.

Figure 29. The Timesheet Interface.

87
To Access Your Timesheet

1. Go to the My menu to select the Timesheets option.


2. Click on the date range link for the time period you want to record.

Timesheet Rules

! Timesheets are organized into weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly time frames.
! Timesheets display any task that has time recorded within the date range of the timesheet.
! Any time recorded through the Update Task Status tab or the Completion Status Worksheet will
automatically appear on your timesheet for the corresponding time period. Be aware that until you access
and save the data on your timesheet, these hours will not count toward your timesheet.
! Timesheets will also, by default, display up to 15 of the tasks or issues that have actual dates set for the
current week, the previous week, and the following week.

NOTE

An AtTask administrator can re-define many of the above rules. If you notice different
behavior, be sure to ask your Implementation Team for clarification.

88
Reviewing Hours and Adding Billing Records

Figure 30. Review Hours and Add Billing Records.

The Review Hours and Add Billing Records steps in the AtTask Project Management Lifecycle is closely related
to task updates in that these steps have to do with hours, costs, billing, etc.

Specific instructions on these options are provided in both the Project Management and Portfolio Management
courses.

89
Negotiating Commit Dates
When a team member receives a task or issue assignment, he or she has the choice to accept the proposed
completion date or to renegotiate the date to one they will most likely be able to complete. The team member can
suggest a new date and leave a note to send back to the Project Manager.

Once this occurs, the project manager receives notification of the newly proposed date. The project manager can
now view the date with the option to accept the new date or to continue to negotiate with the team member.

90
The project manager can see how the proposed date will affect the project by opening the Gantt chart. The
commit date will show up as a stake in the timeline of the project when the Projected Timeline Option is turned
on.

91
If the Project Manager agrees with the date change, he or she can adjust the work item’s planned completion date
by changing the task constraint to ‘Must Finish On’ and selecting the date the team member provided. Otherwise
the Project Manager could continue to negotiate the date with the team member or assign the task to someone
else.

92
LESSON 4.2 RECORDING NOTES
All team members have full access to the project journal or notes log. The notes log serves to store all
communication as part of the historical record of the project. Having access to this information means you no
longer need to search through emails, voicemail, or strain to recall the conversation or minutes from a meeting.

As project managers and team members consistently leave notes on tasks and issues during updates to work, you
should have fewer questions about who did what and when.

In addition to comments left during an update, AtTask records system notes to identify how the project has
evolved.

To View Notes on a Project

1. From any project report, click on the notes


icon (like the one on the Projects tab of the
home page), click on the project name (use the
Corporate Sales Initiative project).
2. Click on the Notes tab or the Notes area
button.
3. Give the note a subject, fill in the content, and
mark the recipients you want to receive the
note. Members of the project team with
AtTask licenses are the only ones who can
receive notes.

NOTE

A project, task, or issue with user-entered comments/notes will have an illuminated Notes
icon ( ). A project, task, or issue with an un-illuminated Notes icon ( ) may still have system
notes on it. Either option will present you with notes for the project.

93
Figure 31. Project Notes History List.

94
Figure 32. My Updates and notes.

When a Team Member or Project Manager leaves a comment or submits an update, a note will appear on the My
Updates tab. This tab can be filtered to view updates for a specific project or from a specific team.

The Recent Updates function in a similar manner to the notes in the Team Member interface. The recent updates
display the comments and notes generated by team members when they make updates to a work item.

95
To Make Updates

1. From the Working On tab, select the Update Status option.

2. Enter a comment or update in the text box.

3. Change the commit date if necessary.

4. Update the status to reflect the status of the task. Click Update when finished.

96
LESSON 4.3 REVIEWING NOTES
As you already know, you can add notes to a task on the Update Task Status tab; however, the Optional
Comment box only appears after modifying one or more of the values on the update form. Sometimes it is
necessary to leave a note on a task or project outside of an update. The steps provided in Lesson 4.1 to view the
notes on a task or project are the same steps to get to an Add Note interface.

NOTE

The Optional Comment box did not require a Subject, but the Add Note interface does.

The rules for message recipients are the same on both the Optional Comment box and the Add Note interface.

Message Recipients
It is possible to direct a note to a specific individual or to several resources. The users displayed in the Message
Recipients area are individuals also assigned to the project team. If a resource is displayed in bold, it means
he/she is assigned to the task.

NOTE

A bolded resource will automatically be checked if it is someone other than you.

If you would like to direct the note to a person who does not appear in the list, click the search icon ( ) to
temporarily add an individual to the list of possible recipients.

By default, optional comment notes are delivered to other resources through an internal messaging system. The
Messages link in the upper right of the interface indicates you have unread messages.

To send notes to the recipient’s email inbox, simply mark the Email Notes checkbox found below the Comment
area.

97
LESSON 4.4 CONDITION UPDATES
Due to the sheer amount of information available in AtTask, project managers now have the option to view a feed
of updates on their projects concerning the project, task, and issue condition. The Condition View allows a project
manager to see all his or her current projects and conditions.

To View the Project Condition

1. Navigate to the My navigation drop-down.

2. Scroll down and select projects.

98
3. In the View drop-down, select Condition.

4. Notice the feeds posted along with the condition of the project are listed in the condition column. This
view will show what projects are at risk or in trouble, as well as those that are on target for on-time
completion.

99
LESSON 4.5 ATTACHING DOCUMENTS TO PROJECTS
AtTask lets you upload an electronic file (document, image file, etc.), and attach it to a project. You can load more
than one file if you like. You can even upload different versions of a document. Here are some procedures you
can follow to manage documents in a project.

To Attach a Document to a Project

1. Go to a target project page.


2. In the left-hand menu, expand the Attachments submenu
3. Click the New Document link. The New Document screen appears.
4. Locate a desired file by clicking the Browse button.
5. Enter a description if you would like one. This is optional.
6. In Version you can enter a version for the file. For now, just leave this at 1, the default.
7. If you check the Is Private checkbox, the document will only be visible to its subscribers and to those who
have View All Document privileges.
8. To add another document, click the link. To delete a document, click the delete icon ( ).
9. When you are done, click Save.

Figure 33. New Document Form.

100
To Find documents

1. While your target project is open, click attachments and View Documents from the contextual menu.
2. From the list of documents, click on the name of the document you want to view.
3. Click All Versions in the contextual menu to view all versions of the document.

To Download a Document

1. Using the previous procedure, go to the documents list page.


2. Click the ( ) link in the View column. The file will be downloaded to your computer.

To Upload a New Version of a Document

1. Go to a documents list page, and click on the name of the document you want to upload a new version.
2. From the contextual menu, click New Version. A New Version screen appears.
3. Locate and upload a new version file by clicking the Browse button.
4. Click the Save button. You can view a list of all versions by clicking All Versions from the contextual
menu.

To Delete a Document

1. Go to a documents list page.


2. Choose a document you would like to delete by selecting the checkbox next to the target document. Use
the Control (Windows), Command (Mac), or Shift keys to select multiple documents.
3. Click the link.

101
CHAPTER 4 EXERCISES
Exercise 4.1
From the My Tasks tab, click on a task that does not have an illuminated notes icon. If you selected a task
that has a percent complete value greater than 0%, you will likely see system notes on that task.

Exercise 4.2
Leave a note on this task to communicate that you are running late on this assignment, and send it to
other resources on the project.

Exercise 4.3
From the Recent menu, go to any project or task. Then record a note on that work item.

Exercise 4.4
Navigate to the My drop-down menu and select Tasks. Use the Condition view to observe the condition
of your tasks.

102
CHAPTER 5
LOGGING ISSUES
“There are myriad ways to fail. There are very few ways to succeed.”

Steve Yager

Sometimes a Project Manager will underestimate the planning, cost, time, and pain required to roll out a
particular project. This can create a serious uphill battle if it is not handled appropriately. Having unresolved
issues on a project can waste resources and be detrimental to your project.

Therefore, you may be asked to log issues you have identified. As discussed previously, an issue normally
represents unplanned work that comes up during the execution of a project. Often it is a team member or project
collaborator who first notices an obstacle or problem that could hinder progress on the project. Recording issues
can then raise the alarm and that will save the project.

The two AtTask Project Management Lifecycle steps displayed below in reality take place simultaneously – while
the project is in an execution phase. The topics addressed in this chapter provide an introduction to Issue
Management activities for Project Managers and Resource Managers.

Figure 34. Manage Issues and Track Progress Status.

Figure 35. Record Issues and Update Issue Assignments.

103
LESSON 5.1 CREATING ISSUES
While working on a project or task, it is not uncommon for problems to pop up or for obstacles to arise. AtTask
refers to these surprises as issues. AtTask enables you to document the problem, communicate it to the project
team, and track its progress, all with a few simple clicks.

It is important to remember that issues can be logged against either a project or a task. Whether you record the
issue at the project level or on a task really depends on the specific problem. The following offers some
suggestions to help you.

When should the issue be recorded at the project level?


! If the problem impacts the completion of the project overall, and not of a specific task, then you will want
to record the issue directly on the project. Some examples include:
! If there is an omission in the task plan that impacts the quality of the project unless it is added to the plan
! Errors or defects found in the project documentation or charter

When should the issue be recorded on a task?


! If the problem is specific to one task, then generally the issue is recorded on the task level. Some examples
include:
! If you were assigned to the task and you feel you shouldn’t be.
! If an unforeseen limitation has come up that needs to be resolved before you can continue working on
your assignment. For example, you might record an issue if the materials or data needed to complete the
task have not yet arrived.

104
To Create an Issue

1. From the project or task screen click the New Issue link from the left-hand menu.
2. In the Issue Type drop-down select Issue. This is set to Issue by default.
3. Enter a name for the issue in the Name field (this is a required field).
4. Enter any other relevant information in the other form fields. Click submit when you are finished.

Figure 36. The New Issue Form

NOTE

The standard Issue Types include:


! Issue
! Bug Report
! Request Change
! Order
Only Issues is enabled by default.

105
Project Managers will configure the New Issue form for each project to meet the needs of the project. Figure 5-1
shows the default New Issue form for Team Members, which contains just a few fields. Your organization may
enable several additional fields, as seen below.

Figure 37. The Expanded New Issue Form.

Whether you have a simple or complex New Issue form on the project, you can only provide the information you
know. Don’t feel overwhelmed by all the fields if they aren’t applicable to your issue; simply ignore them.

The project manager should review each issue to ensure the project is completed on time. If he/she has questions,
they know how to contact you and will ask for more detail.

106
To Upload a Document Associated with this Issue

1. While on a New Issue screen, click the


New Document tab.
2. Use the Browse button to navigate to a file
to upload.
3. Add a description for the file in the
Description field, if you’d like.
4. You can enter a version number for the
document if you wish. This will help you
differentiate between different files that
may have the same name but are a
different version.

5. Click Is Private if you want to keep this document private. A private document is only visible to
subscribers or for those who have privileges to view all documents.
6. To upload an additional document, click the Add Document link, or if you want to delete a
document before it gets uploaded, click the delete icon ( ).
7. When you are ready to upload your document(s) and submit the issue, click the Save button.

NOTE

You can also click Attachments ! New Documents in the contextual menu when you are in
an issue page to attach your document. As you know, this option is available for both projects
and tasks as well.

107
LESSON 5.2 VIEWING AND UPDATING ISSUES
Now that you have learned how issues will be created, let’s discuss how to view issues that are associated with a
task or that are in a project. Keep in mind a project manager will be interested in reviewing how issues are
progressing and to verify that all issues are assigned to the correct resources. Other team members will also use
the Open Issues reports to look for assignments and provide updates to issues they can assist with.

To View and Update all the Issues Added to a Task or a Project

1. Through the Recent menu, select the project you submitted an issue to in the previous section.
2. From the contextual menu click View Open Issues. Open issues are unresolved and need attention.
3. Click on the Update Issue Status tab to record any changes to the issue.

Figure 38. The Issue Details Screen.

An alternative is you can click View All Issues from the contextual menu. This report displays all issues for the
project, resolved or not.

Also, when you see the issue icon ( ) in any list of projects or tasks, you can click on the icon to go to the
associated issues.

NOTE

When viewing all issues, a project manager can use the Issue Status Worksheet to make
updates to several of the issues at once.

108
Figure 39. Issue Status Worksheet Link.

If you click on the link it will take you to a page similar to Task Worksheet where you can bulk create issues. You
can use this option when you want to create or edit multiple issues at once.

109
CHAPTER 5 EXERCISES
Exercise 5.1
From the My Upcoming Tasks report, go into any task. Click the New Issue link on the left to record an
issue called Network Outage and provide a description to explain why you could not access the files
necessary to complete the task.

Exercise 5.2
From the Issue Details screen, click on the name of the project the issue resides on. Click the New Issue
link on the left to record an issue called Missing Resources and provide a description to indicate you
think more people need to be added to the project team.

110
CHAPTER 6
PROJECT ANALYSIS
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress.
Working together is success.”
Henry Ford

Now that you are familiar with AtTask and some of its functions, it is time to decide what methods and tools you
can use to help you get the most detail and best snapshot of your projects. What do you want to see when you log
into AtTask? What reports will be of most value to you and your organization? How do you want those values to
be represented?

This chapter provides a brief introduction to reporting option in AtTask. The topics discussed in the following
lessons are meant to provide you with context of basic reporting terminology and to allow you to leverage
existing reports provided with AtTask until you can attend the AtTask Reporting course and/or your AtTask
Consultant prepares custom reports for your organization’s implementation. For a more in depth understanding
of reporting capabilities, you are invited to attend the AtTask Reporting course.

Figure 40. Manage Issues and Track Progress Status.

111
LESSON 6.1 SEARCH OPTIONS
In Chapter 4 you learned you could go to the My Tasks tab to find tasks and issue assignments. Sometimes you
know a task or issue exists, but the item does not appear in the reports on the My Tasks tab. Common reasons the
work item doesn’t appear on the My Tasks tab include:
! The task is not yet due to start.
! The task or issue is work you have already completed and want to review.
! The work item is on a project that has a Planning, On Hold, or Complete status.
! It is an issue you submitted and is not assigned to you.

AtTask provides a number of search options to find the work items you need.

The Quick Search Field


One of the most useful search options is the Quick Search field, which is found in the upper-right of the interface.
Figure 6-1 shows where this field is located.

Figure 41. The Quick Search Field.

Quick Search Rules


The keywords input into the Quick Search field are matched against the following attributes:
! ID: This is the database ID set when the item is created.
! Name: The name that is provided on the New Task, New Issue, etc. form.
! Description: The description that is provided for the item (if it is exists).

The items returned in the search results are also dependant on the object type selected.

112
To Use the Quick Search Field

1. Click on the icon to the left of the Quick Search field to select the object type
you want to search.
2. Input your search text into the field.
3. Hit the Return/Enter key.

NOTE

If the icon already displayed in the field represents the object you wish to search against, then
you can skip step 1.

113
The Find Menu
The Quick Search field is useful when you know the specific name or ID of a task or issue, or when you are
searching for an item of work based on a keyword from the description. However, from time to time, you may
want to input more specific search criteria. This is done through a Find menu search.

Figure 42. The Find Menu.

SCENARIO
You may want to search for tasks that meet all of the following conditions:
! Assigned To Me Tasks
! Incomplete Tasks
! Progress Status is At Risk, Behind, or Late
! Tasks on Current, Approved, or Planning Projects

114
To Perform the Task Search Described in the Scenario

1. Go to the Find menu to select the Tasks option.

2. In the Quick Lists field, select the My Tasks option.

3. Mark the appropriate Project Status checkboxes.

4. Mark the appropriate Progress Status checkboxes.

5. Mark the appropriate Status checkboxes.


6. After defining the search criteria, click the Search
button.

Figure 43. Search Results.

115
The other fields on the search screen may be used to further refine the search or may be left blank. You will want
to become familiar with the search options on the Search Fields and the Advanced Search tabs to know what your
search options are.

Figure 44. The Task Search Fields Tab. Figure 45. The Advanced Search Tab.

NOTE

Each option in the Find menu has a unique search form. To search for projects, select the
Projects option; select Issues for issues; and Users for users to produce the correct search form.

116
LESSON 6.2 USING VIEWS, FILTERS, AND GROUPINGS
AtTask allows you to view reports in a variety of ways. You can choose the method that best fits your needs. This
is done through Filters, Views and Groupings. You can search for and view projects that have a common element,
or that need to be used in a specific way. AtTask allows you the flexibility to see reports in a way that is most
helpful to your personal needs.

Figure 46. Default View of Tasks.

Filters

You can use the Filter dropdown menu to limit the view based on the given information. For example, from the
Filter dropdown menu, select My Tasks. Only the tasks that are assigned to the logged-in user will be shown in
the view. Play around with some of the other filter options such as Incomplete Tasks or My Late Tasks. When you
are done, choose the Filter menu item of None.

Views

Views control what columns are displayed in a view. You can change which fields are displayed using the View
dropdown menu. Try some of these views from the View menu—like All Dates or Status—to see the difference in
the views.

Groupings

Items in a list report (such as this list of tasks) can be organized in AtTask using Groupings. For example, if you
group this task list by job role, then the tasks assigned will be organized under job roles that are assigned to the
tasks. Try different groupings from the Group menu such as by Assigned To (assigned users) or Project. You can
click on the blue heading to hide or show grouped rows. When you are done select a grouping of None.

117
Figure 47. Tasks Grouped by Job Role.

118
Practice Exercise 6.2.1
Scenario:

Using the My Upcoming Tasks report on the AtTask Home page, review the Milestone Tasks you are assigned
to. You will use the Milestone Tasks filter, the Project Outline view, and the Project grouping during this
exercise.

Steps:

1. Go to the My Tasks tab on the AtTask Home page.


2. From the Filter drop-down on the My Upcoming Tasks report, select the Milestone Task filter.
3. Then select the Project Outline view from the Views dropdown.
4. Finally, select the Project grouping from the Group dropdown.

Practice Exercise 6.2.2


Scenario:

Access the My Projects report on the AtTask Home page, and review the data in this report using the On Time
filter, the Earned Value view, and the Group grouping.

Steps:

1. Go to the My Projects report by selecting Projects from the My drop-down.


2. From the Filter drop down on the My Projects report select the On Time filter.
3. Then select the Earned Value view from the Views drop down.
4. Finally, select the Group grouping from the Group drop down (sounds redundant, but you are
grouping a list of projects by what user group they have been assigned to).

119
LESSON 6.3 BUILT-IN REPORTS: LIST AND CHART
AtTask ships with a number of built-in reports on various project-related information. AtTask’s built-in reports
can provide list or aggregate reports. Built-in reports can all be found initially as Global Reports in the Reports
section.

To Use a Built-in List Report to Find Tasks with ‘Behind’ or ‘Late’ Status

1. From the expandable application menu, click Reports.


2. In the workspace, select the Global Reports. You can see a list of available built-in reports.
3. Find Trouble Tasks from Report list, and click Run.

If a report is specific to a particular project, task or issue then it can also be accessed at the desired object’s page.

Simply click Reports from the object’s contextual menu. If you click on the link you can see an object-specific
report list. Reports can be run from here as well.

Reports in AtTask come in two forms: list reports and aggregate reports. Some of the basic differences between
the two are as follows:
! List reports are used to compare data while aggregate reports are used to summarize (or aggregate) data
! List reports produce one report while aggregate reports produce three reports (Results, Summary, and
Chart)
! Aggregate reports can be displayed in a graphic chart – these charts are dynamic and the details can be
drilled into from the chart

Figure 48. Global Reports Screen.

120
Figure 49. Commonly User Built-in Reports.

Report Name Description


Issues By Status Chart Issues grouped by status (New, In Progress, Awaiting Feedback etc.)
displayed in a pie chart
Tasks By Progress Status Chart Current tasks grouped by progress status (On Time, Behind, Late etc.)
displayed in a pie chart
Projects By Condition Chart Projects grouped by condition status (On Target, At Risk, In Trouble)
displayed in a pie chart
My Projects A list of current projects that the logged-in user is a member of the
project team
My Tasks A list of tasks assigned to the logged-in user
My Issues A list of issues assigned to the logged-in user
My Submitted Issues A list of issues submitted by the logged-in user
Project Calendar A calendar containing a list of current projects that the logged-in user is
a member of the project team
Task Calendar A calendar containing current tasks assigned to the logged-in user.
Hours By User Chart Hours grouped by the user who submitted them displayed in a horizontal
bar chart

Exporting and Printing a Chart Report


If a user wants to export or print the chart report, they can click on the Print Chart link or right click on the chart
report and select Save as Image or Print Chart.

The Print Chart link allows a user to print the report, and when you choose Save as Image, the report is exported
as jpeg image and saved on your computer.

Practice Exercise 6.3.1


Scenario:

Run the Projects by Condition Chart report from the Reports area. Remove the slice of the chart that
represents projects that are In Trouble and then drill into that portion of the report to see a list of those
projects that are “In Trouble”.

Steps:

1. Select Reports from the Expandable Application menu.


2. Sort the global reports in alphabetical order by clicking the Name column header.
3. Scroll down the Projects by Condition Chart report and click the report name to run the report.
4. Right click on the report and select Enable Slicing Movement.
5. Then click on the red portion of the pie chart that represents In Trouble projects.
6. Right click on the report again and click the Enable Links option.
7. Finally, click on the red portion of the pie chart again to drill into the report and see a list of the In
Trouble projects.

121
Practice Exercise 6.3.2
Scenario:

Find the list of My Submitted Issues in the Reports area of AtTask.

Steps:

1. Select Reports from the Expandable Application menu.


2. Sort the global reports list in alphabetical order by clicking the Name header.
3. Find the My Submitted Issues report and click the report name to run the report.

122
LESSON 6.4 EXPORTING SEARCH RESULTS AND REPORTS
Users have the ability to export data from various searches, lists, and reports in AtTask. For example, a list of
tasks can be exported to one of several formats. This functionality is available for all lists in AtTask. AtTask gives
you the option to export to these formats:
! PDF
! MS Excel
! Tab Delimited (tab-separated values or TSV)
! HTML (Zipped)

To export lists

1. Navigate to the list you want to export using AtTask's navigation screens. Alternatively, from the
navigation menu, click Find ! Object and fill in the search screens to access the object report.
2. In any list, mark the checkbox to the left of the results you want to export.

NOTE

This step is optional. You may skip to step 3 to simply export the entire list.

3. Click the export icon ( ).


4. From the export menu, select the format into which you want to export the data, as listed above.

Depending on the operating system you use you may have the option of opening or saving the file. Either save
the file to your hard drive or open it with the associated application.

123
Practice Exercise 6.4.1
Scenario:

Export a copy of the My Projects report to PDF format.

Steps:

1. Find the My Projects report from the My drop-down.


2. Click the icon and choose the PDF Portrait option.

Practice Exercise 6.4.2


Scenario:

Export a copy of the Projects by Condition report found in the Reports area.

Steps:

1. Click Reports form the Expandable Application menu.


2. Sort the global reports in alphabetical order by clicking the Name column header.
3. Find the Projects by Condition Chart report and run it by clicking the report name.
4. Click the Print Chart link in the top right corner to export to PDF.

124
LESSON 6.5 DASHBOARDS
Dashboards allow users to customize workspace tabs. While system administrators control portal profiles, any
full-license user can customize a dashboard. Like a portal profile, you can customize the workspace tabs in the
following locations using dashboards:
! The @ task Home page
! A Project landing page
! A Task landing page
! A Issue landing page
! A Portfolio landing page (*Enterprise Only)
! A Program landing page (*Enterprise Only)

NOTE

The dashboard function in a project, task, issue, portfolio, and program page is called Custom
Tab.

Figure 50. Example of an AtTask Dashboard.

125
To Create a New Custom Dashboard

1. From Home page, click the tabs option.


2. Give the new dashboard a name at the Dashboard Details page. This is required.
3. Give it a description (optional).
4. Checking the ‘Make available to other users’ checkbox will put this dashboard in the System
Administrator’s queue of dashboards to display globally.
5. Next, select a layout. There are seven layouts available: One for a one-column layout, then three each for
two-column and three-column layouts.

NOTE
If you do not type a name for the dashboard, the name defaults to the name of the first
report that you add to the dashboard.

6. Select the desired reports from the Available Reports to include in the dashboard by dragging and
dropping them onto the layout pane. Reports can be rearranged on the layout pane by dragging and
dropping. You can also search for reports in the search/filter box at the top of the section.

NOTE
You can add up to 12 reports to each dashboard.

7. Use the remove icon ( ) next to the name of the selected reports to remove reports from the layout.
8. Click the Save button.

126
Figure 51. The New Dashboard Screen.

Creating custom tabs in projects or other objects

1. From within any project, click the tabs option on the right of the project home page.
2. Select the New Custom Tab option.
Repeat the same steps for creating a custom dashboard.
The only difference between a Dashboard and a Custom Tab is where it is accessible from. Custom Tabs can also
be created at Task, Issue, Portfolio, and Program levels.

127
Practice Exercise 6.5.2
Scenario:

Create a custom tab at the project level that displays your Tasks, Open Issues, and Expenses all on one tab.

Steps:

1. Find any project in the system and go to that project’s home page.

2. Click from the row of tabs and Select the New Custom Tab option at the bottom of the menu
3. Name the custom tab Work and Expenses.
4. Chose the One Column layout.
5. Drag and drop the Tasks, Open Issues, and Expenses reports on to the dashboard layout.
HINT: Use the filter field to find the reports more quickly.
6. Click Save.
7. To make this custom tab a permanent part of the project page, click the tab Dashboard Setup icon (
) and add your tab clicking the Add Reports ( ) icon next to the custom tab. Click the Save
button.

Practice Exercise 6.5.1


Scenario:

Create a custom dashboard tab for the Home page called Issues and Red Flags. Include the Trouble Tasks and
My Project Open Issues report, as well as any other report you think would provide value on this dashboard.

Steps:

1. Go the AtTask home page and click .


2. Select the New Dashboard link from the menu.
3. Name the dashboard Issues and Red Flags and select a one-column layout.
4. Drag the Trouble Tasks report and the My Project Open Issues report from the list of available reports on
to the dashboard layout.
HINT: Use the filter field to find the reports more quickly.
5. Click Save.
6. Additional step: To make this custom dashboard a permanent part of the home page, click the
Dashboard Setup icon ( ) on the AtTask Home page and add your dashboard by clicking the Add
Reports icon ( ) next to the custom tab. Click the Save button.

128
CHAPTER 7
ATTASK HELP
"There is an island of opportunity in the middle of every difficulty."

Author Unknown

While planning is important to success when if comes to your projects, sometimes there are unplanned obstacles
that emerge and must be dealt with. Where should you turn when you have questions? Periodically, you should
analyze how your organization processes the work being preformed. Look for bottlenecks, and be aware of all the
issues that come along. It is also necessary to know when to seek a new solution and where to go.

Chapter 1 described the difference between task work and issue work. Recall that Tasks represent planned events
that need to be completed in order to achieve the objectives of a project. Issues represent the unplanned obstacles
that come up throughout the life of a project.

Chapter 7 introduces a new use for issues. In this chapter you will learn how to access help in AtTask and record
issues to a queue.

This chapter introduces:


! Help mechanisms built into AtTask
! The AtTask Community
! Your organization’s internal support system

129
LESSON 7.1 USING THE HELP DESK
In Chapter 5 you learned how to record issues to production projects. In this chapter you will learn how to record
general, non-project issues and requests to queues through the AtTask Help Desk.

What’s a Queue?
A queue is a project that is designated as an issue receptacle. The purpose of queues is to separate the issues on
production projects from the general requests or support tickets that need to be completed in order to make the
organization function.

There are several uses for queues, and they vary from organization to organization. The following list includes a
few of the common examples of queues your organization might use.

Examples of Queues

! Software Defects/Bugs
! Enhancement Requests
! IT Support Desk
! Material Acquisition Requests
! Project Requests

NOTE

The purpose of this lesson is to provide general instructions on accessing the Help Desk area.
You may need to speak with your Implementation Manager for specific instructions on how
queues will be utilized in your organization.

130
Accessing the Help Desk
On the AtTask Home page, the Navigation tab provides a link into the Help Desk area button. When you click on
this button you will be presented with the Help Desk page.

Figure 52. AtTask Home Navigation Tab.

Figure 53. The Help Desk Landing Page.

131
In the figure on the previous page you will notice this environment has three unique queues. You will use the
Infrastructure Request queue to submit a new IT ticket.

To initiate an IT support ticket

1. Click the IT Help Desk link.


2. Fill out the relevant fields in the form.
3. Click the Save button to submit the issue.

Figure 54. New Issue Form Diagram.

NOTE

The above diagram does not necessarily represent how the form will appear in your account
of AtTask. There are additional fields that can be enabled on the form and your system
administrator may add unique custom data fields needed in your organization

After filling out the New Issue form and clicking the Submit button, you will be returned to the Help Desk page.
Notice the new issue appears in the My Submitted Issues report. Depending on how the system administrator or
project manager configured the queue, the issue will automatically be routed to the correct person to address
your request.
132
Figure 55. My Submitted Issues.

The My Submitted Issues report displays the issues that meet the following criteria:
! Issues originated by “me” that are incomplete, and
! Issues originated by “me” that have been completed in the last 3 months.

This report displays all issues where you are set as the originator. It does not matter that the issue was recorded
on a production project or on a Help Desk queue.

NOTE

Issues that have been converted into a task or project will no longer appear in the My
Submitted Issues report.

TIP

Do not confuse the Help Desk area with the AtTask Support available on the AtTask
Community. Issues recorded in your account of AtTask are not visible to the AtTask Support
Team.

133
LESSON 7.1 PRACTICE EXERCISES
Exercise 7.1
Go to the Help Desk area to submit a software idea to the Application Request queue. Fill in as many of
the fields as you can.

Exercise 7.2
Go to the Help Desk area to submit a project request to the Project Requests queue. Fill in as many of the
fields as you can, and make note of the different fields.

Exercise 7.3
If your actual account of AtTask does not have a queue called AtTask Help (or another queue with a
similar purpose), suggest to your Implementation Manager that one be created to submit your AtTask
questions.

134
LESSON 7.2 THE ATTASK COMMUNITY
The AtTask Community provides several possible help solutions. These include:
! Computer Based Training: Review video tutorials of how to perform AtTask activities.
! Forums: Communicate with other AtTask users to learn how they are using AtTask.
! Glossary: Use the glossary to look up definitions of unique AtTask terms.
! Idea Share: Make suggestions for improvements to the AtTask application and vote on ideas submitted
by other AtTask users.
! User Manuals: Search through the User Manuals to find topics relevant to what you are trying to
accomplish.
! To access the Community site, simply go to the Help link in the top right corner of the AtTask interface.

Figure 56. The AtTask Community.

The AtTask Community is completely separate from your AtTask account. You will be required to register for the
Community before you can access some of the material.

135
To Register for the Community Site

1. Go to the Community page (https://community.attask.com/) or click on the Help icon in the AtTask
interface.
2. Click the Not a Member? link below the Log In button.
3. Fill out the required fields identified with an asterisk (*).
4. Click the Create new account button.
5. Go to your email inbox and follow the instructions in the validation email.

NOTE

The Unique Company ID field is specific to your organization. You must receive this
information from your Core Implementation Team.

136
LESSON 7.3 INTERNAL SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Every organization using AtTask has a Core Implementation Team. The implementation team usually consists of
the following roles:
! In-house Implementation Manager: This is normally the decision maker who approved the purchase of
AtTask, or the person designated by the decision-maker to implement AtTask.
! System Administrator: This will likely be an IT or operations resource that is tasked with configuring
and maintaining the software.
! Subject Matter Experts (SMEs): In this case the SMEs are usually project managers that need to have a
say in how the application is setup to meet their unique objectives.
! Internal AtTask Trainer: The internal trainer is someone who has attended all the available AtTask
Education courses. This person (or group of people) has met with the Implementation Manager and
SMEs to understand the needs of the application and its users. It is the internal trainer’s responsibility to
provide custom documentation specific to your organization and regular in-house training for end users
to verify you have the know-how to meet the organization’s goals for AtTask.
! Each implementation team member identified above will have attended some, if not all the AtTask
Education courses, and will have met with certified AtTask consultants to assist in implementing AtTask.
They should have a good idea of how team members will interact with AtTask, and they should have the
knowledge to assist you in learning the application and/or solving a problem.
! Your Core Implementation Team is the first place you should go when you have AtTask-related
questions. If you do not know who makes up your organization’s implementation team, it is strongly
recommended that you find out who they are.
! Specific members of your Core Implementation Team (normally the Implementation Manager and the
System Administrator) have access to the AtTask Help Desk through the Community. The AtTask Help
Desk allows them to report problems to the AtTask support staff.
! On the following page you will find the Core Implementation Team Contact List. Take a moment to fill
in the contact information for the individuals that are most equipped to help you with AtTask.
! Your Core Implementation Team should provide you with specific instructions on how they want you to
interact with them. If you have not received this sort of instruction, encourage your implementation team
to provide it.

137
Core Implementation Team Contact List
!

Role Name Phone Email


Implementation Manager

System Administrator

System Administrator

Internal AtTask Trainer

Internal AtTask Trainer

138
END-OF-DAY EXERCISES
Exercise 1

Go to the My Tasks tab and group your tasks by project. Update the Email AtTask Implementation Manager
task by using the Update Task Status tab. Mark the task 75% complete and send an internal note to the
Project Owner (AtTask Trainer) letting him know you are awaiting a response.

Exercise 2

Open your timesheet for the current week and filter the timesheet to only show tasks on the My AtTask To
Do List project. Add the Do Not Have Adobe Flash Player Install issue to your timesheet and mark the issue
Resolved. Don’t forget to include your hours.

Exercise 3

Change your user’s first and last name to your name.

Exercise 4

Using the Recent drop-down, go to the Email AtTask Implementation Manager task and view the notes on
the task. Follow the instructions outlined in the note from the AtTask Trainer on the task.

Exercise 5

Using the Find menu, search for all late, incomplete, and assigned to you tasks. Mark these tasks as
complete using the Status Worksheet.

139
140
WHAT’S NEXT?
COURSE FEEDBACK
We need your help to improve this course.

Please go to http://attask-education.questionpro.com/ to complete the Education Course Survey to give us


feedback on the course, material, and instructor.

Thank you.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OPTIONS


Maximize your investment in AtTask by working with an AtTask Professional Services Consultant. The
following three keys to implementation and adoption success will help your company be more effective,
innovative, and competitive.

People —AtTask’s people-focused consulting and training services are a critical component to successful
adoption and implementation success.

Process —We’ll help you identify and implement those business processes and best practices that will enable
your company to focus on the projects that best align with corporate strategic and financial goals.

Technology —Your Professional Services Consultant will help you implement AtTask to best meet the needs
of your organization. From setup, to evaluation, and validation—we’ll help you optimize AtTask’s state-of-the-
art PPM technology.

ATTASK STANDARD COURSES


AtTask Administrator — This course includes the processes and skills to administer support and maintain
AtTask. The Administrator course covers organizational setup, reporting, interface configuration, internal
support systems, data migration, integration overview, and implementation best practices.

AtTask Portfolio and Resource Management —This course is designed for portfolio managers and
resource managers. The 1-day AtTask Portfolio and Resource Management course provides strategic managers
the tools needed to complete project selection and resource planning activities.

AtTask Project Management —This course prepares project managers with instructions for using next-
level, Enterprise features. AtTask power users the tools they need to expand their use of the system with detailed
customization of the interface, reporting, and processes. Topics covered include: advanced project and task
configuration, custom data use, financial management, milestones and baselines, and defining projects for use in
the Capacity Planner.

AtTask Reporting —This course provides detailed training on customizing reports in AtTask. It includes
reporting basics, such as creating Filters, Views, and Groupings. It also introduces more advanced reporting
options, including Text Mode. Text Mode views allow you to display data not available through the Builder
interface and to create calculated columns based on data returned in the report.

141
142
APPENDIX A
Creating Projects from Templates
If you frequently create and manage similar projects, you will want to store those steps as a Template. Creating
projects from a template will:

1. Decrease the time it takes to create projects (both the project definition and task list), and
2. Standardize your project definitions and work breakdown structures.

To create a Project from a Template

1. Go to the Create menu to select the Project option.


2. Input the name of the project into the Project field.
3. Provide a narrative Description of the project.
4. Select a date the project will start on.
5. Select the Template – you may need to use the search icon to locate it.
6. Click on the Related Information tab.
7. Identify the project manager in the Owner field.
8. Identify the Sponsor of the project.
9. Identify the customer of the project in the Company field.
10. Select the Portfolio and Program this project belongs to.
11. Click the Save button to create the project.

Navigate to the Tasks tab or go into the Gantt Chart to verify the tasks have been created. Notice the tasks are
organized with parent-child relationships, predecessor relationship, realistic duration and effort estimates, and
job role assignments.

In most cases, the tasks created from the template need to be modified to fit the constraints of the project, but the
majority of the work is completed in only a few minutes.

143
Creating Templates from Projects
You can create a template from scratch by going to the Create menu and selecting the Template option. You
would then follow the steps for building out a project plan. You can also save a project as a template – this is the
easiest and fastest way to prepare a template. It is usually recommended you create a template after completing a
project plan. Many organizations prefer to create templates only after completing the project the first time so they
can implement lessons learned immediately for the next time the project runs.

To save an existing project as a template

1. Go to the project you want to save as a template.


2. From the left-hand navigation menu, expand the Import/Export menu and click the Save as Template
link.
3. Under the Save as Template tab, give the new
template a name and description.
4. Select an organizational group or groups.
Access levels can be customized to determine
the rights and privileges of this template
based on the selected groups.
5. If you would like to carry over custom data to
the project, select the custom data category
from the Category dropdown menu.

6. Click the Options tab.


7. Under the Options tab, indicate the project
information you would like to exclude from
the template using the checkboxes. For
example, if you decided not to include
documents attached to the project in this
template, check the Clear Documents
checkbox.
8. Click the Exclude tab.
9. Under the Exclude tab, indicate tasks you would like to exclude from the template using the checkboxes.
10. Click the Save button to create the template.

To view a list of available templates in the system

1. From the expandable application menu, click Project Management.


2. Click Template Home from the contextual menu.
3. You can click on a name of template to view the details or edit the template.

144
The Process Improvement Worksheet
The Process Improvement Worksheet is a template-related activity, so it will be addressed briefly at this time. It
allows project managers and other stakeholders to review how the actual execution of projects created from a
template compares to the plan outlined in the template.

This activity should be done on a regular basis to make sure templates are as accurate as possible.

Specific instructions on how this tool is used are provided in both the AtTask Project Management and AtTask
Portfolio Management courses.

145
146
APPENDIX B
This appendix to the AtTask Project Management course contains several of the Page Layout Diagrams you may
find useful as you use AtTask as you decide how to use each page in AtTask.

Page Layout Diagrams


This section contains the following Page Layout Diagrams:
! Figure 1. The AtTask Home Page and Navigation Menus.
! Figure 2. The New Project Form Diagram: Project Details.
! Figure 3. The New Project Form Diagram: Related Information.
! Figure 4. The Gantt Chart Diagram.
! Figure 5. The New Task Form Diagram: Task Details.
! Figure 6. The New Task Form Diagram: Resources.
! Figure 7. The Update Task Status Tab.
! Figure 8. The Completion Status Worksheet.
! Figure 9. The New Issue Form.
! Figure 10. The New Issue Form - Abbreviated.
! Figure 11. The Update Issue Status Tab.
! Figure 12. The Timesheet Interface.
! Figure 13. The New Document Form.
! Figure 14. The New Dashboard Page.

147
Figure 1. The AtTask Home Page.

148
149
Figure 2. The New Project Form Diagram: Project Details.

150
Figure 3. The New Project Diagram: Related Information.

151
Figure 4. The Gantt Chart Diagram.

152
Figure 5. The New Task Form: Task Details.

153
Figure 6. The New Task Form: Resources.

154
Figure 7. The Update Task Status Tab.

155
Figure 8. The Completion Status Worksheet.

156
Figure 9. The New Issue Form.

157
Figure 10. The New Issue Form – Abbreviated.

158
Figure 11. The Update Issue Status Tab.

159
Figure 12. The Timesheet Interface.

160
Figure 13. The New Document Form.

161
Figure 14. The New Dashboard Page.

162
APPENDIX C
This appendix to the AtTask Fundamentals course contains several Change Request Forms. As you attended this
training, it is likely you identified configuration changes you would like to make to your production account of
AtTask. You can use and/or modify these forms to request changes to or the creation of system configuration
options.

Change Request Forms


1. Approval Process Request Form
2. Dashboard Request Form
3. New Report Request Form
4. Parameters Request Form
5. Resource Change Request Form

163
164
165
166
167
168
169