December 26, 2006

Functional Overview
     Task Savvy™ provides a flexible, easy way to describe a Project as a set of Tasks, to define the work involved in each task, assign responsibility, and to keep a Log of the time spent on scheduled and unexpected tasks. Task Savvy uses this information to publish project reports as HTML pages (or text files). The level of detail in reports and statements can be adjusted to suit the nature of the project and the target audience.

     This page describes how Task Savvy may be used for several types of project and time management applications.
Project Planning During the project planning stage, Task Savvy helps ensure that a project is adequately defined and quantified to prepare accurate proposals or bids. A project manager uses Task Savvy to create and arrange a list of tasks, each of which includes a description, identifies who the task is assigned to, and optionally an estimate of the work involved. Project goals, task details, prerequisites, assumptions behind the estimates, or any other pertinent information may be entered in the project's description and notes, and each task's description and status fields.

If a project's requirements change, or unanticipated issues arise, tasks may be modified, added, or rearranged to reflect the new information, and show how such changes affect the rest of the project. If unforseen events render the original plan unworkable, the Task Savvy project is easily updated to show the new plan or help visualize contingency plans.

Status Tracking During the course of a project, Task Savvy may be used to keep track of the overall project status, progress on each task, and any deviations from the original plan (including the reasons behind such changes).

As a project progresses, the project's team members make log entries to record the time applied to each task, and more importantly, report on obstacles that may add risk the project plan. The project manager uses this information to make sure that the project is proceeding according to plan, or to revise the plan as necessary if overwhelming obstacles are encountered.

Time Sheet In a service-oriented business with a time-based billing structure, you would maintain a separate project file for each of your frequent customers. You might also have one or more miscellaneous project files for one-time customers.

When a customer places a work order, enter it as a new task in their project file. As you work on each task, make log entries to record how much time was spent, and what you did. That way, you will have a record of everything you have done for each customer, organized as specific tasks. The Log Entries can then be published in a Statement of Service report to accompany your normal invoice.

Action Items and To-Do Lists Create a Task Savvy project for yourself (or others), enter to-do list items as tasks, and export them as HTML Project Reports. Then, either set your browser's properties to use that report as its home page, or just set a bookmark on that page, to provide quick access to it.

Problem Tracking Task Savvy is an effective problem-tracking system for QA and customer support groups. When a problem is reported, the failure description, steps to reproduce the failure, software version numbers, manufacturing date codes, and any other pertinent information can be entered as a task. As the problem is being investigated, a running log may be used record the results of the investigation, document the cause(s) of the failure, what work-arounds are available, and eventually provide details on the problem resolution and version number in which it was fixed.

Project Reports Task Savvy can publish customized Project Reports in HTML or simple text format. There are three sections in a Task Savvy Project Report (described below). Each section may be included in or omitted from a report, and the level of detail within each section can be adjusted to accomodate different projects' requirements and target audiences.

(Sample Project Plan)
(Sample Status Report)

Introduction — The report's title, creation date, and optionally the project description and/or project notes. By default, the report's title is set to the project's name, but the report's title may be changed in the Report Profile window.

Summary Section — Lists each task by name, with its "who" field and status. The estimated and logged time may also be included when publishing more detailed reports. If the Details section of the report is omitted, then the report will be a concise list of each task's status. If the Details section is included in an HTML report, then the tasks in the summary section may be linked to the details section, conveniently combining a project summary with a table of contents linked to the details.

Details Section — Each task is presented with its name and "who" field, status, description, and optionally the estimated and applied time. The log entries for each task may optionally be presented as well, when publishing more detailed reports.

Statements Task Savvy can publish customized Statements as HTML pages or simple text files. A statement may include the project description and/or notes, then lists either all of the project's log entries or only those within a specified range of dates. The log entries may be listed chronologically or by task, and may include or omit the time applied.

(Sample Statement)