As a Program Manager, it is critical to have a global understanding of the projects my company is undertaking, along with the resources required to complete those projects at the agreed upon deadline. Without the right tools, it can be very easy to get lost in the chaos of a day, week or month, and lose track of where projects are and where your current resources are dedicated. That’s where TaskRay comes in. TaskRay is a Salesforce native project management app and has been a huge asset in not only program management, but project management and team efficiency.
After setting up TaskRay to match your standard process, here are a few items TaskRay can help you with:
- You can keep up with all of your general project details (think project info, deadlines, login information, and team members)
- Keep tabs on the status of your workstreams of the project (we use Task Groups for this)
- Know all the tasks associated to each workstream or specific project
- Know when tasks are due, who owns the task, how many hours were estimated for that task to take and how many hours it actually took.
Why is all this information important to you? Well, when people utilize TaskRay the way it can be utilized, there are major team benefits. Some of the ones I find most beneficial are:
- When workstreams are listed as Task Groups, a team member won’t have to hunt far for their next task if they know that workstream needs to be completed during a sprint. This allows them to be more efficient throughout their workday.
- Team members can track their time right within the task. As you collect data on how long tasks take for individuals, it will allow you and your teams to better estimate projects.
- When in the middle of the sprint, a PM can keep tabs on the status of the workstreams for various projects that are supposed to be completed during that sprint. Keeping tabs on the status can help your PM’s help other team members prioritize if needed.
- A PM can see how many hours were estimated for the project as a whole or the individual workstreams and determine if the team is behind, ahead, over budget, or right on track. This allows a PM to catch potential issues as soon as they occur and relay that information to the client. The earlier the client understands a scope change, change in cost, or delay, the better. In addition, this can help determine where internal issues may be, whether it was a problem with scoping, an issue with the original estimate, or discovering areas to train your team in.
- If you convince your team to diligently provide hours estimates in all the tasks and assign them out to the appropriate owners, PM’s can run reports that will give a general idea of future workload based on your team. This will help project managers understand where they may need additional resources, and will help program managers allocate the appropriate resources.
Full disclosure – my favorite benefit is #4. I doubt that’s a surprise since resource allocation is critical for me. Having a better grasp on the company’s resource allocation is critical in creating better workflow within the company and will allow the company to scale more efficiently. Being aware of how resources are allocated minimizes the risk of burying one team member while another searches for a way to help out.
I’ll leave you with this final thought; just like Salesforce, one of the major benefits of the app is that TaskRay is able to be customized to meet the needs and processes of your company and easily modified within your own instance. What works for me and my company might be a little different than what works for you and yours. But, once people are hooked on using this tool, you’ll be amazed at how it will benefit you, your team and your company!
Interested in seeing how TaskRay can benefit your company? Contact us to learn more about implementation.