Gauging Project Health Using Online Task Tracking Software

John Reeve | February 4th, 2013 | , , ,

Gauging Project Health Using Online Task Tracking Software, Intervals

Perhaps the greatest advantage to a team using online task tracking software is the increase in productivity from being able to quickly search, sort, and update tasks in a centralized manner, helping the entire team to collaborate more effectively. As these tasks begin to accumulate, the sheer number of tasks and their details can become overwhelming.

This is why it is important to classify and group tasks, with attributes like categories, milestones, due dates, and projects. Not only do these attributes help find tasks faster, they also help organize your day-to-day to-do list.

These attributes are also helpful for gauging project health. How? In this example, we’ll use the Project Landscape report from Intervals. This report gives us a high level overview of where our projects stand, according to different criteria. We are looking at the Tasks tab, which shows us the number of total, unstarted, overdue, open, and closed tasks for each project.

Project Landscape report showing number of tasks total, unstarted, overdue, open and closed

This screenshot of the report tells what we need to know about each project, in terms of the number of tasks and where they stand. The first project is getting close to completion, but has stalled out. We can see this because the number of unstarted and overdue tasks are greater than the number of open tasks.

Online task tracking list showing 7 unstarted tasks

To find out which unstarted and overdue tasks are holding up this project, we just click on the respective number. This pulls up those tasks so we can immediately see them. This screenshot shows us the seven unstarted tasks in a list view. We can use this list of tasks to follow up with the task assignee, or the client, to find out what’s holding it up.

Regardless of the online time tracking software you decide to use, be sure it supports team collaboration and enough attributes to properly classify your tasks. A plain list of to-dos won’t do you much good if you have to sift through too many of them to keep a project from going past the deadline, review a history of tasks, or share them with your team.

Photo credit: rosmary

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A collection of useful tips, tales and opinions based on decades of collective experience designing and developing web sites and web-based applications.

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Intervals is online time, task and project management software built by and for web designers, developers and creatives.
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John Reeve
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Jennifer Payne
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Jennifer Payne

Jennifer is the Director of Quality and Efficiency at Pelago. Her blog posts are based largely on her experience working with teams to improve harmony and productivity. Jennifer is a cat person.
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Michael Payne
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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