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New User Experience: Project Tasks, Phases, and Milestones

Last update March 19, 2019

You can break work down into phases, milestones, tasks, and to-do items. You can update task status in a list or drag-and-drop task cards on a board.


Create Project Phases

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for a project includes phases, milestones, and tasks. A phase groups related tasks and milestones under it and displays the aggregated actuals and ETC for the tasks.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open a project and click Tasks.
  2. Click List View.
  3. Click NEW TASK.
  4. Enter a name for the phase and click Add.
    The new task phase is added at the top of the hierarchy. 
  5. Click the task.
    The side panel opens.
  6. Click Details and enter the start and finish dates.
    • If the project start date is later than the phase start date, the application enforces an adjustment. The project start date is updated to match the phase start date.

    • If the project finish date is earlier than the phase finish date, the application enforces a similar adjustment. The project finish date is updated to match the phase finish date.

  7. Change the Type from Task to Phase
  8. To drag-and-drop the phase, clear any filters. Board View always supports drag-and-drop. List View allows drag-and-drop only when all tasks appear. This condition protects users from making changes in a filtered view without all the required task data.

Create Project Milestones

Milestones help you track and measure progress. For example, you can create a planning phase followed by a design phase. You can break the planning phase down to include planning tasks such as define resource planidentify infrastructure requirements, and identify storage requirements.

You can also include a milestone task such as planning phase gate complete. The milestone is complete when all the tasks in the planning phase are completed.

Milestones display a diamond in the task hierarchy. The following image shows design phase tasks and a milestone for a sample project:

Image showing design phase tasks and a milestone for a sample project

  • Create milestones the same way you create tasks and phases. In the Details panel, change the Type from Task to Milestone.
  • You can convert a milestone to a task or a phase by changing its type in the milestone details. If a milestone is associated with a phase, you cannot convert the milestone to a phase.
  • You can drag-and-drop tasks and milestones in the same phase or from one phase to another. The ETC, total effort, and actuals on the target phase are updated. 
    • If the task that you are moving has a start date that is earlier than the target phase start date, the target phase start date is updated to match the task start date. 
    • If the task has a finish date that is later than the target phase finish date, the target phase finish date is updated to match the task finish date.
  • To mark a milestone complete, change the status to Completed in the grid or in the Details pane.

Create Project Tasks

Project tasks identify the work that is required to complete a project. Tasks are often broken down by phase. For example, you have a project to develop credit card security improvements for a mobile app. The phases for this project include the planning, design, development, deployment, and testing phases. Inside the testing phase, tasks appear for integration testing, performance testing, and user acceptance testing. Those tasks could be elevated to phases and more refined tasks could be specified.

Tasks have a start date, an end date, and a period in between when the work is performed. Project managers typically assign team members to tasks and set milestones to measure their progress. As team members update their tasks, they can record their time on their timesheets.

Note: If the task start or finish date falls on a weekend, the date in the task and the matching phase is automatically updated to the closest matching weekday.

Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the phase where you want to add a task.
  2. Hover over and click a task name to start inline insert mode. Press Enter to create a task row below the current task.
    To quit inline insert mode, click away from the field or press Escape.
  3. Enter a name for the task and press Enter or click Add. If desired, drag-and-drop the task to a new location in the phase or under a different phase.
  4. To add a task at the root level, click +Task at the top of the page.
  5. Under Team, click +Member to assign a project team member to the task.
    The newly assigned team member is added under Team and also appears next to the task in the task hierarchy. If the new team member replaces a specific project role, you can remove the role from the task.

  6. Under Details, complete the task details. The following properties require an explanation:
    • Estimate To Complete 
      Defines the total remaining work for the task in resource hours (total hours - actuals). The initial value is automatically populated based on the availability and allocation of the resources (assignees) that are involved. You can overwrite the default ETC value at any time. If you change the value at the task level, the associated assignments are also updated (excluding any assignments with actuals and an ETC of zero (0.0) since no further ETC is expected in this scenario). All ETC from all tasks is aggregated at the phase level. Before you can enter an ETC value, create an assignment for the task. Assignment-level ETC updates are not supported.
    • Percent Complete. Defines an estimate that is expressed as a percent of the amount of work that has been completed on a task. You can edit the percent complete value provided the % Complete Calculation field is set to Manual in the project settings in Classic Clarity PPM. See Set up a Project for more details on the setting.

A two-level task hierarchy is supported with phases and tasks. You can also add to-do items under tasks for an additional layer of granularity.

The following characteristics apply to tasks:

  • You can assign only labor resources as team members to tasks.

  • You cannot change the start date for a task with posted actuals.
  • You can convert a task to a phase or a milestone by changing its type in the task details. You cannot convert a task containing posted actuals or assignments.  
  • You can convert a phase to a task or a milestone by changing its type in the phase details. You cannot convert a phase if it has child tasks.
  • If a task is associated with a phase, you cannot convert the task to a phase.
  • Marking a task as completed sets the ETC to zero (0) and the Percent Complete to 100%.
  • To delete a task, navigate to the Details page of the task and click DELETE TASK. You cannot delete a task if the task has posted actuals.

Filter Tasks

You can use the following filters to search or filter tasks on the task board and list views.

  • Type
    Filter or search for tasks and milestones.
  • Status
    Filter or search for tasks based on task status (open or completed). The filter displays tasks and milestones and the associated phase. If a phase does not have any tasks under it, only the phase displays, as per your selection criteria. For example, consider there is a Completed phase with Open tasks and milestones. If you filter or search for Open tasks, the result displays Open tasks or milestones and the Completed phase. 
  • Finish
    Filter or search for tasks based on the due date. You can filter task that are due today, tomorrow, or weeks from now.
  • Phase
    Filter tasks and milestones based on the associated phase.
  • Task Owner
    Filter tasks based on the owners of tasks in the projects.
  • Team Member
    Filter tasks based on the assigned resources. The filter is available only on the list view. The Team Member filter allows the following options:
    • Unassigned. Filter the tasks which are not assigned to any resource or a labor role.
    • Team members. Filter the tasks by selected resources (including inactive resources) who have at least one assigned task.

Drag-and-Drop Task Cards on a Task Board

By default, the project tasks appear in a list view on the Tasks page. Click Board View on the top right of the page to view the task board. In the Board View, the tasks appear as cards organized by columns. Use the task board to group and visualize work as a team across the project life cycle.

Each task card displays the following details:

  • Task Name
  • Associated phase name
  • Milestone
  • Finish date
  • To-dos
  • Conversations
  • Task owner

When you have an existing project that is yet to use the task board, you see an Incoming column that displays all tasks as new tasks. After you drag all of these tasks to the other columns, the Incoming column goes away. As you add new tasks, the Incoming column reappears listing the tasks.

You can edit a task or delete it (provided no actuals exist) from the task board. You can also mark a task as complete. Rename the columns in the board view using the ⋮  Actions menu for the column. The renamed columns apply to the specific project only, not all projects. The task view that you select persists across your projects and login sessions.

Navigate: In the Main menu, click Projects. Open a project and click Tasks.

Board View: Switch from List View to Board View. As a reminder, you can also open the tasks in a Gantt view or optional integrated scheduler directly from this page.

Task Filter: To refresh the board with all task types or only a subset of tasks (for example, open tasks or milestones), specify a task filter.

New Tasks: Click NEW TASK in a column. Enter the task name, finish date, owner, and banner color.

Columns: You can insert a new column, rename a column, or delete a column (except the Incoming column or a column with at least one task in it).

Drag-and-Drop Tasks: Instantly update your status. In this example, a user has dragged their task from the Planned column to the In Progress column. The project manager and team are now aware of the latest status of all project tasks.

Edit Tasks: To apply quick edits to a task, click Edit. Hover your mouse or input device over a task to view its phase and other options. You can also mark the task complete or delete the task (unless it has actuals).



Delete Tasks and Phases

  • You can delete each task in the incoming lane until they are all deleted and the incoming lane disappears. Deleting the last child task under a summary or phase task converts the phase task into a regular task. Refresh the page to see the phase tasks that are now no longer phase tasks in the incoming lane. 
  • To delete a project phase, delete all child tasks and milestones under the phase. You cannot delete a phase with tasks or milestones under it. 

View Task Information in the Side Panel

You can also click specific parts of a task card to view the corresponding tab in the side panel (fly-out). The following image shows an example:

Image showing the task panel that opens up when when you click specific parts of a task card.

The panel remains open until you close it, navigate to a different page, or delete a task.

The following table provides more examples:

On a Task Card...
...click this: ...to open this:
Finish Date Details
Task Owner avatar Details
To-Do item indicator To Do
Conversation bubble Conversations
Anywhere else on the card Conversations


Assign Project Tasks to Team Members

As project manager or a team member, you can provide a task estimate by creating the task, updating the task status, and assigning team members to the task. Based on the Assignment Pool value, project managers can control if they can add users from the resource pool which automatically adds the users to the project team. Team members can only assign team members that are already on the project team to a task.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select a project task.
  2. In the Team section, click +Member.

Tip: You cannot remove a team member from a task if they have posted actuals.

Add To-Do Items in a To-Do List

Create To-Do items for a phase, a milestone, or a task to capture additional notes, risks, or issues. You can also use a to-do list to further qualify the phase, milestone, or task. For example, the Plan Database Upgrade task can include the following to-do items:

  • Receive Management Approval
  • Schedule DBA Resource

Follow these steps:

  1. In a task list, board, or My Tasks grid, select a phase, milestone, or task and open the details pane.
    Conversations appear by default.
  2. Click To Do.
  3. In the Open section, click NEW TO DO and enter a short description in the Add a To Do field, and press Enter.
  4. When you mark an open to-do item complete, it moves to the Completed list. 
  5. You can expand and collapse the Open and Completed to-do item lists.
  6. To edit a completed to-do item, clear its completed status. The item moves back under the Open list where you can edit its name.

The following constraints apply when working with to-do items:

  • The status of to-do list items does not affect the status of its parent task.
  • Due dates do not apply for to-do items.
  • You can enter up to 256 characters in a to-do item.
  • You can create a maximum of 25 to-do items for a task.


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