TaskRay has published details of its fall release, which will be generally available in October. The update came in a blog by Ali Haynes, Chief Marketing Officer at TaskRay. Features include a new filter system, time-based weighting for tasks, a new resource planner and several features for premium users only.
The headline feature is a new advanced filtering system. These ad hoc filters allow a user to reduce the amount of data they view based on what interests them at a given time. Filter options include Customer, project, project type, project owner, ad estimated end dates. Multiple entries for each category can be selected.
Filtering was recently highlighted by another project-based Salesforce-based application. Mission Control enhanced its filtering by AND and OR operands in its latest release to give even greater flexibility.
Haynes summarised the release saying, “TaskRay’s Fall 2021 release is here — and it’s packed with new features designed to give you more control of your work.
“This release takes work management to a whole new level with enhanced filtering, new task weighting modes, and improved resource management, TaskRay is more customizable and flexible than ever before — so you can adapt it to your unique use cases.”
Time-based weighting is an interesting new feature that allows users to graphically display tasks within a task group on the basis of the time they take rather than the default equal weighting. If a group contained five tasks the progress bar would complete by 20% for each task completed. When time-based weighting is applied each task is given a proportionate percentage for the whole task group, rounded to the nearest 5%. Premium users are also able to weight tasks by priority instead of time if they wish to.
The new filtering system will replace the existing classic filtering for existing users automatically in Fall 2022. New customers will only have access to the advanced filtering after the release is GA. There is also a new button that enables the project manager to trigger a batch recalculation of completion percentages for in-flight projects, after changing task weighting modes. The inference is that the overall completed percentage will now reflect the weighting of the tasks, either by time or priority.
Resource Management is possibly the most important element of project management systems today. Getting the right resource at the right time and the right place is critical for several reasons. These include customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and profitability.
Available for Flux customers, and in the premium edition, TaskRay has added a Flux Planner Contextual component to projects and tasks. The Flux planner helps those managing resources to understand the workload involved in a specific task or project. It allows the resource manager to quickly understand whether adding a particular task will overburden an individual consultant.
The Flux panner has also added advanced filtering to enable resource managers to focus on priority and billable work. They can also zoom out to assess the high-level resource allocation. The Flux Planner comes as standard which means no admin configuration is necessary to start using it.
Several other enhancements are included for Premium customers including:
- Ongoing Task Progress: Users are able to partially complete a task. Useful for longer duration tasks and the progress is reflected in overall project progress.
- On-Hold Enhancements: It is possible to execute multiple on-hold and resume cycles and capture additional details to track project status.
- Modal Tab Configuration: Hide standard and custom tabs at the profile or user level, to customize the modal tabs for your business.
- Advanced Allocation Model: Specify resource allocation at project level for forecasting intelligence without having to build out a granular work plan up-front.
There are several minor enhancements and bug fixes with this release.
The release will update the Sandbox on October 9. On this date, it is also available on AppExchange or using a direct install link. On November 6, the update will be pushed to live environments. For a fuller briefing, TaskRay will host a webinar on October 12.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
This is more an iterative update from TaskRay with no substantial new features. The new filtering options are a welcome addition and will certainly improve efficiency within the solution. The additional options for task weighting will make it easier for project managers to understand the real progress in their projects. Project Managers will potentially save considerable time in understanding whether a project is progressing well.
What is surprising, is that TaskRay has announced this information without much of the supporting material behind the release. Other vendors tend to produce a wealth of material for customers, including webinars at the same time. Instead, TaskRay is given information about this new release four weeks before anyone can get hold of it.