I'm terrible at baking cookies!
However, as long as I have a list of ingredients, step by step instructions and a trusty cookie cutter they come out perfectly every time!
In a similar way TaskRay can help streamline and enhance your processes by allowing you to build and clone standardized templates that contain all the steps and instructions needed for your team.
For example, many TaskRay users have templates for all sorts of processes including:
- Customer onboarding
- Managing sales opportunities
- Re-occurring marketing campaigns
- New hire onboarding
- Accounting/Payroll processes
- And much more
Think about your own processes, are any of them repeatable? Do they contain the same steps over and over? Can your processes be standardized?
By having a blueprint of what needs to be done, by whom and when we can move forward much more quickly while ensuring nothing is missed which also helps optimize the quality of our work.
Here, we'll show how users can quickly create and clone project templates in TaskRay and also how you can automatically set deadline dates on tasks.
How to create and clone project templates in TaskRay:
Step 1: Create your Project
Template projects are simply projects which have been pre-populated with the typical steps/tasks of a specific project type, and when they're cloned they allow a team to hit the ground running with a pre-built project plan.
First, create a project in TaskRay by clicking the New Project "+" button located on the left project sidebar.
That will bring up the TaskRay Project details page where you can enter in all the relevant details of the project.
TIP: NAME YOUR TEMPLATES DESCRIPTIVELY:
The best template is worthless if your team can't find it easily when they need it. And nothing makes it easier to find the right template than a good name. We recommend prefacing all templates with the word "Template" and then using as much of the 80 allowed characters as you need to make sure your team understands the template's purpose. For example, a template could be called "Template: Customer On-boarding".
This "Template" trick is not just for making it obvious that the project is a template. Anyone searching for a template in TaskRay can just type "template" into TaskRay's search and they'll get a list of all templates available.
Step 2: Add Tasks to your Template
Once the project template is created, simply add all the typical tasks and steps for that type of process via the New Task button. If needed, you can even break tasks down into smaller chunks by adding sub-task Checklist Items.
Step 3: Assign an owner to the Tasks and Project
If the exact same person is responsible for the same task over and over, you can pre-assign those template tasks to that owner. That way, when you project is cloned, all those tasks will already be assigned to the correct resource.
If the task owner is different each time (or if you'd rather not assign template tasks to individuals to prevent confusion) you could instead assign tasks to a Salesforce queue.
We like something simple like a queue called "Unassigned" but you can call it anything that makes sense for your team's process. Make your new queue the owner of all template tasks, and then assign ownership to actual people once the template is cloned.
Step 4: Assign Start and End Dates to the Tasks
By assigning Start and End dates to the tasks in our template it will allow TaskRay to automatically assign task dates when the project is cloned based upon either the start or end date of the project.
So, if you typically know how long each task takes to complete and when the subsequent tasks occur then enter those dates in.
For example, Task 1 may take two days and once finished Task 2 needs to be started and that takes one day to complete and so on. Of course these will just be fictitious dates that you enter, e.g. February 2-4 for Task 1 and then February 4-5 for Task 2.
Should you already know the values of other fields within your templates' tasks then certainly pre-populate them. When cloned those values will be the same, so no need to spend time re-entering them again.
Step 5: Clone your Project Template
Now that we have a project template built out, the next time that process occurs we do not need to spend a bunch of time in TaskRay manually creating the entire project from scratch along with all of it's tasks and checklist items, we simply go to our Template project and clone it.
To do that open up the template (double click the project from the sidebar) and click on the "Clone" button. We'll then see this screen:
Here, choose between Set the starting date of the first task or Set the ending date of the last task. Select the starting date for forward driven projects and ending date for backwards driven projects. Upon clone TaskRay will then automatically calculate the dates of all of the tasks based upon the project start/end date.
Next enter a name for the new project along with the project start or end date e.g. "Customer On-boarding: Acme Inc." start "1/11/2016".
Lastly click the "Clone" button.
Once done, a new cloned project will be automatically created and display on the project sidebar. That project will contain all the same tasks and checklist items from the template and all tasks will have start and end dates automatically calculated and assigned to them.
Here's a quick video of the cloning process in action:
Now, once your template is cloned all the tasks within it are certainly not set in stone. Users can easily add, edit or remove tasks where needed.
So there you have it, five quick and easy steps to create and clone your project templates in TaskRay.
This will allow you to standardize many of your processes, ensure no tasks are missed by your team, keeping the quality of their work up and saving a ton of time along the way in not having to re-create the wheel for each project.
So, while you're baking the perfect cookies why not also bake the perfect project by using templates within TaskRay!