Task Manager Scenarios

task manager

Task Manager for Clarify

I decided to write this to help me get my head around the business end of our new Task Manager product for Clarify. Gary Sherman has put together several posts recently:

Each of these posts does a great job explaining the technical merits of Dovetail Task Manager, but I felt like I needed to run through some more real-life scenarios to fully understand it. Hopefully, you will find some value here too.

The Ease of Task Manager

It turns out, it’s not really that hard to understand. If you have a business process with multiple activities that could be handled independently of one another, Task Manager makes it easy to set up and maintain. If you have several processes like this, Task Manager becomes a huge time and money saver because it enables truly practical setup and management of dozens of task sets, each with multiple parallel work streams. In many ways, Task Manager could be considered a basic Business Process Automation (BPM) tool.

Examples of Task Manager Use

Say, for instance, you work in IT and need a way to track the various activities (or tasks) associated with supporting a new employee.  These might be tasks like ordering a new computer, configuring the computer, setting up access credentials, coordinating with building security for an Employee ID, setting up a phone, etc.  You could use a case with a defined workflow to track everything, passing it from person to person (or department to department) sequentially.  But if getting it all done quickly is important, you might instead set up Task Manager to spawn separate subcases for each of these bits of work and then automatically route them to appropriate queues or individuals to be handled in parallel.  It’s a great way to shorten the process!

You might want to track a similar set of tasks for when employees change roles or departments, or when they leave the company.  Each of these are essentially just mini-projects that can be broken down into “swim lanes” to help reduce the time to completion.  Without Task Manager, setting up a system for running parallel tasks usually means writing custom code which also introduces inflexibility.  So without Task Manager, not only is it more costly to set up, it is also costly and time-consuming to change if your needs change.

So far, these examples are just using subcases, but Dovetail’s Task Manager also supports execution of custom logic or API calls, which opens up some nice possibilities and adds considerable power to the tool. In other words, you can now query external systems in the sequence of a task set.  Furthermore, the task itself does not need to be related to a subcase or any other object in the system.  It can run any custom code.

A Huge Win

The end result is that now you can get a whole lot more done with far less custom code.  This a huge win for getting new functionality in place quickly, as well as making it easier to maintain down the road.  

Gary Sherman’s blog posts referenced above are great resources for understanding the basics, but I highly recommend that you get in touch and let us do some brainstorming with you, using some of your specific business requirements.