METEOR. What can? What is useful? Types of representations in METEOR. Part 2

METEOR. What can? What is useful? Types of representations in METEOR. Part 2

Greeting! The team is in touch METEOR Cloud. In the last article, we talked about the capabilities of the METEOR task tracker created by our team. We figured out task boards: what they are, how to create them correctly, and what value they bring. You can read about boards here.

In this article we will consider:

These perceptions are very important for effective work. Let’s find out what they are useful for.

Friendly warning: the article is long, there are a lot of screenshots 🙂

Task lists

Task lists are simple flat tabular representations. You and I have been used to working with some structured data in Excel almost since childhood, so data displayed in the form of a list or table will be organic for many of us.

In task lists, you can:

  • display any task details in the columns

  • change the order of the columns

  • quickly search for data within columns

  • sort by data in columns

  • group tasks by data in columns

Also, lists of tasks perform the role of reports. By creating lists of tasks with certain parameters, you get plates familiar to everyone, which can be printed and included in the documentation.

Let’s dwell on these functions in more detail.

Usually the list of tasks looks like this:

Here you can see the search and filter. But, unlike boards, two additional controls appear. Sorting and Columns. As you might guess, sorts are responsible for the order in which tasks are performed in the list, and the sort setting can be saved. If you choose a certain sort order and save it, the saved sort order will be used every time you open the task list. Here’s how to do it:

The sorting settings allow multiple sorting (simultaneously by several fields). Sorting is done in the order in which it is specified in the settings form. Let’s say you have sorting set up like this:

The data will look like this:

The column customization functionality is also very simple and is designed to select the data that should be displayed in the task list.

Speaker settings will be saved if you don’t forget to click “Save speakers”. During subsequent openings, they will be automatically loaded.

And you can sort data instantly, right in the browser. This is called client sorting. It is very fast, does not require a page refresh, but cannot be saved for future use. This type of sorting is used to build quick types of task lists. To use client sorting, simply click on a column header:

Searching inside the column is very simple and clear. This is also a client type of search – fast, but without the possibility of saving. Start entering search data in the field under the column heading and the list of tasks will immediately be reorganized:

The function of grouping tasks in the list is very convenient. By clicking on the icon of the column header, you start grouping tasks according to the data of this column.

An example of grouping by statuses:

An example of grouping by “Author of the task”:

Groups can be multi-level:

In your arsenal, you can change the direction of columns. You can do this by simply dragging the columns either in the task list itself or in the column configuration form:

Changing the width of the columns and the height of the rows is also available. To do this, use the following elements:

We tried to give you a good toolkit, and you decide for yourself the best scenarios for using lists.

Gantt chart

A little help from “Wikipedia”:

A Gantt chart is a popular type of bar chart (histogram), which is used to illustrate a plan, schedule of work from a project. It is one of the methods of project planning.

The Gantt chart is actively used in traditional project management or at the upper levels of flexible methodologies, it is one of the most important working tools that allows you to visualize the project over time. The Gantt chart looks like this:

The Gantt chart is actively used in the IT sphere, as well as in many other spheres of activity: construction, medicine, the service sector, and others.

The great value of the Gantt chart is that it allows you to:

  • to see the sequence and relationship of works;

  • manage work dates and deadlines;

  • carry out decomposition;

  • plan resources;

  • optimize the distribution of work and resources;

  • communicate with customers and contractors in a very clear language.

What can a Gantt chart do METEOR? On “Gant” you can:

  • work in manual and/or automatic planning modes;

  • visually plan deadlines (changing the start and end dates of the task);

  • work with open dates (if we do not know exactly when we will start or finish work);

  • work with related tasks (when work can begin strictly after the completion of other work);

  • visualize the hierarchy (root task with all subtasks).

We offer to consider each function in more detail.

Manual and automatic planning

Our activity in the project consists of tasks, subtasks, and sometimes epics and story users. In essence, this is decomposition. And if it’s simpler – a hierarchy, where larger tasks are divided into several smaller ones. Small tasks, in turn, are broken down into even smaller tasks, etc. And so it happens, until we reach the size of tasks that can be completed in no more than a working day.

It is in large hierarchies that the autoplanning tool is very important.

Auto-scheduling is a mode in which the start and end dates of a task are automatically calculated based on the dates of all subtasks.

If there was no auto-scheduling, then we would often face the problem when, after increasing the time for some small task, we would have to go through all the parent tasks and they would also increase the time in proportion to the first task.

Let’s compare two charts:

This is the initial state:

And here we changed the duration of only one task – 844 – “Subtask 2” (increased by 3 days):

If it weren’t for “autoscheduling”, then after changing “Subtask 2” we would have to adjust the dates in two more tasks:

This is very inconvenient.

Since all our tasks are in auto-scheduling modes, the deadlines of the parent tasks were calculated automatically.

IN METEOR autoplanning/manual planning mode is enabled for each task individually.

You can see it:

As long as the task does not have any child tasks and is not in auto-scheduling mode, it will behave as if it were manually scheduled. But as soon as at least one task appears, this task will automatically start calculating its dates.

Changes to task start and end dates

By moving the task boundaries on the Gantt chart or by moving the task on the timeline, you change the start and end date of the task.

This can be done with manually scheduled tasks enabled or with automatically scheduled tasks as long as they have no child tasks.

Working with open dates

If one of the dates in the manual scheduling mode is cleared or not specified on the task card, the system will treat it as a task with an open date.

Example of an open end date:

And it will look like this on Gantt: the open date in the task column is marked with a gradient:

Note that if such a task is “in the past”, then the end date of such a task will be today, and if it is “in the future”, then the end date will be equal to the start date:

We also give an example for an open start date:

Such tasks have a duration of 1 day.

Why open dates? This is a good visual signal that we cannot accurately plan the tasks, or we depend on external participants who cannot specify the exact deadlines for the work. The presence of such tasks on the board should always lead to the introduction of correction coefficients for the duration of the project with the indication of specific works affecting this coefficient.

Work with related tasks

The calculation of deadlines for autoplanning depends on two factors:

  • participation of tasks in the parent/subordinate hierarchy;

  • the existence of a relationship between the tasks of the type precedes/follows.

We talked about the hierarchy in quite some detail. Consider the relationship precedes/follows and how it affects autoplanning.

If such a relationship between tasks is established, then the next task can have a start date equal to or later than the end date of the previous task.

The Gantt chart does not allow breaking these connections, prohibiting moving such tasks earlier than the previous one. Also, this type of communication is shown on the diagram as a line connecting the tasks.

This example shows that we plan to start writing articles after developing an advertising campaign:

Visualization of the hierarchy of tasks

Here, the Gantt chart relies on two functions:

  1. Display the task hierarchy in the list.

  2. Highlight task branches on the diagram.

In the task list, you can set the output mode (hierarchy, simple list, or grouped list). This applies to the left side of the chart:

It is in the hierarchy mode on the left that all tasks will be displayed in the form of a tree, in which it is possible to collapse the branches:

This helps to better focus on certain tasks and not scroll through a large list of tasks.

It is also convenient to highlight branches of tasks on large diagrams. It makes it easier to find out which branch we are in. Task branches are displayed on a gray background, which does not interfere with work, but is useful at the right moment:

Let’s briefly list some functions of the Gantt chart.

Displaying additional data on the chart itself (to the left and right of the task columns):

Grouping in the list of tasks by any details:

Changing the proportions of the tabular and graphic parts, as well as setting the details displayed in the tabular part:

Conclusions

We have shown the possibilities of ideas in METEORwhich allow each user to configure his workspace in such a way that he spends less time on orientation in the flow of tasks, arrange group planners with a convenient visualization of what is happening, and also prepare reports for managers and colleagues.

Hopefully the tools METEOR will benefit you and change your production processes for the better. In the comments, we are ready to answer the questions that interest you.

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