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How Task Blaster Works-FAQ

Heres the evergrowing list :-  

 

How do I configure TaskBlaster ?

Whats the difference between Task Center and Helpdesk ?

How do I setup a user ?

Are all Lists Soft ?

What happens when lists get too long?

 

How does the screen and user access work ?

How does contact management work ?

When can I change the standard status and priority codes ?

What are the Tag Lists for ?

Why can't I find the Link Tool ?

How does the Link Tool work ?

 

 

 

How does Project Group Maintenance work ?

How does Helpdesk Maintenance work ?

How do you use the 'place' functionality ?

 Can I use two languages within the same entity ?

 How does TaskBlaster work with multiple users ?

 

 Whats an Entity ?

 What is meant by Default ?

 

Why don't I just use MSProject ?

When I click on a link my changes vanished ?

Why can't I find the task I am looking for ?

Why can I use the back button of my browser ?

 

  

Whats the difference between Task Center and Helpdesk ?     top4.gif

One of  Taskblasters strengths is that the task center and helpdesk refer to the same task information. For example - if the nature of the task changes both requester and solution provider are kept uptodate.

For this reason the Task Center and Helpdesk seem similar in screen presentation - though the aims are quite different :-

    - The aim of the task center is to prepare and show what tasks needs to be worked on.

    - The aim of the helpdesk is to respond to the tasks

The task center organizes tasks in folders per project group where-as the helpdesk organizes those same tasks in queues per helpdesk.

 

For example - in the Task Center  for Task No '00015'

- Helpdesk 'Support Center' has been selected

- ProjectGrp 'Task Blaster Project' has been selected with the Folder 'Development'.

- Task has been requested by Robert Smith.

 

Task No

00015

Task Center Update Task

Subject

*  

Helpdesk

  

Priority

  

Category

  

AssignedTo

  

Status

  

SubCat

  

ProjectGrp

  

Created

Tag

  

Requester

  

Required

Estimate

  

Folder

  

Target

Actual

  

Description

 

In the helpdesk - the main difference with the Task Center is that the queue selection list is provided instead of folder.

 

Task No

00015

Helpdesk Update Task

Subject

*  

ProjectGrp

 

Priority

  

Category

  

Requester

  

Status

  

SubCat

  

Helpdesk

 

Created

Tag

  

AssignTo

  

Required

Estimate

  

Queue

  

Target

Actual

  

Description

 

Depending on how the helpdesk is setup - the requester can specify who the task should be assigned or only the helpdesk can. At all times the requester is able to see who is working on their tasks and what the current status is.

 

Are all Lists Soft ?     top4.gif

 Yes - all lists can be changed. However for some of the lists that require super user access - if task information contains the list item then the list item can not be deleted.

What happens when lists get too long?     top4.gif

 Taskblaster has a predefined limit on the length of lists - this limit can be set by the user if needs be in entity maintenance. Once a list gets too long TaskBlaster request more information from the user and provides an alternative list. For example if TaskBlaster has a couple of thousand of users - then to find a user part of the username would need to be provided ( E.g Jon ) and all the users names beginning with Jon would be listed.

How do I setup a User ?     top4.gif

Users may be created, deleted or updated using "user maintenace" screen by an administrator or superuser. Also each user can update some of their own details.

User Description, User  Code and User Password are compulsory and the user code must be unique to the entity.

NOTE - Take care to select a profile id that best suits the user.

 

How does the screen and user access work ?     top4.gif

TaskBlaster uses the method of profiles for user and menu access.

There are three profile types - user, administrator and superuser. Superuser is intended for system wide setup, administrator day to day setup and user can only setup their own information. Each profile type has their own menu tabs.

Each profile type - has a number of user profiles that can have access, create, delete and update levels from 1 to 9. Similarly each menu item can have access, create, delete and update levels from 1 to 9 set. Each user can be setup with a profile and access, create, delete or update is given to those users who have user profile levels greater than the menu profile levels.

User and menu profile levels are setup by superuser.

The advantage of using profiles is that it is quick to setup users. The disadvantage is that care has to be taken when changing profile types.

How does contact management work ?     top4.gif

Contacts are setup in contact maintenance. To be able to assign tasks to contacts as well as users - the 'show in lists' option must be selected.

When Can I change the standard status or priority codes ?     top4.gif

The descriptions can be changed any when - status and priority descriptions are not stored in the task - just the code.

However status and priority codes can not be deleted in they are used in tasks - the tasks would need to be deleted first.

What are the Tag Lists For ?     top4.gif

Tag lists can be used for just about anything - as long as the lists is maintained and does not exceed the maximum length permitted for a list.

Example uses could be for customer codes, purchase memo numbers, Work Order References.

Tag lists are referred to by some of the reports which give break downs per Tag List - otherwise TaskBlaster does not reference them.

Why can't I find the Link Tool ?     top4.gif

You must have administrator or superuser profile type to use the Link Tool.

How does the Link Tool Work ?     top4.gif

As administrator or superuser go into the TaskCenter or Helpdesk Center and try to lookup tasks that need to be linked together - so that the tasks appear on the same summary screen. If they do not - as long as one of the Tasks that needs to be linked is in the summary screen - then that's ok.

In the summary screen - click the check boxes of the one or more tasks that need to be linked. Then press the LinkTool button.

The first task in the summary screen that was checked will appear in the heading and subsequent tasks that where checked will appear below.

If all tasks to be linked - were checked in the summary list screen - then simply press confirm and the links are made. Simple as that.

If more tasks need to be linked then use the filters at the bottom of the Link Tool Screen. Simply add summary, description or task number and press lookup. The Link Tool filter works on ALL active tasks or ALL Tasks depending on how the initial summary screen was created. So just to repeat - the Link Tool filter is independent ( apart from the active setting ) of the initial summary list and will return tasks that the administrator has access to.

WARNING - because of the power of this link tool filter - take care not enter to little description or summary. This could return a large number of Tasks to be linked.

NOTE - when using the link tool filter any tasks that should not be linked can be simply deleted prior to confirmation.

NOTE - The cancel button will throw away all changes .

NOTE - Confirmation is not made unless the confirm button is used.

How do I configure TaskBlaster ?     top4.gif

TaskBlaster comes already configured and ready to go. All that needs to be setup is a project group and helpdesk group and a user placed in it.

To get the best out of TaskBlaster - careful consideration needs to be given to how you want to use it.

The natural sequence of configuration is as follows :-

SuperUser

Entity Maintenance

 

 

Status & Priority Maintenance

Try to get a good idea of what status and priority codes are required before creating tasks. These would be hard to delete once tasks are created with them.

 

 

 

 

 

Menu & Profile Maintenance

Unless the security model used by TaskBlaster is definitely what is required - then it is best to leave the default setup alone. It is best to try and understand these settings before letting users on to the system to setup tasks. Can be changed anywhen - but the risk is giving or denying access unexpectedly.

 

Aministrator

UnitCode Mainteance

Try to get a good idea of how costs and estimates are to be reported. Unitcodes would be hard to delete once tasks are created with using them.

 

User Maintenance

Ensure passwords are assigned to all the default users. Create users that will need to be placed in Helpdesks or Project Groups

 

Contact Maintenance

No setup is required - though ensure any contacts are created that need to be placed in Helpdesks or Project Groups.

 

Category Maintenance, Sub Category Maintenance , Place Sub Categories into Categories

Create Categories and Sub Categories anywhen. Place Sub Categories into Categories when ever required for the Tasks. Try to keep the levels of Categorization is simple as possible.

 

Tag Maintance

Tags may be created when ever required for Tasks. Try to keep the number of Tags used as low as possible.

Administrator

Project Group, Folders, Helpdesk & Queues

Try to get a good idea of what  would be used regularly. Though it is possible to change - it best to minimize changes as much as possible to avoid confusion.

 

 

 

 

Place users and folders into Project Groups

 

 

Place users and queues into Helpdesks

 

 

How does Project Group Maintenance work ?     top4.gif

Default Requester, Default Helpdesk, Default Category and Default Tag values are all provided when the task is created.

These values can all be overridden in the Task Update screens.

If knowledge base value is set to 'yes' then tasks that select this 'project group' will only be seen if the user queries it specifically. For example such tasks will not be seen in  summary lists where the user has asked to see all his own tasks that need to be worked on.

If default value is set to yes this means that this project group is offerred when ever a task is created.

How does Helpdesk Maintenance work ?     top4.gif

The 'default assign to' value is provided when ever a task is created.

The 'assignto method' value controls whether a user can change the assign to value or if only the helpdesk can change the assignto.

If  'default' value is set to yes this means that this helpdesk is offerred when ever a task is created.

 

How do you use the 'place' functionality   top4.gif

The place functionality is a two step operation.

First click the value that you want to place into. (E.g which project group )

Secondly select the value from the list that you want placed. (E.g which user ).

To 'unplace' - delete the value placed in the normal way be checking the value to be deleted and pressing the delete button.

Can I use two languages within the same entity ?     top4.gif

Yes - the default language is setup in the user setup screen.

How does Task Blaster work with multiple users ?     top4.gif

If a user is in an update or delete screen then TaskBlaster puts a temporary lock on that Task. Other uses trying to update that information will be able to see the information  however instead of the update button will appear a warning message.

It is possible to go into the fields of the update screen - but without the update button nothing will be updated..

Other users trying to delete this information will see a warning message. The user will have access to the delete button as there may be other information that is valid to be deleted - however TaskBlaster will not delete anything that has a temporary lock.

In entity maintenance a default length of time that a temporary lock can last - is setup. If the user is in a screen that updates or delete information but :-

  - Walks away from the screen for a long time

  - Shuts the screen down before logging out

  - Uses the back button of the browser

Then the lock is not released correctly and will remain locked until the lock expires. It is possible for the superuser to override this lock if the user can not wait for the lock to expire - though it is best if this is only done in exceptional circumstances.

 

Whats an entity ?     top4.gif

At entity is part of a company or organization that needs to be kept distinct and separate from other possible parts of a company or organization. Normally an entity would represent a company or organization but not necessarily so..

What is meant by 'Default' ?     top4.gif

In all lists there must be a least one record and this record must be the default. If more records are added to the list - then it is possible to make one of these new records the default by going into update and selecting yes against 'default'.

The main effect of being a 'default' value is that the value is offerred whenever a task is created.

 

Why don't I just use MSProject ?     top4.gif

MSProject / Project 2000 is great at scheduling - and though TaskBlaster has scheduling information - TaskBlaster is not meant to provide a scheduling solution. For scheduling the aim is provide great import / Export routines that work with other software - in particular MSProject.

TaskBlaster is a quick and easy way to 'globally' store tasks and to be able to look at them in a meaningful way. Then if more specialized manipulation of TaskBlaster information is required - appropraite import/export routines are provided.

Also one of the important features of TaskBlaster is that is available from the web and browser and requires no software download. This means it can be reference from hotel rooms, web points, friends and colleagues computers etc.. etc..

When I clicked on a link - my changes vanished    top4.gif

In any update screen the update button must be provided to save any changes to the database. Pressing the link is the same as accidentally closing the window.

TaskBlaster - should provide a warning message if changes have been made if a link is pressed and it is on the 'todo' development list.

Why can't I find the task I am looking for ?    top4.gif

Some of the things to check for are :-

 

- Are there any old values in the filter fields under the summary screen ?

- Has a value in the task been changed ? For example try looking under another project group , folder or indeed all folders.

- Has the task been made inactive. Retry query for ALL tasks.

- Has the task been deleted. Check in logs if logs are available.

- Do I need to remake my query. The filter found at the bottom of the summary list screen only works for the current query.

- Do I have access. The task maybe in a project group you do not have access to. Check with the default requester of the task as to what the project group is and whether you can have access to it.

 

 

 Why can't I use the back button of my browser ?     top4.gif

Taskblaster prefers you to use the back button in the TaskBlaster screens. This is why TaskBlaster hides the browsers back button - though of coarse if you know the key strokes you can always get back to the browsers back button.

The reason TaskBlaster prefers you to use its back button is because TaskBlaster puts a temporary lock on information that is possibly going to be changed in update or delete screens. Surprisingly - it is easy for TaskBlaster to detect when a user presses the browsers back button - so any temporary locks may not removed. This means other users are needlessly prevented from updating or deleting this information until the temporary lock expires.