If you’ve been following our updates lately, you’re pretty familiar with Workload. If you haven’t, here’s a quick summary: Workload is our newest feature which expands the ActiveCollab workspace. A bird’s-eye view of everything your teams are doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. A visual overview of all your projects and tasks.
Tasks are the basic structural and functional units of ActiveCollab Workload, which is a living, moving system. No matter how simple or complex, tasks are a part of this system, and they need certain elements to make everything click.
What we like to call “the three pillars of Workload” are: due dates, assignees and estimates.
However stressful, deadlines are essential. Without them, we wouldn’t know what our priorities are, and procrastination would become almost guilt-free, as you wouldn’t have the burden of time pressing your shoulders. What does it matter if you finish this task today and not two months from now? Also, how would you know what needs to be done first?
That’s why if you want a task to appear in Workload, it needs to have a due date set.
Due dates are a passing grade for tasks. It’s the bare minimum they need to have to be visible in Workload and therefore managed. The next step is to assign these tasks to your team members. No need to dwell on this matter particularly. If no one has to do it, it won’t be done, simple as that.
So, if a task is not assigned to anyone, it will appear in Workload, but at the top, in the “Unassigned work” section, waiting for you to distribute it to your team members.
The Big Book of Team Culture
Now, let’s talk about time estimates. When you’re doing something for the 100th time, you know how much time it will take to finish. 20 minutes to drink your latte, 10 minutes to listen to your favorite song three times in a row, 5 minutes to publish a post on social media. Can you apply the same method to your work activities? Even if you get it wrong the first few attempts, in time you’ll get better at it.
What Workload longs for is a time estimate for all your tasks, so it can calculate the number of hours you’ll spend finishing them on a daily basis. For example, if you estimate 4 hours are necessary to complete an illustration, and you set the task duration to two days, Workload will calculate you’ll be spending 2 hours working on that illustration both Tuesday and Wednesday.
In case you don’t make an estimate, but the task has a due date, it will appear in Workload, but with a warning sign. This is because if you don’t have a time estimate, ActiveCollab Workload doesn’t know if it’s one big task that will take up the entire day, or if there are 17 small tasks that can easily fit into that same time. Without this information, what the timeline shows can’t be “trusted”. What is green may actually not be OK, and you could end up with an overloaded colleague, or work not being done on time.
You’re all set and ready now to start using Workload and organize your teams efficiently.