A project, contrary to what one might think, is not a simple, lineal sequence of tasks. There are often overlapping tasks within a project or even between different projects. In these cases, it is essential to have clear criteria to help us choosing in which tasks should we focus our efforts in every moment; that is, we need a way to analyze the priority, urgency, status and progress of the different tasks.
Priority and urgency are concepts that sometimes are confused but which are related to very different issues. Urgency –a clearer concept– has to do with the existing time restrictions (ie. the estimated time to fulfill it) and the need to meet deadlines.
On the other hand, priority is a more complex variable but it’s also more important. When setting the priority of each task, different aspects should be taken into account:
- Importance –meaning weight or relevance– of the task to achieve project goals in terms of scope, time and cost.
- Dependency between tasks: some tasks can depend on the outcome of other ones in order to be executed.
- Impossibility to change the initial planning: changes in the number of resources available, re-assign tasks between users…
Based on these issues, it is important to assign different priorities to tasks during the initial planning and to correct them, if necessary, during project execution. On the other hand, status and progress are also related but distinct elements. A task may be in a Planned, In Progress or Closed status. And, in turn, those tasks that are In Progress can have different level of progress against the previously estimated effort.
Do you know the feeling of not knowing which task to start with at the beginning of a day or a week? A tip: don’t mistake urgent for important, and prioritize. To do all this you may need a tool that shows you all this information automatically and visually.
How can Doolphy help you?
Thanks to our online project management software it is possible to assign high, medium or low priorities to tasks. A predefined color code helps to represent it more graphically and makes it easier to have a quick understanding of the current status.
In addition, included among the new reports that we have released recently in Doolphy, a Task Report shows the priority and status of selected tasks and a summary table that details both the end date and its progress, which allows assessing its urgency.
If you are not registered in Doolphy yet , do it now and you will be able to organize your work more efficiently. If you are a Doolphy user already, we encourage you to try this new report type now and send us your feedback.