Tasks

This is how the work gets done

Overview

Task management isn't new. However Tasks in Beeswax have been designed to address some of the key challenges that most free flowing service based businesses face each and every day. Things that many systems fail to capture.

Beeswax provides visibility and control over the following key things:

  1. Ability to specify or allocate an amount of time that a User should spend on a Task
  2. Know who is working on what Task at any moment, or just as importantly see if anyone isn't working on a Task
  3. How much time has been spent on that Task and therefore see how much time is left to complete the Task (based on the allocated or estimated time)
  4. Has the Time spent on that Task gone over what was estimated or allocated
  5. Ensure Tasks are done in a prescribed order or priority
  6. See at a glance if any Task might not make a deadline (Tasks associated to Milestones)
  7. Link a Task to trackable activities or Items that link directly back to a Project so that you can assess a Projects progress
  8. And, arguably the most important thing, be notified the moment a Task has been completed (or when a Task status changes)

Now these may all seem like pretty obvious things for a Task management system to cover but surprisingly many Task applications forget some of these crucial things.

OK. So how do Tasks work?

Every Task has two Users on it. The User that the Task is Assigned to (this is the User actually doing the Task) and the User that the Task will be Reviewed by (the User that ensures the Task gets done correctly - this may be a Producer or Manager).

How does the Task Status affect who's list the Task appears in?

Good question. Depending on their status, Tasks will appear on either the Assigned to user or the Reviewed by user's list.

When a User first opens the Task list page they will see a list of all the Tasks. That is every Task for every User.

This list can be filtered to only show certain Tasks. For example, when a user clicks on the Avatar check box in the Filters you will only see Tasks that are Assigned to that User.

Let's go through each state.

Tasks start off with the Open status and appear on the Assigned to user’s Task list. (In other words, when filtering Tasks by that User).

When the Assigned to User is ready to start work on the Task they change the Task status to In Progress. This sets a timer going for the Task and let’s the Reviewer and everyone else know that this Task is being worked on.

Once the User has completed the Task they change the Task status to Review indicating that the Task has been completed (as far as they are concerned) and is ready for the Reviewer to Review. The Reviewer will get a notification via a popup alert as well as an email letting them know that the Task has been done.

When they are ready to do so, the Reviewer can begin reviewing the Task to ensure it’s been done correctly and so as to account for the time required to review the work (something very few systems do) the Reviewer changes the Task status into In Review. This not only let’s everyone see that this Task is being reviewed but it also sets a timer going to capture this often forgotten about time. Reviewers and Owners should be accountable too.

More often than not a Task is rarely completed perfectly the first time around. So if a Task has not been done completely or correctly, and further work is needed, then the Reviewer needs to bounce the Task back to the Assigned to User. Hence the Bounce status.

If the Reviewer changes the status to Bounce then the Assigned to User will have this Task reappear on their Task list. It will show this red status as Bounce which indicates pretty clearly that more work is needed on this Task.

This process continues until the Task is actually complete and can therefore be Closed.

Now if the Task has been done as required the Reviewer can simply Close the Task by changing the Task status to Closed.

When the Task is Closed it moves to the Closed Task section under the Project for which it relates, along with all the Time logged against this Task.

The Closed Tasks can then be Invoiced if necessary.

The order of the Tasks is meant to indicate their priority. It’s an obvious and intuitive way to work. So, when a User is ready to start working on something there really shouldn’t be any question as to what that User should do first. If you adhere to this way of working then it will reduce a lot of unnecessary confusion and production meetings...not to mention thumb twiddling.

Of course this requires someone, usually the Reviewer, to put the Tasks in the order they wish for them to be done. That's their job at the end of the day. This just provides a super easy way to do it.

What about Task Priority?

The order of the Tasks can be changed by clicking and dragging the Move icon. The Move icon appears at the far left when you hover over the Task. Simply click and hold the mouse button down while dragging the Task to desired position.

Note that you are likely going to be wanting to position Tasks for a specific User so you can click on this User filter in order to just show Tasks for this User and then you can order the Tasks just for this User.

Time?

All Tasks in Beeswax need be given an allocated time. This is not only an important way to plan and manage all Tasks but it also lets the User assigned to the Task know how long they are expected to work on something.

Take for instance a creative design process. If you give someone an unlimited amount of time then of course they’ll take it. This isn’t really practical or financially sensible for any business and is rarely a luxury businesses can afford. So it’s important to put time parameters around every Task. Particularly Tasks of this creative nature. And of course it’s extremely important when you are trying to adhere to a fixed budget or approved Quote.

When the User puts the Task into In Progress a number of key things happen. Firstly, the Task Status changes to a animated Green colour which is clearly visible on the Tasks page. This also appears on the Dashboard widget showing who is doing what.

Let's look at each Role

Owner

AKA: The Boss

This is the Owner of the Account and more often than not they are also the Owner of the business. The business Owner should obviously see everything so of course they have Full Access to all parts of the application but importantly they are unique in that they are the ones who are responsible for managing the Beeswax Subscription and associated Plan.
It's likely they have a business partner or a dedicated senior staff member who needs to be able to see and do all the same things that the Owner can. That's what the Super
Admin Role which we get to next.

Super Admin

Business Partner or a Senior Employee

The Super Admin User also has Full Access to everything however they don’t have access to the Subscription but that’s all. These are usually Partners in the business or Senior Employees who need to see and control everything in the Business. Warts and all!

Manager

Production Manager or Account Manager

The Manager Role is generally the person who takes care of the day to day running of Projects, and oversees Tasks.
This Role would be for a Production Manager,  Studio Manager or Account Manager for instance.
They generally don’t get involved in Payroll financial reports and as such are not expected to know anything about Accounting or Tax related matters.

Of course these things aren’t necessarily that difficult to understand, however,  so as to avoid the potential pitfalls associated with incorrectly allocated transaction Accounts and / or Taxes we have chosen to limit this Users access and control over such things.
So, while Manager can create Quotes, Expenses and  Invoices, they can’t change the Transaction Account and Tax when working on any of these documents. While Managers can create Quotes, Expenses and  Invoices, they can’t change the Transaction Account allocation nor the Tax Allocation when the are preparing any

These are defined by the Items that make up these documents and are therefore meant to be set up specifically by someone with this knowledge such as your Bookkeeper or Accountant.

Accountant

Your Accountant (obviously) or your Bookkeeper

This Accountant Role is obviously for the Accountant or Bookkeeper who need access to all things Money. They essentially have full access to the entire system with the exception of being able to manage the subscription.

Basic

A User who primarily works on Tasks

This Accountant Role is obviously for the Accountant or Bookkeeper who need access to all things Money. They essentially have full access to the entire system with the exception of being able to manage the subscription.

Contractor

External Resource

This is someone who usually is a freelancer that needs access to Tasks but not much more. They have a similar level of access as the Basic User but we've included this for future use.

Client

The Client

Someone who probably would like to get access to all your stuff but really you only want them to see things you want them to see. Like outstanding invoices and access to Files you share with them but apart from this you don't really need much more.

Roles
Owner
Super Admin
Accountant
Manager
Basic
Contractor
Client

Dashboard

Projects

Companies & People

Companies

The businesses you work with every day

Contacts

Just like the ones in your phone only it's for everyone in your business

Users

Users are those people you wish to invite into your account to do something

Money

Items

The Services you Sell or the things you Buy

Templates

Templates will save you heaps of time

Bank Reconciliation

Bank reconciliation or statement check

Bank Import

Import your Bank CSV file to allocate transactions

Scheduled

Used to automate the generation and sending of regular invoices

Bank Transfers

Move money from one bank account to another

Manual Journal

Need to fudge something. That's the only reason you should be here

Chart of Accounts

The heart of any accounting system

Reports

Reports

Reports...the ones you need and non you don't

Who Owes Me

See at a glance your Accounts Receivables

What I Owe

Your Accounts Payable Report

General Ledger

The report you accountant needs

Profit & Loss

Perhaps the most important report for any business

Tax Report

Yeah...no getting out of it

Time

Logging time is easy in Beeswax

Statement

A list of all outstanding Invoices

Subscription

Subscription

Manage your Plan under the Subscription page

Overview

Companies exist for two main reasons:

  • Assigning Projects & other related things
  • Grouping Contacts and Users

1. Assigning – Projects and other related things

Projects

Quotes

Expenses

Most things in Beeswax, like Projects, Quotes or Invoices, need to be assigned to a Company. These things can’t be assigned to a specific User or Contact.

Why? Because small businesses, those businesses that Beeswax is specifically built for, generally work with and provide services to other businesses rather than individuals or customers. In other words, we think of Beeswax as being a B2B application rather than a B2C. It’s one of the key assumptions we’ve made when building Beeswax.

Remember a Quote or Invoice is technically a legal document that relates to the obligations that your business has to another party. And therefore the name of the other party, which is usually a business, should be stated specifically. Of course you will have a contact who will receive documents from you but they are still technically representing the third party and are usually not themselves obligated to fulfil their financial obligations to pay you.
It’s the company or business they represent. When they leave the company still owes you money.However, while we think of these entities as Companies, it’s not to say that a Company can’t be something else. That’s for you to decide.In any case just remember that Projects, Invoices, Quotes and Expenses are all allocated to this idea, this entity, this concept, that we call a Company.

2. Grouping Contacts & Users

SM

JC

DJ

JC

It’s the way Beeswax groups or organises Users and Contacts. We think it makes sense to keep all Users and Contacts under the specific Company that they are associated with.

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