How to…manage tasks for teams

A simple and, at this time, free solution for team task management is the multi-platform app, Wunderlist. See my post of impending changes with the application here.

Wunderlist app

In the meantime, this app works seamlessly for teams…

There are Pro and Business versions of the application but if you’re working with teams of less than 25 people, which a lot of design projects tend to be, then you can easily work with at the Free level.

Wunderlist pricing.png Multi-platform: Wunderlist applications.png

Wunderlist download options here.

Why?

  • The key benefit is the way you can assign a task responsibility to others in the team. I am finding that with my own design teams, this is a great way to track design project actions in one place.
  • It also is a move away from a reliance on email to communicate and follow up within teams, which can only be a good thing, considering I receive and manage 150+emails daily.
  • Each task on a project list can contain sub-tasks that could follow a step-by-step process. It is also possible to attach documents and images but this needs to be managed carefully for document control and security reasons.

How?

  1. Create a new list in Wunderlist and give it the project name. I suggest that the Project Lead actually does this and as the owner, is then able to invite others to the list for collaboration.
  2. Invite team members to the project list. With my design teams, this will include Architecture, Interior Design and Engineering team members.
  3. Generate new project tasks and assign responsibility. It’s important to keep the task description simple and concise. It defeats the point of using such a tool if you then have to explain what you require with the task description. Some examples could be: Update project schedule; Co-ordinate (drawing name); Issue information etc.
  4. Assign a due date and reminder. A task without a date doesn’t have the team manage the project schedule and deadlines.
  5. Review and action. It is important to regularly review the list and to co-ordinate it with the current position of the project. Design projects are a constantly adjusting set of circumstances and the management of such also needs to be agile. It’s important to understand that dates can be adjusted and reassigned in the project lists – something that project managers do in any case on a regular basis to align with the project demands.

Dialogue

Within each task is the ability to add comments. I’m finding that again this is a simple way of seeking updates and clarifications without the need for email.

 

Don’t forget to keep talking! 

Face to face interaction will always be the most effective way to communicate.

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