I am seaking ideas from the group to refine the idea. Let's kollaborate to come up with a set of requirements for this. Please submit your thoughts. I, for one, see two possibilities. First, as described in the forum post referenced above, the task list should be per user. Secondly, I see a useful feature in having a task list at the project level -- one that is created by the project owner, and shared by the project members. This would allow a project owner to list the tasks needed to complete that project.
I had tried to do this using the kompoz API and Excel, but it's not very efficient or portable. I like the idea of the aforementioned fields, as well as a user-defined field for comments, notes, goals, to-do list, etc.
The way this was designed, I just retrieved basic info from the project by inputting my project number, my user name and password. It would fill in those from kompoz, and the rest of the fields were user-defined.
My idea was to list only projects I choose as "active" projects needing work, and delete those from the list after I determine they are complete. This would also allow me to list projects I have not even joined yet. I have dozens of invites that I sometimes forget about, and my brain isn't getting any younger.
This spreadsheet is not necessarily real time info. Each project added flls the next row of project cells per request. The user inputted cells (to-do list) are not information stored anywhere on kompoz. That's why a personal project manager on kompoz would be so much better.
We should have a task manager and a calendar so that not only can tasks be presented, but timeframes managed. From here on out, I will refer to this combination as "taskmgr".
Each project should have it's own taskmgr where the project owner can manage the tasks required to complete the project. The project level task mgr should show a view of all of the contributors level taskmgr calendar's when assigning timeframes to tasks so conflicts can be identified and scheduled around, and the contributors can then in their taskmgr decide when they can work on the task. The contributors changes will update the project level taskmgr calendar allowing all the members to see what the flow of tasks looks like over time, better enabling them to schedule their tasks. This will allow for the proj owner to estimate timeframes and the contributors to set expectations as to when they should be able to work on tasks.
I would also propose a notification system be attached that would PM the user when due dates approach, etc. should they opt on the task itself to have that notification sent.
A project should consist of the project name, a list of all contributors regardless of tasks with N number of tasks shown assigned to contributors, a start and end date (that should also reflect the contributors schedules), and notes.
There should be an "update project" button.
There should be a "cancel" button.
A task should consist of a reference to the project by name, a link to the project, an indication of the proj owner and other contributors, a start and end date and a percent compete dropdown where the percent complete can be changed in 10% increments from 0% to 100%.
There should be a "Send notifications" checkbox which indicates whether the contributor wants PM notification of changes to the tasks by the proj owner or due dates approaching.
There should be an "update task" button.
There should be a "cancel" button.
The contributor's view should look something like so:
Proj View (using google zoho projects as an example)
(yeah...I'm behind on a few things... :)
(So the above is actually the task view in zoho, but I use it for both functions.)
So, a listing of all the projects. Each project element should have a toggle to show tasks.
Each project line should show the project start, end and progress fields.
Each task when shown should show the task start, end and progress fields. This view should show the assigned tasks with the default to show the contributor, with an option to show all.
Drilling down on a task would bring up the task edit dialog (see below).
The project view would be identicle except the default would be all, and a dropdown to select individual contributors tasks.
To the left of each task/project should be a dropdown which should present options to edit the project/task, mark as complete, add a note, move and delete(task).
Editting the task should produce a non-modal dialog where the user can change the start and end dates, priority and percent complete.
Hopefully this is coherent enough...I'm trying to do this amongst a few other tasks. :)
My biggest concern with this is that I don't want collaborating to turn into a chore, with due dates, and cranky project managers. I'm sure we all get enough of that in our day jobs. Shouldn't collaborating be fun? I'm nervious about implementing things like "...PM the user when due dates approach...". How can we keep music production fun, and yet provide tools to help organize?
How about giving contributors the opportunity to make deadlines self-imposed? That would reassure the session owner that the part is going to be done, and if the deadline is missed then the session owner can move on and ask somebody else to do the part. I have seen quite a few projects where everybody was on standby while waiting for a particular part that never arrived.
EDIT: Rollingthunder -- I wrote this before I saw your entry.
no worries - there's a lot of good ideas here. I started typing my response the moment raf posted - it took me like 3 hours to get it done as I'm updating it between real work and all, and in between there's been a bunch of other great ideas. The discussions just help sift the best things to the top.
From my own perspective, the personal project manager would be for simply keeping track of what I need to do, not so much what others need to do. I never mark my projects as complete, so I'd need the ability to remove projects from my list when I've done all I feel is necessary.
I agree deadlines are not conducive to fun. Keep it simple = keep it fun.
I agree - personally I like trying to schedule things with start end dates, but I'm not broken up when things in pir context here slip - there's lots of stuff that goes into completing things. But for me, being able to look at my "calendar" and say "I can mix your tune in 1 week" is a great thing.
And yeah, absolutely I would want to be able to hide / remove a proj from my list.
Good stuff guys. I agree that deadlines are a little rigid for what we do here, but soft timelines or self-planning deadlines would be very helpful. A great example is related to invitations sent. Some people choose to use a non-reply to an invitation as a means of declining an invitation. That's fine by me, no one owes anyone anything, but I would like to have a record of when invitations are sent. If no reply is received, I can then decide a point in which to invite someone else or accept an adhoc track that someone dropped in.
It really sucks to have invited someone and have to tell a drop-in person that their very cool track MIGHT be used depending on the status of the invitation.
Not trying to rant here, just wondering if the task manager can capture this type of information.
On the other hand though, if a viewer sees that an inviation was sent, the viewer may skip the opportunity to play something really great. If the invited person doesn't join, the opportunity for good stuff may be lost.
That's why I believe a project manager with user-defined fields are necessary. You could have one named "Invites", and list your sent or received invites for each project. Everyone has different wants for managing their projects.
Some empty text fields for each project which you could title whatever you want, e.g. "Invites", "Column 6", and "Number of tuba players".
I personally don't need a lot, about 4 fields... maybe 5.
1: Project title (with link and player button, perhaps project info like members or date started) This would be extracted from the project itself. Kompoz already has this stuff in its database, I shouldn't need to ever enter it... just select a project and this is filled in automatically.
2: USER: (expected deadline, or whatever)
3: USER: (to do list, etc)
4: USER: (Mom's maiden name)
I'd want text fields to be big enough to write a small paragraph if needed. 100 characters? Title of each field could be 20 characters or so.
Integrate "invites", "talent needed", "track upload", and the new "task mananager" into one system.
When a member finds a project he/she wants to add a track to, they can click on the item in the "talent needed" section and this will add the task to that users "manager" and it will tally one" intent to fill" for that item on the project page.
If the person has an idea for something that the PO hasn't listed, they can add a new "intent to fill" item that could go in a "talent offered" section.
This will enable the PO to see what items look like they will be filled and what will not and thus consider invites accordingly.
An invite will be for specific talent needed. The "talent needed" section will also include an indicator for invitations sent per talent. The invitee will accept, deny, or not respond. This will also be indicated in the project status. PO's can withdraw invitations if they are not responded to.
When submitting a track the user can select what task(s) it fills. This will remove these tasks from their manager. If the PO accepts the audition for any of the tasks, it is removed from the "talent needed" list.
Note: There should be an option to manually fill in a "talent needed" category for anything that might not exist in the preset list. One audition track can fill multiple "talent needed" categories and the PO can choose to accept/not accept each.(ex: track submitted for keys, guitar and bass, PO may choose to accept only the bass if he/she chooses. Have a "not audition" option for tracks that are not intended to fill a task.
I would use the Phoephus idea religiously. I suppose the PO can override and inputs from other users in the event someone committed to filling a need but never does (or the user simply doesn't use the tool.)
It sounds like quite a detailed tool, but I would use it.
I think this is a fab idea. I especially like @Phraser's concept and @MDK's columns etc. We need to just start somewhere and then tweak as we use it and discover what things we'd really like to have. So, I'd vote for getting it going with the ideas presented and see how it functions on the ground. It'd be VERY useful! An export feature would be nice, especially export to my iPhone task manager! Now THAT would come in handy.