Introduction to Task Management

What is task management?

Software developers and IT admins are increasingly working together in DevOps teams. Task management can be of great help here. Because the requirements and tasks to be mastered are becoming more and more complex, and the time pressure is ever greater.

When it comes to task management and planning, many people – whether IT professionals or “normal users” – first think of the familiar “to-do” lists. A software product that was almost a deonym for this term was “Wunderlist”: a free app with an online service for managing tasks and notes.

With this app, developed in Germany, users had an easy way to manage a simple list of open points. Since the entries could be sorted hierarchically as well as by date or alphabetically, the tool was used very often for task planning

In the IT sector in particular, many users still mourn this useful application, the developer and company of which were swallowed up by Microsoft. The successor product from Redmond with the aptly named “Microsoft ToDo”, which is also part of the current Windows 10 releases , is currently not getting such a great response.

Is that task management already?

It is not always easy to differentiate between the various forms of a work technique or the associated software tools. The described “to-do” lists are certainly used in IT and development departments to plan and manage projects or some of the tasks in them.

The requirements that are placed on such a tool are very different. Many project management professionals will emphasize that complete and consistent planning, administration and monitoring of certain tasks within a project is only sensible and feasible with a special project management tool.

But although task management is often an important part of project management, it does not necessarily have to be such a “full-blown” tool: Task management and the corresponding software tool can help to cope with the whole range of tasks. And that succeeds from the beginning to the end of the respective task.

The introduction and use of a task management finally means saying goodbye to “Post-it” notes and e-mail messages in which the tasks were formulated and through which they were distributed. In this way, it is not possible to define clear processes, the overview is lost – if it was ever there – and goals are not or only partially achieved, tasks remain unfinished or are postponed.

Such task management offers a number of advantages:

  • If a central task management is introduced and maintained, there is a clear and comprehensible overview of all tasks within the company.
  • In this way, upcoming work and tasks can easily be delegated.
  • Deadlines can be set and compliance with them can be monitored more easily.
  • At the same time, unnecessary activities can be identified and then minimized or even eliminated entirely.
  • The resulting coordination of the individual tasks means that the company can generally react much more quickly to changes (keyword: agility).

Prerequisite for the introduction of task management

In principle, those responsible should observe certain requirements if they want to introduce task management. All tasks should be formulated clearly, unambiguously and comprehensibly. This is the only way to prevent constant inquiries and ambiguities, which would significantly impair efficiency. It is at least as important that the tasks and conditions are documented.

Not only a clear content, but also a clear termination – which usually also includes a final “end date” – must be clearly communicated. In this context, it is also very important that both the budget and the effort that has to be planned for processing a task are included as factors in the task management. After all, the person responsible must later be measured by whether the task was not only completed on time, but also with the agreed effort / budget.

Since most people – and IT specialists and developers are certainly no exception – are used to working with “to-do” lists, there are usually few problems that employees benefit from the advantages of a central one Convince task management. With the appropriate clarity in the definition of the task and clearly communicated deadlines, tasks and entire projects can then be significantly accelerated in this way.

Introduction to Task Management