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Task Details Side Panel

Enterprise | Premier | Professional | Teams | Free ]

The Task Details side panel gives you instant access to task details and information, providing better context and visibility. The side panel consists of several sections that allow you to view and/or edit task information: Details, Activity, Custom, Checklist, Time & Fees, Schedule, Proofs, and Files.

You can expand or collapse each section individually, depending on whether it contains information relevant to your workflow. Mavenlink will remember which sections were expanded or collapsed the next time you open the side panel.

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Mavenlink also remembers the section you were in when the side panel was closed; this way, you can continue from where you left off when the Task Details side panel is next opened—regardless if it’s accessed from the Dashboard or Analytics. This is useful if you want to quickly compare the same sections for a group of similar tasks.

To access the Task Details side panel, simply click on the title of a task from nearly anywhere in Mavenlink. You can close the side panel by clicking Close (“   ”) or pressing ESC on the keyboard.

Header

The header is anchored to the top of the side panel and is always visible, displaying key information such as the task type, title, status, and priority. There are navigational breadcrumbs that cross the top of the header, showing the source task and a drop-down menu of related subtasks (if any)—this allows you to quickly navigate through a group of tasks.

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If you access the Task Details side panel from an area outside of the Task Tracker, the name of the project from which the task originates is displayed at the top of the header; click on the name to go to the project workspace.

Use the tabs just below the Task Details header to quickly jump to the associated section. The numbers in parentheses to the right of some tabs indicate the current count of Activity posts, Checklists, Proofs, and Files associated with the task.TDSP-Nav-Headers.png

Details

In this section, you can write task descriptions, add tags, or classify task participants as followers or assignees, depending on their roles and responsibilities. 

Description—This is an optional field used for commenting, planning, or documenting the steps required to take the task from execution to completion. You are allowed 5,000 characters; if the task being described is too large, consider breaking the task into smaller subtasks with clear and actionable steps.

You can use Mavenlink's formatting markdown or the toolbar below the Description field to add bold, italics, underline, bullet lists, numbered lists, hyperlinks, and emoji to your description. When using markdown, you can Preview how your formatting will look before saving.

Tags—These are used to help identify specific keywords or topics and facilitate searches across projects in Mavenlink using filter options in the global Tasks list. Think of them as hashtags for tasks that help you reference and sort Mavenlink tasks, deliverables, milestones, or issues. For more information, please see our Tasks Overview article.

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Assignees—These are the members assigned to the task, responsible for doing the work, for which you track time and expenses against. An assignee can ask questions or add comments to the task Activity feed to help owners—or followers—keep track of their progress. For example, if an assignee cannot complete the task, they can either reassign the task back to the owner or add a comment to the task before changing the status to Needs Info.

  • Each task can have multiple assignees.
  • Assignees have ability to change the task status at any point.
  • Mavenlink “assignees” can be pushed to third party systems.

Followers—These are individual observers who may want to monitor the progress of a task, but are not responsible for—nor do they have an active role in—the completion of the work. Followers on a task will receive task update notification emails, as if they were assigned to it. This is useful when you want to include other task collaborators, but clearly distinguish their responsibilities from that of an assignee.

  • Each task can have multiple followers.
  • Task followers receive all of the task updates, activity posts, and file upload notifications (unless that member has disabled the associated email notifications).
  • A person cannot be a follower if they are already an assignee on the task.

You can see the tasks you’re following by selecting Your Followed Tasks in the Tasks section of the left-hand nav bar or by filtering using the Followers column in the global Tasks list.Your-Followed-Tasks.png

If you're a Proofs user, every time someone provides feedback, replies to feedback, or uploads a proof, an email is automatically sent to the task assignees and followers with a direct link to the proof in your Proofing workspace. Additionally, an entry is posted to the project Activity feed with a link to the proof so that all eligible members can start providing feedback right away.

Activity

The Activity section allows you to post up-to-the-minute task updates and upload files directly to the task; this helps project participants know that an attachment is for a specific task. If you upload a file to a private message, only users who have access to that message will be able to view and download the file.

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This section displays all the Task Custom Fields (arranged alphanumerically) previously created by Account Administrators in SettingsCustom Fields. You are not able to add or delete custom fields from the Task Details side panel. TDSP-Custom-Fields.png

Task Custom Fields are viewable only if the field's Read Permissions are equal to (or greater than) the member's Project-level permissions. For example, a Task Custom Field with Read Permissions set to Time & Expense can be viewed by members with Time & Expense access all the way up to Project Administrator.

Read or Write Permissions are managed by Account Administrators; all new Custom Fields in Task Sets default to being viewable by Contributors and editable by Project Administrators.

Checklist

With checklists, you can organize, clarify, and keep track of the steps needed to complete a task. You can add multiple checklist items to a task that can be checked off as they are completed.

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Step-by-Step: Adding Checklists to Tasks

  1. In the Checklist section, add new checklist items via Add checklist item (“
     
    ”).TDSP-Add-Checklist-Item.png
  2. Enter the name of your checklist item; to immediately add an additional item to the checklist, press <enter> or <tab>.
  3. Mark an item complete or incomplete by clicking the checkbox to the left of the title. Completed items will appear crossed-out and the date and name of the project participant who completed it will be logged.Checklist-item-complete.png
  4. Rename a checklist item by clicking on the name and changing the text.
  5. You can reorder a checklist item with a long click and drag using the list's drag handles (   ).
  6. To delete a checklist item you no longer need, click the Remove icon (“
     
    ”) to the right of the checklist name.

Time & Fees (Premier & Enterprise)

This section allows you to set the task budget, change the billing type and billable utilization target, add or edit billable hours, add time, or view time entries for the task at hand. Progress meters will increase as time is tracked, allowing you to monitor the progress of the task before sending an invoice. This helps you maintain your visibility into invoiced amounts.TDSP-Time-Fees.png

  • Bill as—Select the billing type. If you’d like to track budget progress on your fixed fee tasks in real-time, choose Fixed Fee. However, you should only select Fixed Fee when your task has a set price; time can still be logged against a fixed fee task, but is not billed hourly. Select Time & Materials when tasks are billed hourly.
  • Add Time—This opens the Time & Expenses tab in the main project with the task title entered in advance; this enables you to quickly track time. For more information, please see our How to Track Time help article.
  • View Rolled-Up Details / View Task Details—Toggles between the Time & Fees task details and a rolled-up progress meter that displays the budget burn (i.e., billable time multiplied by bill rate against the task budget) for both Fixed Fee and Time & Materials tasks.
  • View Entries—This takes you to the Time & Expenses tab of the project with the appropriate task selected.

Scheduling (Premier & Enterprise)

This section makes it easy—for those with Project Financials or higher—to set up a task-level resource plan where you can schedule hours for resources on a week-by-week basis; this helps you estimate your resource needs and gives you a better feel for an individual's contributions to a task.

The financial information available in the Scheduling section provides an estimated budget based on your resource plan by calculating how many hours your team will spend on each task. For more information, please see our Planned Budget help article.

In this section, you can:

  • View a summary of the estimated budget, time, and performance of a task.
  • See the actual time and billable revenue tracked against a task.
  • Locate hours and fees scheduled or projected into the future.
  • Add, edit, or modify scheduled hours or future committed hours.
  • Assign or remove members from the task.
  • View the total hours scheduled for all team members assigned to the task.

Upcoming time off is represented by a small, gray triangle in the upper-left corner of a day. The compactly-striped gray bars represent weekends, holidays, or days when a team member has all of their capacity scheduled as time off.

The budget, estimated and actual hours, progress, and performance of tasks calculated using information from the Scheduling section can be referenced from the following Task Tracker views:

Summary

This area provides you with a summary of the task's estimated budget and time, calculated using scheduled hours and actual fees. For more information, please see our Project Completion Estimates help article.

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  • Calculated from—Use the date picker to determine what dates to include in the calculation. Although the default is today's date, it can be adjusted to any date to change the boundary between actual fees and EAC. For example, if today's date is May 14th, it will calculate actual fees through May 14 and use ETC to get EAC for May 15 and after.
  • Budgeted—The budgeted/estimated hours and fees for this task.
  • Actual—The actual hours and fees that have been tracked towards this task, including its percentage in relation to what was budgeted.
  • Not Yet Worked—Future scheduled hours/fees for your members.
  • Estimate At Completion (EAC)—The total of hours/fees that have already been tracked plus Not Yet Worked (future scheduled hours).

Variance—What is budgeted for the task minus the EAC (Estimate at Completion), which determines the performance of this task. If the variance is positive, it means that the task is healthy (i.e., the task is scheduled and/or budgeted correctly). If the variance is negative, it means that the task is scheduled to be completed over the time and budget allotted for this activity. A negative variance may be due to a variety of factors, such as:

  • More hours have been worked than were budgeted for.
  • The time required to complete the task was underestimated.
  • There is an error associated with the time tracked against the task (e.g., time may be incorrectly scheduled or tracked against this task).
  • Members with mismatched skill levels and titles may be tracking time towards the task, resulting in higher bill rates.

Resource Planning 

This area displays the total number of Scheduled Hours and Projected Budget for the task, so you can compare the future scheduled hours to the actual time tracked against the task. This gives you an estimate of how many hours the task will take and what the budget should be. 

INFO

To suggest a budget (i.e., Projected Budget), Mavenlink uses the applied bill rate of a resource and multiplies it by the hours scheduled to complete the task. When you create a resource schedule, the bill rate is locked-in. To update the calculation using an assignee's most recent bill rate, select the Refresh Rate option found in the Actions menu. If Rate Cards are enabled for your account, the bill rate that is used will be the bill rate effective during or closest to the projected hours. Projected budgets are not shown for non-billable tasks.

The week-by-week, task-level Resource Planning area will indicate when resources are scheduled at capacity, over capacity, under capacity, available, unavailable, out of range, or have time off. If you want to jump to a specific time, just click the Calendar icon (“   ”) and select a day, or use the forward (“   ”) and back (“   ”) arrows to scroll through dates.

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Click + Add Resource to add a resource from your pool of project participants. This option won't appear if you run out of eligible project participants. Every resource you add from here will also be added as an Assignee in the task Details section (above).Add-Resource.png

Once you start scheduling hours, the Scheduled Hours and Projected Budget for your task will update based on your changes. Scheduling task hours helps you to estimate when and for how long you’ll need certain resources. You'll want to start by either building your resource plan in the project Task Tracker or by applying a template to a project and mapping resource placeholders to your project resources. Scheduled hours for your resources can be pre-populated if created from Resource Estimates in Templates.

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Use the Actions (“   ”) menu to select one of the following resource-specific options:

  • Clear All Scheduled Hours—Removes all of the resource's scheduled time for this task, including hours scheduled in the past.
  • Clear Only Future Scheduled Hours—Remove all of the resource's future scheduled time for this task. Once your project is in motion, you may find that some resources are completing tasks ahead of schedule. When this happens, you’ll want to use this option so that resources can be freed up and utilized for other projects.
  • Refresh Rate—Updates the calculation to use the current rate for a particular assignee. 
  • Unassign—Removes the resource as a task Assignee. In turn, it also removes all of their scheduled time for this task.

Total Scheduled Time (“   ”)—Clicking on this icon causes a row to appear below the resource row which totals their scheduled hours (including time off) across all projects and task assignments for the week. To see where a member's capacity is being allocated, click on a daily hour tally in the row.

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Resource Shaping (“   ”)—Use this tool to turn estimated hours into scheduled hours and build a resource schedule based on availability and work capacity. For more about distributing scheduled hours over the duration of a task, please see our Resource Shaping Tool article.

Align scheduled time (“   ”)—This option only appears if you have the Sync Resource Schedules With Project Dates setting enabled in General Settings. This is used to realign Scheduled Hours for team members if they get out of sync with the task Start Date.

If Sync Resource Schedules with Project Dates is enabled, your resource's Scheduled Hours are automatically adjusted when task dates are changed in the Local Gantt chart. However, if you shift task dates in the Task Tracker or the Task Details side panel, you'll need to manually realign the team member's Scheduled Hours by clicking Align Scheduled Time.

Realignment of scheduled time (in the Task Details side panel) can only occur if the following conditions are met:

  • The status of the task must be Not Started.
  • The task being shifted has no current time entries (i.e., no Logged Time).
  • The task must have the same Duration (e.g., 14 days) before and after the shift.

Note: Upon completion, the member who realigned the scheduled time will receive an email notification that the update was successful (if all conditions were met) or has failed. GS-Align-Scheduled-Time.png

Proofs

Mavenlink's proofing feature makes collaboration easier, allowing project participants to provide feedback directly on files uploaded to Mavenlink. This saves time during the review, feedback sharing, and approval process and eliminates the need for external tools or keep track of files or conversations over email. 

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This section allows you to create a proof by uploading files (JPEF, PNG, and PDF) from your computer or dragging and dropping your source files into the drop zone. To learn more about the benefits of Mavenlink's online proofing solution, please see our Mavenlink Asset Proofing article.

Files

This section displays all the files uploaded to the task via the Activity section, when they were uploaded, who uploaded them, the file size, and an icon that represents the file type. You are allowed to view, download, and delete them.

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