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How Does TaskController Work?

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TaskController is a groupware application for sharing and managing shared tasks in an organization using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007.

TaskController facilitates public folder-based group tasking and events.  Users access its power completely from within Outlook.  A new task is created manually by any user with Exchange permissions to the folder. The new task can then be modified, centrally prioritized and managed. Users can send and receive shortcuts to the item for review and revision. The advanced task form supplied contains customizable user fields that are specific to the departmental business task to be performed and can be edited to suit your purpose from within Outlook.  The form can have a user's time/date stamp for documentation to automatically keep running totals of time spent and becomes part of the history of the task item.

TaskController requires a pre-defined public folder structure that provides a folder for active, completed and incoming tasks as well as a public calendar for task-related appointments and meetings.  TaskController also requires corresponding personal mailbox folders for calendars and tasks, which are usually assigned to the mailbox default task and calendar folders.  Users may keep copies and links to TaskController tasks and appointments in their personal folders, but the public folders are the primary method of keeping users' tasks in sync.

TaskController may be used by more than one group on the same Exchange server.  Each group will have its own configuration and its own public folder structure; however, if a user is involved in more than one group, they will need to switch configurations within the TaskController options window each time they wish to manage tasks in a different group.

As part of the initial installation and configuration of TaskController, you will create a public folder structure once for each separate group.  Creation of each structure can be performed automatically from the TaskController configuration options as described in the section Creating Public Folders.

Once the public folder structure has been created for a group, each user in the group must have TaskController installed on their workstation.  See the section Installing TaskController for details.

When each user has the application installed and configured to point to the public folders, TaskController tasks are created like normal tasks in the designated task folder of the public folders.  New task fields such as Department and Group allow tasks to be separated into what can be thought of as different task queues.  A new TaskController view uses Outlook's view management functions to create foldable groupings of these queues for easy and customizable viewing of tasks.

TaskController supports assigning teams to a task, enables status updates to be sent to team members and other concerned parties, as well as to track progress through task updates and to track time spent.

Tasks which require more than one person to complete can be passed from one user to another through the Assigned To field.

When complete, tasks may be archived to the Completed Tasks folder.


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