The proper selection and use of a project management application are essential to maintain tasks stored with their assignment status and to control deadlines for delivery dates. Additionally, a professional project manager will also offer other secondary functions that add value to the overall process.
Firstly, we have planning, which allows us to understand the complete block of tasks to be carried out before starting. Often, modifications need to be made to this plan before execution to ensure a proper production evolution. Having a general plan where we can study action overlaps, factors that will determine corrections, contextual information, and more, is of great help. Secondly, a work team rarely performs a single block of tasks simultaneously. For example, in a month of work, we may have multiple overlapping roadmaps, and our agenda is composed of tasks of different nature.
At this point, it is important to provide several definitions.
Roadmap: A set of sprints that form a whole from start to finish and have a specific objective. It encompasses the design, planning, execution, and review phases of a block of tasks as a whole.
Sprint: A group of tasks within a smaller time frame. Roadmaps are composed of these sprints. It is usually the smallest time unit that teams handle. Depending on the team and the project, it can be one or two weeks. It also coincides with the deliverable functional units.
Task: It is the atomic unit of the system. A task refers to an individual part that can be corrected and generates an autonomous file or material. A task should have a single person responsible for its completion and a supervisor. For example, "Buy a ticket" is a task because it can be validated and can have attached files such as invoices or boarding passes. On the other hand, "Organize Trip" is a sprint composed of multiple tasks, such as getting the tickets, arranging a taxi, booking a hotel, etc.
A practical example of these two terms would be a roadmap called "Attend an Event," which would include several separate sprint blocks. We can separate them into "Sprint #1, Preparatory work"; "Sprint #2, The Event"; "Sprint #3, Post-Event." We create the tasks for each of these sprints and assign deadlines and responsible individuals, so the manager can handle notifications and allow the workflow to continue. Tasks such as purchasing tickets, searching for a hotel, and other administrative tasks are included. Each sprint has a unique objective and theme, and the combination of these sprints forms the roadmap called "Attend an Event."
In this way, the complete roadmap is packaged and stored to ensure task consistency and create a work routine. Task managers allow the selection of multiple roadmaps to be executed simultaneously, combining these individual tasks into simpler structured units for easier management by the involved profiles. For example, an administrative profile searching for tickets for multiple different events simultaneously will see a dashboard with their combined task list when the roadmaps are merged. Task managers excel in these cases, as they can apply filters, segmentations by individuals, and provide a visualization of potential issues such as overlaps or excessive workload for the staff.
Often, small companies use calendars or task management systems like Asana, Trello, or even Excel. However, as the workload exponentially increases, specialized software is required to handle it effectively. This is where an appropriate task manager becomes necessary.
These specialized software solutions offer diverse solutions depending on the market. In the field of audiovisual production, we offer PipelinePRO, task management software focused on animation productions. We provide support in the series' construction and the management of tens of thousands of tasks involved, offering added value through secondary tasks within roadmaps.
In addition to all the modules and specific automation machinery for animation series, we have two modules for company task management.
Protocols: This module focuses on building the processes that the company carries out. In addition to diagramming and documenting them, they are executable. This allows companies to have "templates" to execute and complete instances. These processes should be continuously improved through iteration to increase their efficiency.
Roadmaps: This is a control module, similar to assets or shots in productions, but based on free tasks that are created directly or are instances of an executed protocol. It controls task assignment, comments and feedback, and stores generated files.
We will delve deeper into our Protocols and Roadmaps modules in future posts and video tutorials.