I’ve been grappling with the way LDRPS Version 10 handles tasks and subtasks. In version 9 you created a team, then created team members, then assigned tasks to the team members. When I attended version 10 training I was left with the impression that tasks were essentially handled in the same manner, and Strohl simply added the ability to create subtasks under them. It isn’t quite that simple. In the new version of LDRPS tasks are assigned owners. Subtasks are created under the tasks and assigned to team members. So, we create a team called the A Team with a team leader and team members X, Y, and Z. Next we create a task called Task 1 with subtasks 1a, 1b, 1c, and 1d. We designate the A Team leader as the owner of Task 1 and assign subtasks 1a, and 1b to A Team members X and Y respectively. We’ll assign two subtasks, 1c and 1d, to team member Z. In other words:
Team Lead owns Task 1
Team Member X is assigned Subtask 1a
Team Member Y is assigned Subtask 1b
Team Member Z is assigned Subtasks 1c and 1d
I can see where this functionality could be useful but I’ve found it to be rather difficult to explain. Furthermore, if we don’t want life to be this complicated, what is the best way to deal with tasks and subtasks?
One approach I’ve been playing around with is creating what I’ll term as task sets. For example, we have an outline for a notification procedure. There are about eleven steps in the procedure. I create a task called Notification and list each step in the notification process as a subtask. Any business unit can create a team position called Notification and assign the subtasks in the Notification task set to the Notification team position. That way we can use the existing task checklist reports to produce a Notification Checklist.
Another example: Say we have a team called Server Recovery Team headed by the data center manager. We might create a task called, Restore Server Farm. Naturally that task would break down into a number of subtasks. The data center manager would be designated as the task owner. The many subtasks would likely be distributed to various IT (and possibly procurement) personnel who comprised the Server Recovery Team.
Only recently have I shifted my focus to LDRPS reports. As I examine the outputs more closely I might discover some oversights regarding tasks and subtasks or I might create a custom report to simplify matters. As I explore this issue I will update my blog. As always, comments and insights are welcomed.