Once you create tasks, you’re ready to add task estimates. This is a valuable step in order to track your team’s progression on a project and to stay on budget.
This article will explain how to create task estimates, and how to apply these estimates to your Task Dashboard.
Note: An alternative way to create tasks and add task details involves using the Task Editor on the Project Dashboard. Also, instead of “tasks,” your firm may refer to these units of work as “budget items,” “phases,” “work items,” or “engagements.” It’s easy to update the lexicon settings in BigTime to accommodate your firm’s needs.
Follow these steps to create task budgets on your Task Dashboard.
1. Click WORKFLOW...TASK BOARD to get to your Task Dashboard.
2. Select a task from the Task Dashboard, and a new window will pop up.
3. Click on the BUDGET/DATES tab. This is where you can add budget estimates and dates.
You can add start and due dates by clicking in the respective field. Either type the numerical date or select the start and due date from the calendar that populates. This window is also where you’ll add your budget information: hours, fee, and expenses. We’ll define these terms below:
HOURS BUDGET refers to the hours budgeted for the task. In the image above, we estimate it’ll take 200 hours.
FEE BUDGET is related to the hourly billing rate.
EXPENSE BUDGET is related to expenses. Expense-types vary by company, but may include travel expenses and meals out.
It’s helpful to determine these budgets, so they can be tracked separately with reports. For example, you can create a custom report that tracks expenses, such as credit card expenses. Or run a custom “expense report information” report, consisting of submission date, posted date, total expenses, and report name.
Note: If you click the dialog box ARCHIVE (100% COMPLETE), you are telling BigTime that you’re finished with a task and you want to archive it. When you choose this option, your Task Dashboard will look like this:
The task is crossed-out, indicating that it’s complete. However, you can reactivate it by clicking on the task and un-checking the dialog box, ARCHIVE (100% COMPLETE).
1. Click SAVE to apply your estimates to your task, and you’ll return to your Task Dashboard.
The entered information may appear on your Task Dashboard, depending on the column categories you have selected. For example, in the image below you can see the due date has been added to the Task Dashboard. However, you can easily change your columns to include categories that relevant to your firm. Click here to learn how.
Add Project Budgets to Your Task Dashboard Overview Window
Apply project estimates, like the estimated number of hours and fees, to your overview Task Dashboard window. You can do this by customizing your Task Dashboard. In the image below, we added “estimate/hours” and “estimate/fees” to our Task Dashboard.
TIP: User Rights Needed
To enter task-related information, a user needs to have certain rights within BigTime. The user needs to be on a project team, or the user needs to have these user rights:
- View/manage any project, and
- Act as a task/activity administrator.