Tutorial 7: Using the Home Page to Manage Your Work

This tutorial takes about 25 minutes and is intended for all users of Ketura.

Your personalized Home Page presents a simple, but sophisticated, interface that enables you effectively to manage the work assigned to you. The Home Page is discussed in detail in the Ketura Tour Step 7: The Home Page.

This tutorial covers:

  • Understanding what you are expected to be working on and when;
  • Managing your work;
  • Recording the time that you have spent working on various tasks;
  • Finding out whether you have worked the intended time on particular projects.

Scenario

This tutorial assumes that you have the example database installed. This database illustrates various Ketura concepts applied to a fictional firm, XYZ, Inc.

In this tutorial, you step into the shoes of Andrew Wright, XYZ’s office administrator and manager, and use his Home Page to manage his work.

1. Go to the Home Page

Ketura provides personalized Pending and In progress task lists on your Home Page. Together, these show all the tasks of issues in current milestones of active projects that are assigned to you. These are the tasks that the relevant project managers wish you to be working upon.

  • Ensure that you are logged onto the example database as Andrew Wright, XYZ’s administrator and office manager. Andrew’s log on id is ‘aw’, and the password for this account is the same as the password for the ‘admin’ account that was provided during the installation of the Ketura server.
  • Check that you are viewing the Home Page for Andrew Wright. If not, click the global Home navigation tab, near the top-left of the page.

Why two lists? Tasks in current milestones of active projects that have been planned for you appear automatically in the Pending list, sorted in the order that the project manager expects you to work on them (earliest work at the top). For complicated projects, the list of pending tasks could be very large. A single list could therefore contain an overwhelming number of tasks. Instead, you can select just a few tasks to work on at a time from the Pending list, transferring them to your In progress list. You can then focus upon those few tasks, switching between them with ease.

Information A third user-related task list exists on the Planned tasks tab of the Manage User page for each user (reachable by following the appropriate user id link from the Users list tab of the Manage Users page). This shows the tasks that are planned for the user on active projects, but which are not yet on a current milestone and which therefore do not appear on a user’s Pending or In progress tabs.

Information Ketura has another feature to prevent users from being overwhelmed by a huge number of pending tasks. For each project, a project manager designates one particular milestone as being current. Only incomplete tasks from issues in each project’s current milestone, and those preceding it, are shown in your Pending tab. Thus, you typically only see only those outstanding tasks from the current milestone of each project. This has the further advantage that you are not distracted (or tempted to start work upon) work in milestones later than the current one.

2. Use the pending list

  • Select the Pending tab.

This tab shows the tasks that are waiting for you to work upon, grouped by issue.

The tasks in this list are shown in the order that the project manager expects you to undertake work, taking into account factors such as the order of milestones within a project, the relative issue priority within each milestone and the allocation of your time to various projects. Therefore, you should generally endeavour to complete tasks higher up in the list before commencing those further down.

Move tasks to your in progress list

You have decided that you want to move T1054 of I1010, and the three tasks of I1014, to your In progress list, as you intend to start working on them shortly.

  • Locate I1010 on the Pending tab. Check the checkbox, to the right of the table, for task T1054 on this issue.
  • Locate I1014. Check the checkbox for this issue. Note that all of its tasks are selected.
  • Click the Move To In Progress button.
  • Notice that the tasks have disappeared from the Pending tab and now appear on the In progress tab.

Start work on a task in the pending list

  • Click the Start button in the row for task T1055 (on issue I1010).
  • Notice that you are taken to the In progress tab, and that T1055 has been moved here. Further, the task is highlighted in yellow, indicating that it is currently being timed, and there is a Stop button in the task’s table row.
  • Select the Work journal tab.
  • Choose Latest entries in the For period filter drop-down list box.
  • Observe that a new work journal entry has been created for task T1055, and that there is a Stop button against the entry.
  • Click the Stop button.

Information The work journal is discussed in detail later on in this tutorial.

3. Use the in progress list

  • Select the In progress tab.

This tab shows the tasks on which you are currently working, grouped by issue. As you have already seen, you are in complete control of which tasks from your Pending tab are moved into this list. You can therefore choose to focus on a few tasks at a time.

Like the Pending list, tasks are shown here in the order that the project manager expects you to undertake work.

It is recommended that you periodically monitor your Pending tab to see whether tasks have been assigned to you that are scheduled to be completed sooner than those already on your In progress tab.

Use the task timer to record work on different tasks

In this scenario, you have decided that you are going to start work on task T1074 (on issue I1014), and that you are going to record the time spent on the task in your work journal.

  • Click the associated Start button in the T1074 table row.
  • Notice that the task’s row is now highlighted in yellow. This indicates that Ketura has started recording your working time on the task. Also notice that the Start button has changed to become a Stop button. This can be used to stop timing work on the task

Let’s now assume that you wish to start work on T1055 (on issue I1010).

  • Click the Start button for that task.
  • Ketura is now timing task T1055, and has automatically stopped the timer for task T1074. You didn’t have to stop the timer for that task manually. This means that you can switch between logging work against different tasks with a single mouse click. The makes it very convenient to change tasks if, for example, someone telephones you and your current work is interrupted.
  • Click the associated Stop button for Task T1055. Ketura is no longer recording your time.
  • Select the Work journal tab.
  • Notice that a work journal entry has been created for both of the activities you timed.

Move a task back to the pending list

You have decided that you are too busy to work on task T1055 for the moment, and therefore wish to move the task back to the Pending tab.

  • Select the In progress tab.
  • Check the checkbox at the right of the table row containing task T1055. The task is highlighted in blue.
  • Click the Move To Pending button.
  • Notice that the task is no longer present in the In progress tab, as it has moved back to the Pending tab.

Information You can select several tasks and move them to the Pending tab in one go.

Marking a task as complete

You have finished work on task T1054, and therefore want to mark that task as complete.

  • Check the checkbox at the right of the table row containing task T1054. The task is highlighted in blue.
  • Click the Mark As Complete button.
  • Notice that the task has disappeared from the In progress tab. This is because it is complete and no longer has any work remaining. When a task is marked as complete, its expected work remaining is set to 0. Completed tasks are shown with their ids struck through wherever they appear in Ketura.

Information You can select several tasks and mark them all as complete in one go.

Update your work remaining estimates

What happens if the expected work remaining for a task in your In progress or Pending tabs differs significantly from your current best estimate? You should revise the estimate. This immediately makes the manager of the task’s project aware of your revised estimate, enabling him or her to plan the remainder of the project accordingly.

You have decided that task T1076 is going to take you another 10 hours to complete.

  • Locate the row for task T1076 on your In progress tab.
  • Enter 10h in the entry field in the Work Remaining column.
  • Click the Apply button.

Information You can update the work remaining estimates for several of your tasks in one go.

4. Use your work journal

As already seen, the Home Page contains a tab for your work journal. An entry is created in the work journal every time you start timing work for a task. The work journal therefore acts as a historical record of the work that you have undertaken on various tasks.

What happens if you forget to start or stop a timer for a particular task at the appropriate time, or if you undertake work while out of the office and are unable to access Ketura? The Work journal tab accommodates this situation by enabling you retrospectively to create or modify entries on particular tasks.

You have realized that you need to create a work journal entry for the work you did on task T1299 this morning.

  • Select the Work journal tab.
  • Click the New Entry button to create a new, empty, work journal entry.
  • In the new entry, enter T1299 in the text entry field in the Task column.
  • In the entry field in the Start Date column, enter today’s date.
  • In the entry field in the Start Time column, enter 9:00. Times are recorded using a 24 hour clock, so this represents 9 am.
  • In the End Time field, enter 11:30.
  • Click the Apply button.
  • Notice that the duration field is automatically completed for you. If you had instead left the End Time field blank and specified the duration (for example, 2.5h), Ketura would have calculated the end time for you.

Information You can create several empty work journal entries by clicking the New Entry button repeatedly. This can be convenient if you wish manually to record work on several different tasks.

5. Use your activity analysis to see whether you have undertaken the expected amount of work on each project

The Your Activity Analysis page shows the work you have undertaken over a period of time, broken down in a number of useful ways. If you have permission to view cost information, you can also see how much the work you have undertaken has cost your organization.

  • Screenshot showing Your Activity Analysis pageSelect the Work journal tab.
  • Follow the View Activity Analysis link, in the top-left of the Work journal tab.
  • The Your Activity Analysis page appears.
  • Select the Activity by project tab.
  • Choose This month in the For period drop-down list box.
  • The table shows you the amount of your time in the selected period that is allocated to each project, how much you have done thus far within the period, and the variance between the two. The proportion of the allocated work that you have undertaken is shown as a percentage, and also graphically as a progress bar. This enables you to see at a glance whether you have worked as much as your managers expected in chosen given period.

Information The same information can be viewed for other users in their management pages (global Users navigation tab > Users list tab > user id link > Activity by project tab).

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