Note: The newer version of this feature will be available for customers who signed up before Nov 2, 2020 in the next few months.
Most IT projects involve intense planning and a considerable amount of risk. Having to switch between your project management solution and your ITSM tool to access information is the last thing you want.
Let’s look at how project management works in Freshservice. If you’d rather watch a video explaining this, here’s one.
The following are some of the major activities involved in managing projects in Freshservice:
1. Projects tab
When you go to the Projects tab, you can see a grid view of all projects. You can filter it down to show just the projects that you’re a part of, completed projects and archived projects.
You can get a basic idea about the projects right from the grid view. It shows you:
the project owner
the project title
what percentage of the project is completed [completed tasks/total tasks x 100]*
the due date/time to the due date
a red exclamation mark next to the due date implies that a task that directly affects the project deadline is overdue
*It doesn’t take into account the number of subtasks within the tasks.
You can click on a project to view more details and to start working on it [part 3 onwards].
2. Creating a new project
Creating a new project is fairly simple:
Go to the Projects tab and click on the New Project button. This brings up the New Project Form.
Enter a title for the project. If you wish to add a description, click on Add Description to do that.
Now enter a start date and an end date for the project.
Specify the project’s status and priority and click on Create Project.
Once the project is created, you can edit its title or description by clicking on the ‘pencil’ icon next to the title.
If you need to update its properties like the priority, status, owner and start/end date, click on the ‘pencil’ icon next to Properties, make the changes and click update.
3. Project owner and members
The agent who creates the project is designated as the project owner by default, but you can add other stakeholders as members to the project:
Open the project and scroll down to the Members section.
Click on the + icon. Now you can search for agents and add them as project members.
Once added, members can perform the following tasks on the project:
Add more members
Delete their own tasks
Add watchers to tasks
Add dependency to all tasks
Comment on all tasks
Add subtasks to all tasks
4. Managing project tasks and subtasks
Tasks and subtasks are critical parts of a project. They define the activities that need to be carried out to ensure project completion.
4.1. Adding tasks to projects
You can create up to 3 levels of tasks within a project (task, subtask, and sub-subtask). To add a task to a project:
Go to the project and under the Tasks tab, click on Add new.
Enter a short description for the task.
Click on the Calendar icon to add a start and end date and choose when the task owner will be notified.
Assign a member to the task and click on Add to create the task.
4.2. Updating task properties
Once a task is created, you can click on it to modify it. This opens up a panel where you can view more details and make changes like:
Add watchers: Click on the ‘star’ icon in the top right corner.
Delete the task: Click on the ‘bin’ icon.
Edit the task name: Click on the name.
Add a description: Click on ‘Add Description’.
Add attachments: Click on ‘Attach Files’.
Edit start date/end date/notification: Click on the dates.
Update the status: Click on the current status.
Change the task member: Click on the member’s name.
4.3. Collaborating on tasks through comments
The Comments section is a great way to consult other project members and stakeholders. It can also be used to provide feedback on the task owner and make notes about the progress.
4.4. Adding subtasks to tasks
If a task consists of multiple activities to be carried out by different stakeholders, it can be split into subtasks. To add a subtask to a task, go to the Subtasks tab and click on Add New.
You can also go one level deeper and add sub-subtasks to subtasks.
4.5. Creating dependencies between tasks
If a specific task or subtask can be started only after the previous task is finished, you can add a dependency between the two tasks.
Let’s say the commencement of Task 2 is dependent on the completion of Task 1, you can set this dependency using one of the two ways:
Go to the Dependencies tab of Task 1 and add Task 2 as a successor.
Go to the Dependencies tab of Task 2 and add Task 1 as a predecessor.
5. Associating projects with Incidents, Changes, and Assets
Most IT projects are related to incidents, changes or assets. In such cases, you can create associations between them to add context to both the project and the incidents/changes/assets.
This can be done using one of two methods:
5.1. Creating an association from the project details page:
Log in to Freshservice and go to the Projects tab. Freshservice and go to the Projects tab.
Open the project and click on the Associations tab.
Now click on Associate and select what you’d like to associate – incidents, changes or assets.
Select the items from the list that pops up and click on Link.
5.2. You can create associations even from the respective incident or change
Incidents: Open the incident, click on associate and then select either new or existing project.
Changes: Open the change, click on associate and then select either new or existing project.
6. Viewing the activity logs for projects
You can view a complete roundup of all the activities for reviewing the project from the Activity tab.
7. Adding attachments and updating the project properties
Certain documents, like the statement of work, are essential for all the stakeholders. You can make it easy for them to access by adding it as an attachment.
If there are any changes to the project with respect to ownership, due date etc. at any point, you can edit its properties by clicking on the ‘pencil’ icon to the right of it.
The project is completed once all its tasks and subtasks are completed. You can click on the ‘box’ icon next to the project title if you wish to archive it and get back to it later by using the filter on the Projects tab.