Managing a lot of tasks across several team members can quickly get confusing. Keeping track of who is responsible for what is a challenge. By associating tasks to people on your team, whether it be as an owner, assignee, or follower, helps the team know who is doing what, and who to go to when questions come up. This methodology is common in bug tracking systems and helps the team stay in constant communication. Attributing roles to each task keeps a team organized while working from one master task list, avoiding unintentional overlaps in their efforts.
The owner is the person responsible for seeing the task through to completion. They are sometimes the manager of the project and they assign tasks to assignees (resource level users, for example) to execute the work. Some more owner facts:
- Owners have ability to close a task once it has been completed (as do assignees and followers, depending on their user level).
- A task can have multiple owners. This helps teams who have multiple people assigning and closing tasks.
- All user levels, except Executive, can be set as task owners. Executive users are meant to be out of the task loop.
- Resources can only close tasks where they are the owner. This gives them ability to assign tasks to themselves or others, but discourages them from closing other people’s owned tasks until they’re Verified by a 3rd party.
- The owner doesn’t necessarily have to create the task, someone else can create a task and mark them as an owner. When this happens, the owner gets an email alert.
The assignee is the person responsible for doing the work.
- The assignee can raise questions about the work, by adding comments into the task to communicate to the owner or followers about their progress. For example, if an assignee cannot complete the task, they can either change the assignee back to the owner, or add a comment into the task while changing the task status to “need assistance”.
- A task can have multiple assignees.
- Assignees have ability to change the status of a task at any point in the lifetime of the task.
- An assignee cannot close the task if they are a Resource level user.
- Executive users or Client contacts cannot be assignees. Executive users are meant to be out of the task loop and Client contacts cannot have login access therefore are unable to participate in task email communications.
A follower is anyone who wants to be kept in the loop as the task progresses. The follower does not have an active role in the life cycle of the task, they are just observers.
Task followers can view tasks and will receive task updates via email. This feature allows task participants to be broken down into three clear categories based on their responsibilities — owner, assignee, or follower.
This can be useful for project managers that want to include other people in the collaborative aspects of a task (for example, a client or a web developer) while keeping a clear distinction from the assignee’s responsibilities.
- Only Administrator, Manager and Resource users can be followers. Executive users cannot be task followers because they do not receive task comment notifications.
- Task followers receive all of the task update, task comment, and document upload notifications unless the user has disabled any of their email notifications.
- A person cannot be a follower if they are already an owner or assignee on the task.
- A task can have multiple followers.