Every business has a multitude of processes. From onboarding staff to writing blogs, dispatching wage slips and answering customer emails, there’s a host of tasks that all contribute to how effectively a company is run.
In order to manage these processes effectively, businesses need a uniform approach, no matter who’s working on it. This ensures the project is done completely and correctly. It also guarantees quality control. None of the granular details of a task are missed, and there’s no ambiguity in what needs to be achieved.
Many companies have implemented task management systems through the use of multiple platforms, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, or plain old pen and paper. But opening multiple windows and having data scattered across different systems creates an ineffective system. It’s far better to employ a centralized task management software platform with an easy-to-use task dashboard. But where do you start mapping out these processes?
Three levels of activity
The best software can be split into three levels of functionality – one tier for employees, one for managers and team leaders, and one for business leaders.
- Employees should be able to see all the relevant tasks assigned to them, and their deadlines. A personal task manager that’s mobile accessible is perfect for this level.
- Managers and team leaders need to be able to see all the tasks assigned to their team, as well as a higher level summary. They should be able to filter tasks and use a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) view of workflows.
- Business leaders and senior management don’t need to see every small detail upfront, but they should have an idea of how their teams are performing. The specific details should also be accessible as needed, but not on their core overview.
Tip: in beSlick, these levels are covered by ‘My Tasks’ for employees, ‘Template Reports’ for managers and team leaders, and custom reports based on ‘All Tasks’ and ‘Dashboards’ for business leaders.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at the various functions of a task dashboard in-depth and demonstrate why they’re essential to your future business success.
What is a task dashboard?
A task dashboard is part of a workflow management system, intended to organize and streamline all of your business’s workflows and processes. The task dashboard makes it easy to see your progress at a glance with a single view of what’s overdue and what’s on track. There’s a lot of information you can include on your task dashboard, including:
- Task name
- Due date or date started
- Task type
- How many are in progress or have been completed
Remember that in a dashboard, you want to keep all the information as simple and high level as possible. In general, you’ll want to be able to answer the following questions:
- How many tasks are in progress?
- How many tasks are overdue?
- How many tasks have been completed?
Here’s what a beSlick onboarding dashboard might look like:
Most companies have different departments, such as marketing, sales, customer service and human resources. Within these sit multiple employees, using a variety of different platforms to plan and execute their projects.
A great task management tool offers the flexibility to handle workflows from any department in a central platform.This ensures everyone has sight of the tasks that concern them, and allows process and workflow to cross departments—typically it is the handover between departments where process errors happen so this is really important. Having everything in one place makes it much easier for managers and business leaders to keep an at-a-glance eye on the running of their whole organization.
Being hosted in the cloud, the beSlick platform can be utilized from both desktop or via a mobile app. This enables remote working, or for managers to gain an oversight of their operations without needing to be in the office.
How do I create a task dashboard?
There are lots of business management tools out there. Some workflow software is designed for specific niches or industries. Others are customizable, and so suitable for all ventures. As with all new software platforms, you’ll need to go through an onboarding process first of all. Once you’ve suitably installed everything, you can get started.
So where to start? Before creating a dashboard, you need to know which process or workflow you need to keep track of, and define it. There will be key milestones, inputs and outputs – but keep it simple to start with. You can create processes and dashboards to cover your entire business, but start with something quick to show value to the business and win some sponsors for the project.
It might be customer onboarding, a maintenance schedule process, employee onboarding or billing in finance – anything that is repeatable and important to the business (and may currently be causing some issues).
Get your employees involved from the start – they’re the ones on the front line, and they’ll know the granular details of their day-to-day work inside-out. A major focus when it comes to creating a task dashboard is usability – if your task dashboard is a pain to work with, it’s completely counterproductive to what you’re hoping to achieve.
Done well, a task management dashboard can actually help to raise standards across your business. It’s clear what’s expected of employees on every task they undertake, no corners can be cut and no steps to completion missed.
Don’t forget to include the likes of staff and client onboarding, service issues, employee feedback and compliance. Consider the KPIs (key performance indicators) that are most important to your business and have these in mind right from the planning stage.
Once you’ve compiled all this data, you can work out the number of processes or workflows you need to create in your chosen software and then build your dashboard from the bottom up. In beSlick, we’ve already created the Template Reports and Dashboards you need out of the box, so just build your workflow process as Templates and execute as Tasks – you can then view them in whatever form gives you the detail you need.
What should a task dashboard show?
Different organizations will have different processes, KPIs and metrics to monitor. It’s of most benefit to a business to create separate dashboards for each department, detailing the tasks they’ll be working on. Here’s an example of an onboarding task list, which a human resources department may work with:
Remember to refine your own individual list with the help of employee feedback. A failure to gather insights from those working on tasks is one of the reasons why a process fails. Below we’ve listed some major considerations for a winning task dashboard:
- Tasks in planning
- Tasks in progress
- Completed tasks
- Budgets for tasks
- Breakdown of a task assigned to different employees
- Reports and analytics
Employees need to be able to access and see the same dashboard that shows what they need to do at-a-glance, without multiple clicks and windows. Dates and essential numbers need to be made clear so that it’s easy to dig into the details and understand where a task stands in terms of its progress towards completion. Moreover, sharing should be enabled at the touch of a button so that employees can ensure everyone involved in the task stays on track.
Don’t forget, a task dashboard should differ according to the needs of the individual. Those working on the tasks themselves need a dashboard that reflects their workload, and the workload of their team. This means the task dashboard needs to be configurable to the needs of specific tasks and departments, so that users can create and view report dashboards that show exactly what you need them to. Whereas a business leader doesn’t need to see this – their homepage needs to reflect their organization’s complete project schedule instead.
How to use the beSlick task dashboard
beSlick is designed to be a customizable workflow solution. We’ve included a template library, so even the most tech-shy can get started straight away. The dashboard design is clear, logical and straightforward.
Getting started with the task dashboard is easy – once you’ve established all of the workflows you’re going to start with, you can begin mapping your processes.
1. Map your first process
Put simply, a process is how something should be done. This is a single function that your business performs. It could be your onboarding process, how employees take holiday leave, how a blog is created for your website or how your customer service team should answer calls. This can be completed by one person, a team, or it could cross departments. Fundamentally, it’s a repeatable set of steps that lead to an outcome.
Process mapping begins by listing the steps that make up that activity, one by one. On each step you can add a description of how you perform that step, assign it to a specific person, set date rules, change the importance and add files and links (adding value to the process in this way means it can also be used for training new employees).
Here you can also assign each step to a specific individual, add deadlines, an order of importance and any links to essential files.
Seek feedback from the team who’ll be working on this process. You may have missed out some important steps, or added too many. You need to agree on something that everyone is happy working with, or productivity will suffer.
In beSlick, we call processes ‘Templates‘. They can also be procedures, policies, playbooks – whatever you need them to be. From a Template, you can then create Tasks – these are dynamic checklists that follow the path you’ve created in your Template exactly.
2. Create tasks
The next step is to create a task. This is a checklist that reflects the steps you’ve just created when mapping your process. As each step is completed, employees can simply tick them off the checklist and the progress of your process will be recorded.
Some of the steps you’ve created may rely on a decision being made during a previous step. These will be greyed out until that previous decision has been made (for example, client feedback on a content article affects whether that article can go live or needs a second draft).
To guide you through your first processes, you’ll see Tooltips. This is a digital assistant which will act as a reminder should you miss anything. If you happen to miss assigning a step to an individual, Tooltips will let you know. And when you’ve created your first process, Tooltips will prompt you to save it as a template.
Once you’ve put together a few processes and know the process back-to-front, you can disable Tooltips until you ever need it again.
All templates come with an accessible report under the ‘report’ tab. Here you can track the status of the tasks you’ve created within that template. Reports will show you the progress made on that process or template in the style of a Gantt chart, and what’s been completed. You’ll be able to break down the report into individual steps, see if deadlines have been met and if everything’s running smoothly.
4. All Tasks
Under ‘All Tasks’, you can see everything across the business you have the permissions to see. This can be ‘all overdue Tasks in finance’ or ‘all Tasks due this week in operations’ as an example.
You can select from different filters on the task dashboard that you want to see. To see this view in the dashboard or to save a filtered view for future reference, you can click the Save Report to Dashboard option.
Now that you’ve saved some reports from ‘All Tasks’, you can view them by clicking ‘Dashboard’. By default, Dashboard shows all the Tasks across your business under the key headings. However, you can change what you’re looking at by using the drop-down to pick one of the reports you saved in the previous Step.
As mentioned previously, the Dashboard is designed to answer the three basic questions;
– How many Tasks are in progress?
– How many Tasks are overdue?
– How many have been completed?
These are broken down a little further, and then by who each Task is assigned to, so you can measure a team’s workload by individual. You can select a weekly or monthly view, and also click into the numbers to be redirected back to ‘All Tasks’ with those filters applied, showing you the exact detail you need to see.
Here are some examples you might want to use this approach for;
- Customer onboarding dashboard
- Internal audit management dashboard
- Manufacturing or production line dashboard
- Maintenance schedule dashboard
- Employee hiring dashboard
This can be hugely powerful and very flexible tool, that is quick and easy to get started with.
6. Rich text features
To make your processes, tasks and templates clearer and easier to absorb, the beSlick platform includes rich text features, such as bold, bullet points, different text sizes and color. If you’ve done any initial process mapping in Word documents, you can simply cut-and-paste them directly into your dashboard processes, without losing any formatting.
Benefits of the beSlick Task Dashboard
We’ll look at some points in granular detail below, but let’s visualize the bigger picture for a moment. The beSlick Dashboard isn’t merely an organizational tool – it’s actually a stepping stone towards greater success in business.
Streamlining workflows means a unified approach – the best ideas from your teams get shared and used by all individuals. This means a higher standard of service for your clients, which in turn leads to better results, greater customer retention, and a better business reputation. The power of word-of-mouth marketing is not to be underestimated.
For business leaders, employing team task management software frees up their time to actually lead their business. Staying ahead of the competition is no mean feat. It takes endless research to find new methods, as well as to identify improvements within your own company which can help your brand go that extra mile.
beSlick enables you to do this, as you’re no longer chasing your tail, attempting to keep on top of the day-to-day running of your enterprise. A great task dashboard is an extension of your workforce, eradicating business problems with the wave of a magic wand.
Now, let’s check out some benefits at ground level!
As you’ll find from a quick Google search, there are countless project management software solutions out there. Many are industry-related, others are designed for particular sizes of business or specific departments, processes or projects.
The beSlick task dashboard was created with customization firmly in mind. User-friendly and a virtual blank canvas, users don’t need to do any heavy coding or be tech-savvy to get the most out of this feature—quite the opposite in fact.
By following the simple map process>set tasks>save template procedure, your dashboard will be bespoke to the particular needs of your organization. There’ll be no features running away in the background that you don’t use. And given that there are no limits on storage, the platform simply expands in line with the growth of your business. You can amend or delete templates whenever you like, and add to your template pool at will.
Moreover, businesses need a solution that will grow with them, and beSlick does precisely that. There’s no rigid set of templates, pre-designated metrics or storage space. ‘Customizable’ does what it says on the tin – if your business changes or doubles overnight, you can simply redesign your dashboard to reflect this!
Easy to access
beSlick is super accessible, due to its cloud nature it can be accessed from a PC, laptop or mobile device – there are even native iOS and android apps you can use. As you can create personal tasks, it means that beSlick on your mobile quickly becomes your one home for task management – so nothing gets missed!
It also means that staff can check progress, read processes ‘how-to’ when they are out and mobile, or working from home – a truly flexible platform to help your business grow, wherever your staff are.
Once you’ve created a process template, it’s essential to gather feedback from those who’ll be working directly with it. The whole point of using a task management system is to get everyone working to the same standards and make life easier. Eradicate any potential problems by seeking feedback at the very start.
You can create a shareable link for your dashboard so the relevant team can suggest improvements. Simply select the ‘Share’ icon from the header bar. You’ll be able to share a read-only version of your template, by sending the link to any email addresses of your choice.
Zapier’s application programming interface (API) integration makes it easy to integrate your beSlick dashboard with over 1500 applications. This includes importing data extracted from the platform onto other systems, such as your CRM (customer relationship management system).
It’s much easier to analyze data from across your different departments and campaigns if it’s all housed in the same place, and Zapier integrations enable you to do precisely this. It’ll also help you automate your processes, so things can happen more efficiently.
A few examples to help see how this can work;
- When you carry out a task in beSlick, you can automatically trigger something to happen in an integrated platform, such as sending a personalised email for onboarding
- When a form is completed on your website, it can automatically create a Task in process bliss to pick it up, such as a sales enquiry or booking.
- When information is entered into a Task, such as the value of a purchase order, it can integrate this into your finance system, saving time.
Using My Tasks to track your tasks, actions & reminders with beSlick
‘Tasks’ are split into two:
- My tasks
- All tasks
The ‘My tasks’ tab shows everything that’s been assigned to you. This is work that’s yet to be started, or work in progress.
The ‘All tasks’ tab shows everything that’s been assigned to your colleagues. It also includes completed work.
As with the platform as a whole, you’re able to customize your task list. This is especially useful for those with a lengthy list that needs prioritizing. You can prioritize a task through the ‘priority’ column. You can also hide tasks that are cluttering your immediate list, such as those set way into the future.
Handily, you can also reorder the order of your tasks – just drag and drop to your desired order, by selecting the dots next to a specific task. You can use the dots to hide tasks as well, and stipulate a date when a specific task will reappear. Although it’s only temporary, there’s nothing like the psychological advantage gained by seeing tasks ‘disappear’ into thin air!
You can also alter your task list through the available filters:
- Organization (useful if you work for multiple clients)
- Creator of task
- Task status
Those with higher-level access can also use the filters to see tasks assigned to a specific team or individual, within a certain timescale. This is super-handy for those overseeing large organizations, in order to grab a quick overview of what your sales team is working on, for instance.
Team task management is made easy through the beSlick platform. When creating a process, the various steps are assigned to the creator by default. However, tasks can be assigned to other people, including those without a beSlick account. When assigning a task in this case scenario, an email is dispatched, requesting them to join.
To assign steps or complete tasks to other people, click on the ‘Assigned to’ widget. If an individual is already part of your organization, you can simply type in their name and then select it from the drop-down menu. If not, just add their email address. The requested new user will receive their invitation to set up a beSlick account as soon as the task or step is saved.
Assigning tasks is particularly of use to your senior management team or project leaders. You may wish to govern the initial template creation yourself, or do it with a dedicated team. But once you’ve refined and then rolled out your processes, responsibility for assigning tasks is something you can easily delegate in future.
Tasks, steps and templates can be reassigned to others if needed. This can come in handy if an individual is on sick leave, or if a higher-priority task is taking up their time. You can reassign a task via the task menu drop-down. Reassigning a specific step can be done via the person icon on the right of that step.
An email is automatically sent to notify the person you’ve reassigned the task or step to. You can also add comments for clarity. There’ll likely be an important reason why a task has to be reassigned, and it’ll save your recipient asking the question ‘why me?!’
If tasks, steps, or templates have been reassigned it’s important to know exactly when and to who. That’s where status reports come in handy.
You can find project status – or RAG (red/amber/green) – reports via the Template reports tab. This is a handy tool that allows you to grab a quick update on project progress. You’ll see what’s been completed, with alerts drawing attention to any steps that haven’t been completed.
To take a glance at the report, choose a template that’s currently in progress. Click on the ‘report’ tab. Any steps that haven’t been completed are highlighted with a red triangle. You can also move your cursor over the progress circle to get an overview of how many steps are left within that particular task.
The report allows you to see time tracking, deadlines, date of completion, the assignee, and any comments left on steps that haven’t been completed by their due date. From the report, you can also work directly on steps, or add comments yourself. Navigation to other steps within a task are easy once you have one step report open – jut use the arrow keys on your computer keyboard.
Status reports are a dream for business leaders! Imagine the time that can be saved by having an at-a-glance report of all projects at your immediate disposal. You’ll instantly be alerted to the successes and failings of any tasks in progress. As everything is recorded in real-time, it’s much easier to fix any potential problems before they grow into something unmanageable.
Such a time-saver is even more invaluable when it comes to managing a remote business. There are great savings to be made in doing away with the traditional office settings, and of course, as the global pandemic has shown us, there can be times when we simply have no other option.
Report information also helps business leaders with their future planning. If a number of steps within a task are not being completed on time, it could be down to a need for staff training, or a lack of resources. Having such an overview at your fingertips can help you see the areas where your business is lacking in something, allowing you to make those changes and improve the process template for the next time around.
From centralizing your tasks, giving teams and individual members a clear sight of their workload and providing business leaders with an at-a-glance view of their whole organization, a task dashboard is a must.
With the beSlick task dashboard, processes can be streamlined and organized, so clients get the same quality of service every time and nothing is missed. There’ll be a clear sight of any failings so improvements can be made to processes as they’re in progress and each task can be tracked and managed down to the last detail. And managers can get a clear oversight of their business in a fraction of the time it usually takes to discover!
Offering a customizable task dashboard that can be adopted for brands in any industry, beSlick is software solution that offers instant transparency to all of your business processes, whilst showing a clear path to improvement and success.