Start Field for Tickets and Tasks?

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avatar Rafael Pro Mar 25. 2010. 5:54 pm
Hi all,

We just started using ActiveCollab recently and I am bumping into some conceptual problems. My problem is that I can't assign a ticket or task to someone and have it span through a period of time. I can't say JOE is working on DESIGN LOGIN PAGE from Monday to Friday, I can only say that it is due Friday.

I can however create a milestone DESIGN LOGIN PAGE, assign to JOE and set it to start Monday and end Friday, but that doesn't seem like the right way to do it. The way I see it Milestones should not span across multiple days, they are... well, milestones...

This becomes a problem specially when someone here imports the calendar into their iCal. Milestones show spanning through a big period of time and tickets/tasks do now show up at all.

What are your guys recommendation about this?

Thanks!
avatar Ilija S. Staff Mar 25. 2010. 8:17 pm
Hello Rafael,

We left out starts on field because it's simply irrelevant in vast majority of situations for tickets and subtasks. Because milestones are used to define key phases of the project, they support it. For tasks on the other hand it's important that they are done by the specific time, but actual time when they are started is usually not relevant.

In calendar applications, such is iCal or Windows Calendar, tickets and tasks will be displayed in todo section, not in calendar view. Apple iCal has a bug there, so you may need to refresh the remote calendar manually a couple of times before it loads ticket and task data and displays it.
avatar Rafael Pro Mar 25. 2010. 9:06 pm
I have to disagree here, it is very important to know how long a task will take. If I look at my calendar and see that something is due in 2 weeks, how do I know if someone should be working on it right now to get it done on time?

It's actually the opposite of what you are saying here. Milestones define key accomplishments of the project, not periods of time. Take OmniPlan for example, if you add a new milestone you are not able to define a duration for it. It's a point in time, not a period of time. Read this please: http://www.mariosalexandrou.com/definition/milestone.asp

If you want to make milestones have durations, I will just set them to start and end at the same day to get around it, although I need to instruct people here to do the same which I shouldn't have to. But if you want ActiveCollab to evolve in the right direction, you must correct this in the next version.

Now for tickets and tasks, it is indeed very important to know how long they will take and see they span across multiple days on the calendar.

Do you agree?
avatar Ilija S. Staff Mar 28. 2010. 6:17 pm
Hello Rafael,

Discussions with semantic nitpicking will not take us anywhere. From activeCollab design perspective, start date for milestones and projects is important, and this will become really clear in the upcoming activeCollab releases (can't discuss any details at the moment, so you'll need to trust me on this one).

Start date for tickets and tasks at the moment does not seam important for vast majority of people. We do not have plans to introduce it unless we see a lot of interest for it from the users.
avatar info36 Apr 7. 2010. 11:27 pm
My company agrees with rafael. Estimated time to complete a ticket and an approximate start date for these tickets is extremely important for software development.

Because of the lack of support from ActiveCollab on this type of feature, we will pause our decision to move forward with ActiveCollab as our project management solution and look at other options.
avatar Apps Magnet - Nirav Mehta Dev Apr 8. 2010. 8:35 am
I agree with Ilija that many people won't need start and due dates on tickets / tasks. What's important for them is to set a deadline for the milestone, and then to keep completing tasks and tickets in the order of priority - which could change during the course of the project.

At the same time, many others would find start and due dates on tickets and tasks helpful. Like the case Rafael mentioned.

This is the reason why we added start and due date support for all items in Planning module. You may want to take a look at it. It may serve your needs.
avatar edcard May 9. 2011. 5:26 pm
I agree with Rafael.

It seems to me that the current "activeCollab way" does not conform to traditional project management terminology. This non-standard character results in confusion and bewilderment, and workarounds are kludgy.

Traditionally, milestones don't have duration. They reflect a major accomplishment. I think aC uses the term Milestone to define a stage or phase of a project (e.g., planning, execution, quality control, etc.) which is made up of tickets (tasks, really) and would indeed have a starting date and duration.

In aC terminology, tickets are what's usually called tasks, and tasks are usually known as sub-tasks in common PM nomenclature.

As aC is marketed as a PM tool, in my opinion it should conform to PM conventions. No disrespect to the developers who have created an amazing product.

Hopefully, version 3 will address these issues which keep coming up because they are important.
avatar admin28 May 15. 2011. 6:38 pm
I agree with Rafael too.

For us, it will be an error if AC way goes to milestones duration.

And try Planning module with milestones durations. You will get "opened tasks" in your stats...
avatar Bradley S. Pro May 23. 2011. 10:59 pm
As a developer and business owner it's important for me to know what my customers want. That is the main reason I'm commenting, I think you would want to know.

I agree with Rafael as well. I'm sure there are many more people that agree with Rafael but have not commented.

In simple layman terms, if I give someone a task I need to know how long it will take them OR set a deadline /time frame to that task I assign.

Hope my feedback helps.
avatar websupport May 24. 2011. 6:08 am
+1 for making this change and sticking to PM terminology. Since the primary use of this is as a PM tool it would be good if the developers of aC used PM terminology and process. Calling tickets as tasks would be a good too as usually tickets are now thought of as support or incident management requests.
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