The purpose of this article is to show the difference between the old and new Gantt interfaces so that you will be aware of the most critical changes while getting used to the new interface.
In the following sections, we will take a look at the modified ways in which you will need to perform basic tasks. We have grouped this article into three parts. Click on any of the following links to learn more about:
Creating Tasks and Milestones
The new interface has a context menu that pops up when you right-click on the grid displaying commands that you would use frequently. You will no longer see the + button to add new tasks and milestones. Instead, you will find the options to Add Milestone or Subtask in the context menu.
Clicking on the Add Subtask option will create a new task row in the task table. Click here to learn how this was done previously. There is no separate form to capture the task properties.
Fields displayed previously on the Add Schedule Item form will now be displayed as columns in the task table. Additionally, a new column to capture the date and time of task completion has also been added. You can modify the task properties by changing the values in any of the columns.
The current method to create a new task or milestone is as follows:
- Locate the task under which you wish to create a subtask or a milestone. Remember, the root task is the project itself.
- Right-click to display the context menu.
- Click on the Add option and select Subtask.
You will now see the new task in the Gantt chart below the selected task.
By default, every task has the same duration as its parent.
Once you have added a task or milestone, you can also:
- specify the start and end dates
- mark the progress
- assign an owner
- view it on a dashboard
- To specify a different start or end date, click in the start date or end date column to display a calendar icon. You can also type in the desired date.
If you wish to change the duration, but keep the start date as is, add the number of days into the Duration column. You may need to enable this column if it is not displayed by default.
Please note that the date range of the summary task is calculated automatically and is equal to the total of all sub-items (tasks, risks and benefits). Further, the overall duration of the initiative will be expanded after saving if the duration of any sub-task is dragged out of the current span of initiative duration.
- To mark the progress of the task, type the number in the Progress column. Notice that the shading on the taskbar changes according to the progress percentage. Updating the progress of the task at the lowest level causes the progress of all its parent tasks to be updated. The rolled-up progress is displayed on the top-level task.
The task progress will show immediately on the taskbar.
The overall progress and the progress of each summary item is calculated automatically and is equal to the average progress of all tasks and milestones.
- To assign the task to a team member, click in the Owner column and select the username from the drop-down list that displays.
- To ensure that the task or milestone displays on the dashboards, click in the Display on Dashboard column and select Yes. The task will now be shown on the Project - Benefit Delivery Schedule widget of the Project dashboard and on the Delivery Threats widget of the Performance dashboard,
- To associate the task to a stage, click in the Stage column and select a stage.
- To save the data that you added, click on the Save button.
Creating a Task under the Root Item
The Gantt chart of a leaf-level project will display the New Task button. You can use this button to create a task at the root level.
Updating Information on the Gantt
Steps to update information on the new Gantt interface have also been enhanced.
- Direct editing - The Gantt interface will now allow you to perform several operations directly in the task list or on the chart. See Tasklist and Chart Features for details.
- Edit Task form - The Edit Task form is now tabbed. We have moved a few settings that were previously on the Gantt interface into this form in an attempt to make the interface more organised and easier to use. Options for creating links from tasks to benefits, defining interdependencies between tasks and milestones, and setting up external dependencies can be found in the tabs within the form. To display the Edit Task form, you will need to access the context menu or double-click on the taskbar or milestone symbol from the chart portion of the interface. See Modifying Tasks and Milestones.
In the new version, dependencies are added by using the Dependencies tab of the Edit Task Form.
The Dependencies tab provides you with a straightforward way of creating dependencies by just adding the essential fields. To add other details including the review date, likelihood, impact, rating, status, closing comments and custom fields, you will have to use the dependency dashboard. You can easily navigate to the dashboard from the tab.
An external dependency can be easily identified on the chart as it will be indicated by a dotted line between the participating tasks or milestones.
Modifying Tasks and Milestones
The steps to modify tasks are slightly different from the previous versions. Double-clicking anywhere on the task will not display the Edit form.
To open a task or milestone for editing:
- Locate the taskbar or milestone.
- With the task row selected, right-click to display the context menu.
You can also double-click on the taskbar or milestone on the chart.
This will display the Edit Task form.
The Edit Form now displays tabs. Each tab contains specific field settings.
- To update the name, duration, type, owner, progress, show/hide on dashboard indicator and the custom fields mapped to the task, use the General tab.
- To view the impacts affecting the task or milestone, use the Impacts tab.
- To assign the task to a stage in the stage-gate process, select the Process tab, and select the stage from the Assign to Stage drop-down list.
- To create a connection from another task via a Start to Start, Start to Finish, Finish to Start or Finish to Finish relationship, click on the Predecessors tab, select the predecessor task and then the desired connection mode.
- To build a connection to another task via a Start to Start, Start to Finish, Finish to Start or Finish to Finish relationship, click on the Successors tab, select the successor task and then the desired connection mode.
- To define a dependency, click on the Dependency tab.
For more information on the actions that you can perform with the Edit form, see Managing Tasks and Milestones.
To delete a task:
- Locate the task that you wish to delete.
- Right-click on the task item to display the context menu.
- Select the Delete task option.
The task is removed along with the dependencies on it.
Local and Rolledup Views
Local and rolled up views are no more separate. The new Gantt view is a combination of both. Like the local view, tasks can be updated and saved using the new default view. Like the rolled-up view, it shows a tree view of tasks within the parent initiatives and child initiatives, where each level can be expanded and collapsed. The chart portion shows the rolled-up summary tasks helping you summarize the overall schedule status easily (See 'Saving Custom Views' section of the article An overview of the new Gantt interface.).
However, you will notice that some of the functions that were previously available in the local view including export and import and reapplying constraints are now available only within the child initiatives and not at the parent level.
Scheduling is one of the most widely-used Amplify features. Combined with the new, enhanced, user-friendly interface, we have added a few important features that our users have been requesting. However, for the most part, the transition to the current Gantt interface has not altered any existing underlying functionality.
We have omitted to discuss features like Import/Export and Save in this article as these features remain the same as before. Please reach out to us if you have more questions regarding upgrading to the latest version.