The Importance of Task Tracking

Development is a very task oriented profession. Everything can be broken down into small requirements or tasks that need to be finished to get meet the overall goal. In some projects you might have hundreds of different steps to complete before you are done, and keeping track of these can be critical to success.

Different people have their own ways of doing this. Some just write it down on a sheet of paper, and strike off what’s been done. This works fine until you lose that piece of paper. Then you’re just screwed.

Others employ the use of some software that tracks tasks, who’s assigned to what and what is done. This option is much safer, and probably more reliable.

I’ve personally seen systems at both ends of the spectrum in use, and they’ve worked well enough. The big problem really comes when there is no system in place to track progression, or a system is only used part of the time. The end result with this is additional features that are unnecessary, or features that are missed.

Consistent, reliable task tracking that anyone in the team can access is not only important, but very helpful for each team member so that they know what needs to be done and what they should be doing. It’s helpful for management, because it allows them to get a better idea of how far along a project is, and if it’s on track to be finished on time. It’s much easier to manage and fix a problem early on because you’ve been made aware of it, rather than at the end when everything is falling apart.

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1 comment

  1. 1 09.05.08
    6:33 pm

    Task tracking is very important. And it is especially powerful when coupled with time tracking. Not only do you get stuff done, but you know how long it took, and can accurately predict how long similar tasks will take in the future. And if you are a developer charging hourly for your time, it is nice to have a delineated list of tasks with each invoice, so clients, project managers, bosses, etc, can see why development costs as much as it does. Great post.

    Our development shop uses a task tracking app called Intervals.

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