Three months ago, we announced the launch of our first round of features for Zoho Projects 6. As promised, we’re back with even more upgrades, including an enhanced Gantt chart that supports all four types of task dependencies, custom views for tasks, and plenty more.
Four dependency types: visualize and manage task relationships
Most of the projects we work on are made of interrelated tasks. The completion of each task depends on the result of another task in some way. Such dependencies are often logical; for instance, you cannot start editing a piece before the first draft is complete, or perhaps resource constraints don’t allow you to pursue multiple similar tasks at once, or even simply because you prefer one task to be complete before the other. While the Finish to Start dependency is the most common type, other combinations like Start to Start, Start to Finish and Finish to Finish can also crop up. Whatever your situation, our enhanced Gantt chart now supports all four dependency types and even goes a step further by supporting dependencies for unscheduled tasks.
With this feature, we have done away with the Dependency tab, and brought easy-to-understand visualization and editing capabilities to your dependencies entirely within the Gantt chart itself.
Here’s a short video explaining the types of dependencies and how they can be set in Zoho Projects:
In addition to the areas covered in the video, here are few other odds and ends that will come in handy:
(1) In the Gantt chart, you can also set task dependencies by clicking and dragging between the Jump to task bar icons in the left panel. This panel contains the reorder tasks icon, to help you reorder or cascade tasks.
(2) The dependency graph is available in the Task Details page, where you can view and edit the dependencies that a task shares with other tasks.
(3) For task dependency-related settings, open the Setup page and choose Task and Timesheet under Org Settings. Here, you can set your preferred or most frequently used dependency type as the default. You can also decide which actions should be performed any time a task is advanced, postponed, or rescheduled.
Zoho People integration: Better visibility into your team’s schedule
The Zoho People integration brings in vacation or time-off details about your team members into Projects, so that you can make sure tasks or issues don’t wait on them when they are unavailable. Team members can request leave time from their calendar, user profile or activity stream, which can be either approved or rejected by their manager, all without leaving Zoho Projects. Leave data is reflected in the project Calendar as well as the Resource Utilization chart so that you can plan and allocate work effectively.
Enhanced timers: Have more control over time with pause and resume
The task and issue timers can now be paused and resumed instead of stopping and restarting from the beginning. This means you can now pause your timer when you are taking a break or switching to a different task for a while and resume it once you are back.
Zoho Meeting integration: Meet online for quick task discussions
Frequent conference room discussions and stand up meetings can be difficult to organize and take up lots of valuable time. With the new Zoho Meeting integration, you can simply click Meet Now on the Task Details page to meet your team online and clarify questions, resolve problems, or make decisions.
Task custom views: Choose what you want to see
We are introducing custom views to help you create task views based on the field value conditions that you set. Easier still, you can just filter out tasks and save the result as a new view. For example, you can filter out the high priority tasks that are assigned to you and are due today, then save this view. Now, you can land on this view anytime to get an idea of tasks that need your immediate attention. You also have the option to set favorite views that you will use often as well as generate reports based on custom views.
Project timeline Gantt: Chart and analyse project schedules
If you need to visualize different project schedules quickly, the project timeline Gantt chart is your new friend. Gantt bars show the length of time your project spans and how far along they are.
We’re not even done yet! We have a lot of irons in the fire, including custom roles and profiles, so look forward to more. Until then, try these features in your projects and let us know what you think.
P.S: Have you noticed our new logo yet? We’ve adopted a minimalistic approach and replaced our older isometric logo with a new flat design logo, that is both simple and powerful. Here’s to new beginnings and many more happy projects!