As our company is a creative development company, many of our tasks go through a number of stages before we can consider it “completed”. So we use subtasks fairly extensively. There are many tasks that are never considered “complete”, as creative projects continue to morph and be developed. But I am noticing that this method does mean that very few things get to be checked off as completed, leading it to sometimes feel as if productivity is low, when “due dates” are constantly changed for the next stage of that task’s development.
Splitting things up into multiple task cards just for the purpose of the good feeling of checking things off as completed, doesn’t seem to be a good option either, as the history/workflow of a task is good to keep in one task card; not to mention the time it takes to re-create a virtually duplicate task card, when the original is still valid for the next phase of development of that particular task.
My question for advanced users is: am I missing something in terms of being able to have long term and ongoing tasks get their little “completed” wins; or in keeping tasks as being active works-in-progress, when there may not be any pressing time-sensitive actions needed on that task? I’ve also noticed that as we adjust the due date on long term tasks, it starts to fill up the updates section on the bottom of the task card with “changed the date range” updates. Should I be creating things I consider to be subtasks to be dependent tasks instead, so that each dependent task can be worked and on completed, but still links back to the overall task? I’m concerned that poses problems for us, as we often need to know if those subtasks have been completed when reviewing the work to be done on a larger multi-aspect task.
FYI: most of these types of tasks would not be well suited to becoming their own projects or sections, as we are already using those to organize various aspects of production very effectively. So I’m guessing I’m probably already using what is the most effective workflow for our particular needs with ongoing tasks. And just need to pat myself on the back when I check off a subtask as completed. But if anyone has ideas of things I haven’t thought of yet, I’d love hear some feedback.
I think that likely gives as much info as needed on my question - but in case anyone is needing more specifics, here’s a real world example for us (otherwise, feel free to answer with the info you already got from above):
For our company, each project has several sections that are very specific (i.e., the different aspects/teams needed to go from original idea concept, through development/financing, into production and on to distribution, etc.) And so all the work being done for those specific aspects (subjects) are done as tasks, with subtasks to detail the pieces and parts that make up that particular task. To look something like this:
Project: New TV Show project we’re developing to sell
Task: Develop Pitch Document for Investors
Subtask: Create Graphics for Pitch
Subtask: Create Intro Section, etc.
Subtask: Get feedback from ______ on page 5 and 6 (and on like that, etc.)
The pieces and parts of a Pitch Document that make it “ready to send out”, are developed (and re-developed) over a long period. So while subtasks get checked off, the overall task continues on it gets tweaked with the feedback coming in, and the due dates get shifted as needed. They’re really never considered “complete” until a show is sold - that could be anything from months to years. When working on developing a pitch doc, it’s good to have an overall picture of what items are still pressing, what are completed and what are still being worked on long term. So we use subtasks for that. And drop notes into the task card with requests for input, updates on progress, etc.
We looked at breaking the various subtasks involved with the development of a pitch document out into their own tasks, to resolve the ‘checking off as complete’ issue, but I don’t think it ultimately is the best option, as everything related to that one kind of pitch document really should be kept together. And there may be 3 other kinds of pitch documents (or more) that are also concurrently being developed for different aspects of the project (housed in their appropriate sections of the project). So we wouldn’t want to get those tasks confused with each other.
Anyway, thanks in advance for feedback!