Before project-based business software headed to the cloud and became the flexible family of apps we know today – like Zoho – lots of companies were forced to bend to the will of their software, and had procedural problems because of that. Businesses handling lots of projects have been hampered by a limited way to visualize task dependencies, non-intuitive reporting, and a general lack of integration with other apps. In some cases, companies have even found it easier to simply track projects with spreadsheets – and, that comes with its own host of issues. What can a company in that situation do?
Fortunately, Zoho has revamped their Projects app to bring those very elements to the businesses that need it the most. The updated Zoho Projects includes better reporting, more task dependencies, and a host of integrations that make data flow automatic, so you can focus on doing real work.
Here’s a rundown of the new features in Projects.
Enhanced Gantt Charts
The success of any project is ultimately measured by two questions: Was it on time, and was it within budget? In project management, these two conditions are managed by a tool called the Gantt chart. The updates to Zoho Projects has enhanced their already great Gantt charts.
Supports all Task Dependencies
Gantt charts organize tasks based on dependencies, and they help you visualize a critical chain of tasks that have to be completed as assigned in order to keep a project moving at its scheduled pace. Inevitably, when projects start creeping outside of their timelines, rising costs come with them, so it’s important to keep on top of tasks as closely as possible. Zoho Projects has always been a great tool to manage Finish to Start dependencies, but is now prepared to provide four more!
Here’s a refresher on the five task dependencies now supported in Zoho Projects.
Finish to Start – A task or activity is unable to start until a previous task or activity that it is dependent on has finished. For example, in a construction project, you can’t install a door or window until the framing is finished.
Start to Start – A task or activity must start before another activity can begin. For example, furniture can’t be installed until carpet installation has begun.
Finish to Finish – A task or activity must be finished before another activity can finish. For example, a new electric dryer can’t be tested before the proper electrical wiring had been placed.
Start to Finish – An activity must start before another activity finishes. For example, old plumbing pipe must be removed before new pipe can be set in its place.
Unscheduled Tasks – Predefined dependencies for tasks that don’t have a start or end date.
View and Edit Dependencies with Ease
The new Gantt Chart eliminates the Dependency Tab from Zoho Projects. Now, you can view, edit, and reorder your dependencies by clicking and dragging between the Jump to task bar icons in the left panel. The dependency graph is also available in the Task Details page, where you can view and edit the dependencies that a task shares with other tasks. You can even set your preferred or most frequently used dependency types as defaults by going to the Setup page and choosing Task and Timesheet under Org Settings. It is here that you can also decide which actions should occur when a task is advanced, postponed, or rescheduled.
Project Timeline Gantt Chart
Every great tool is made better when it provides valuable feedback into the health of your business. In this case, the new Project Timeline Gantt chart update provides insight into the progress and health of your projects. You can quickly get a clear visual of your projects and upcoming milestones, and even get all details of a task, including: percentage complete, duration, start date, end date, and owner. The Gantt bars show the lengths of time your projects span and how far along they are, while an easy drag-and-drop helps you reschedule tasks if needed. You can also edit tasks and milestones directly inside the Gantt chart, saving from you having to switch to another view.
Manage your People, and your Meetings
All, successful projects depend on a host of other factors in conjunction with a well-laid schedule. Zoho Projects is prepared to help you manage them that much better! Every project needs manpower, but scheduling the correct people has historically had to be handled separately—until now.
Zoho People Integration
Zoho People now integrates with Projects! This allows for both vacation and time-off requests, as well as managerial approval, all within one platform. It also allows for enhanced visibility and mitigates issues that may arise when your workers are unavailable. Work can be reallocated, as employee leave data is reflected in both the Project Calendar and Resource Utilization chart.
Zoho Meetings Integration
The new Zoho Projects not only helps you manage your team better, but it also helps you manage your time better. We all know the amount of time it can task to set up and coordinate meetings with your team, whether they happen frequently or they’re just last-minute. With the new Zoho Meeting integration, you easily meet with your team to collaborate and provide clarity, resolve issues, and help make decisions by simply click Meet Now on the Task Details page!
Customized Controls and Views
Zoho Projects has a few more updates which will help your projects and your workflow run more smoothly. For example, using timers within a task or project used to mean you had stop and restart from the beginning. Now the timers have been enhanced to allow for pausing and resuming tasks while you take a break or switch to a new task. Zoho Projects has even added new custom views and capabilities for creating task views based on the field value conditions that you set. Furthermore, you can filter tasks from your master list and save those filter criteria as a new view. This update helps you get to the information you need more efficiently.
Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we’ll reach out to you. You can also register for one of our upcoming Stump the Chump webinars Friday, Jan. 19th at 9 am PST or Friday, Jan. 26th at 9 am PST. Ask your Zoho questions, and if you stump us, we’ll buy you coffee!