TeamLab project management module enhancements

As promised in the previous post about our roadmap, 3 days ago we released the new interim version of the TeamLab portal. Considering that the largest number of improvements was introduced in the Projects module, I’d like to tour you through its new features and enhancements.

Time tracking

We have added an optional Time Tracking feature to Projects module. Now you can log time and add details to the accomplished work directly from the Tasks page by clicking on the clock icon against the task title.
Time tracking feature
Under the Time Tracking tab you can take a quick look at how much time you and your teammates have spent working on a particular task within a project. Here you can also edit work time & description and generate time-tracking reports in one click.

Time tracking tab
As I’ve mentioned above Time Tracking is optional. You can disable this feature along with other TeamLab modules and features on the Settings page. It’s also possible to change order of the tabs within Community and Projects modules.

Easier file management

Managing project-related files becomes more convenient. Now you can organize all your files by categories and get access to the required data instantly. File version support allows you to update version of any file. Later on you can refer to previous versions in case you need to restore any information.

File management
Now it’s also possible to attach files to tasks so that user working on a specific task can access useful documents easily.

Project tags

You can add multiple tags to projects and then organize them and search for the necessary ones quickly using the Tags filter.

Project tags

Tasks – drag & drop sorting

In previous versions project tasks were sorted automatically: first by priority and then by creation date. Now you can manually sort tasks within a milestone.
Task sorting

Tasks with no assignee

You can create tasks with no assignee. This can be useful in the project planning phase when you know what should be done to complete a milestone but aren’t sure to whom you should assign a task. Later on any of your teammates can accept the task by clicking on the appropriate button.

Task with no assignee

Enhanced reports

Now you can save report parameters as a template and adjust settings to have reports automatically generated and delivered via e-mail.

On many pages within the project management module you can also find links to view reports automatically generated for the related content.

Discussions – manage subscribers

Now you can invite any portal member to join a project discussion. This can be useful in case you need to discuss a project-related issue with a person who doesn’t participate in the current project.

So, these are all the Projects improvements. In the further posts I will cover the rest of the new TeamLab features. Stay tuned ;)

 
Comments (45)
  1. November 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Hey TeamLab, thanks for those new features. Will come in really handy.

    Since you asked for feedback here it comes. I am sure you have a long list of things to implement in the future, so don’t expect this comment t be any new. But at least please take it as an encouragement and indication that the feature is in demand.

    I am referring to time tracking.
    It’s cool we can now track time against tasks. this is an ultimate tool to measure how effective the projects run. However the flow of this can be improved. You see, the main challenge with time tracking is that it is often perceived as extra work for team members, so they end finding excuses not to record their time, which is understandable, but the whole idea then kind of loses it’s point.

    The way to mitigate that is to make the time recording process as simple and as intuitive as possible. The concept has been invented already, you just need to employ it. At the moment there is no such thing as timesheets on TeamLab. I can only go find a task and add some time I’ve spent. But if you think about a person working on a project they are much more likely to remember what they’ve been doing last hour than how much time they’ve spent on a particular task. So for them having a view of all the timeslots during the day is much more helpful.

    HTH,
    Sergey

    • Peter - Reply
      November 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm

      I completely agree!
      A daily schedule/grid which allows for tracking time to projects & tasks would be very well received. Having to start and stop a task clock sounds great, but in practice will not be consistently used.
      Think about how people are already filling out time sheets – whether on paper or through online systems they fill out their time sheets in one or two sittings per day/week.
      Another approach is to have a grid where columns are days of the week and rows are the projects (milestones) being worked on, and simply typing in the number of hours in each open block. This is essentially how every office I have worked in accounts for hours.

      • November 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm

        With regards to the grid approach it depends how granular you want to go actually. As a project manager I would be interested in how much time is being spent on every task of a project, not just project in tis entirety. And I bet there are so many agencies out there who would want the same thing.

        If an agency is tracking time on project level as opposed to task level now, trust me: in two years time they will be tracking it on task level :) This is the way to improve efficiency of the business.

    • November 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Sergey, thanks for your feedback and suggestion regarding time tracking! I absolutely agree with you that Time Tracking feature in its current implementation is not perfect and should be further improved. Possibility to log time with a timer would be more convenient – we’ll surely think about implementing this.

      But I also agree with Peter’s remark that even timesheets may not be used on a regular basis. It all comes down to employees discipline.

      • January 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm

        I would love to see a timesheet type improvement. For a team member to keep track of how they spent their day or time on a project would be the tool I am looking for. The starting and stopping of a timer is problematic. I would rather them be able to log what they do.

        Thanks for a great project.

  2. November 19, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    multiple companies and clients! we need so we can have external contributors and we can collaborate with clients

    • November 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      Hello Gustavo,
      Thanks for your suggestion! Most probably such functionality will be included in the update that is planned for the 1st quarter of 2011.

    • Valeriy Bezus - Reply
      November 22, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      +1000

  3. Stewart Lawton - Reply
    November 19, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    All looks really good with the new features. I was wondering if the open source code is going to be updated to reflect these changes, as it appears when I back up our data from your site and try to restore it, it fails due to the table webstudio_useractivity not having a column named htmlpreview in it. So I was thinking that they are slightly out of sync?

    • November 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

      Stewart, we haven’t updated the source codes yet. We’ll post an announcement at SourceForge when the new version is uploaded.

  4. Eric Eckberg - Reply
    November 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I’m seriously looking at TeamLab for all internal project management activities for my company. I especially like the time tracking capabilities. However, I noticed there is a limit to the number of characters you can type in a time log entry. Is there any way to get that expanded to at least the size of the text box being displayed? Also, the time reporting doesn’t allow an option for detail reporting. I often need to create detailed time log reports for my employer as well as other clients. That feature would be very helpful. Other than that, it’s a great product. If all else fails, I can pull the sourceforge code and expand it myself I suppose.

    Thanks,
    Eric

    • November 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Eric,
      Thanks for your suggestion. We will forward it to our developers, so that they could consider implementing it in the future! :)

      • March 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm

        ditto the above suggestion. I just lost a bunch of notes because of this.

  5. Jeannie - Reply
    December 3, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Are there any plans for the development of a plug-in for Word, etc. that would allow one to save a document from Word directly into TM Projects?

    • December 6, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Hi Jeannie,
      We plan to introduce a feature similar to the one you’ve described, but it will be meant for using with Open Office.

      • February 17, 2011 at 3:18 am

        when will the module be introduced for Open Office Integration?

        • Olga - Reply
          February 18, 2011 at 9:48 am

          Arturo, we are going to introduce it in 2 weeks

  6. Eric Chow - Reply
    December 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    I’m demoing teamlab and have found most of the features to be outstanding compared to the alternative pay options.

    However one thing I haven’t been able to determine is why individual tasks don’t have due dates? I understand the milestone concept but I’m more using the project management portion to manage initiatives and what tasks we’re working on to address these initiatives. For the most part I would also have a 1 to 1 correlation from task to milestone so it seems like it’s redundant work. Any thoughts on adding due dates to tasks?

    • December 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      Hello Eric,
      Thanks for the nice feedback – we’re glad you like TeamLab! Actually, we plan introducing due dates for tasks in the next version of our platform, which is going to be released pretty soon – in December! ;-)

  7. December 12, 2010 at 3:43 am

    It’s wonderful to have the latest module enhancements. As I’m trying out the online version, I’ve already been enjoying them.

    For future enhancements, these are the top desires on my list:
    - Assign ending date to tasks
    - Assign multiple people to a task
    - Assign discussion to a task or a milestone

    Not everyone associated with a project is always an “Employee.” Sometimes, there are consultants working on a project alongside “employees.” Or for a freelance business owner, external “clients” need access to the project a freelancer is working on for them.

    One concern I have is how the entire Wiki and Discussion area are open to everyone in the Company. These areas don’t appear to be project-specific, just company-wide. For a company with several projects, it would be very useful to create and assign a Discussion Area to a specific project, or create a Wiki that is just for a particular project. Perhaps this could be accomplished with role-based access.

    And lastly, is there any plan to create a customer-facing portal, where a customer (or employee) could login and only have access to the project(s) they have been assigned to by the administrator or project manager?

    Many thanks!

    • December 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

      Hello,
      Thanks for your feedback!
      As to your suggestions, it will be possible to assign due dates for tasks in the next version of the platform – it will be released this December. We also plan introducing functionality that will allow other people (who aren’t employees) participate in certain projects. Such functionality will be available in the version of Teamlab which is due in the 1st quarter of 2011.
      Regarding all other suggestions, we will definitely forward them to our developers for their consideration. Many thanks for your input! :-)

  8. December 30, 2010 at 4:32 am

    That’s great, Victoria. I hope those improvements make it into TeamLab soon, as December is almost over. As project management software is high on my list of must-haves, I gave TeamLab a little plug in my latest article when I touched on project management activities for 2010.

    Looking forward to the enhancements. Happy New Year!

    • January 3, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      Please accept our apologies for the slight delay of the release of the new version. The release has been postponed to the end of January. Hope this isn’t a big inconvenience for you.
      And many thanks from our team for mentioning us in your article! We really appreciate it!

  9. Volpes - Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    I’m not sure if this already exists. I’ve seen Tags for Projects but what about Tags for Tasks? (same function)

    • January 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Hello,
      Currently it’s not possible to add tags for tasks, sorry. But this is a great suggestion – we will forward it to our developers!

  10. Volpes - Reply
    January 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Hello Victoria, you have any Idea when this function (tags in tasks) will be implemented and released?For my needs is a KO criterion. Thanks

    • January 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

      Hello,
      Our developers have considered your suggestion. It will not be possible to implement it in any of the nearest releases, but we will definitely work on make sure this becomes possible as soon as possible.

  11. January 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    hi
    Congratulations to the team! Gone trough almost 50 project management and collaboration apps and TeamLab is shortlisted because it so easy to use!

    It is also great to have some nice-to have functionalities: all the ones in TM community + the chat.

    We miss one little functionality which will help companies with a more traditional project management approach: it is being able to set estimated times by task that can later be compared with recorded time. It task can also be categorized or assign a type, then we can later have different analysis:
    -estimated vs real time by task
    -estimated vs real time by task list
    -estimated vs real time by project
    -estimated vs real time by type or category

    any plans to work on that?

    • January 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Hello Alfonso,
      Thanks for the nice feedback – we’re glad you like TeamLab!
      As to your suggestion, we are glad to let you know that it will be possible to set due dates for tasks in the new version of the platform, which will be released this month. We will forward the variations of this feature that you mentioned to our developers for their consideration. Thanks for the ideas! ;-)

      • Bhaskar - Reply
        August 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

        Hi
        Is there any progress done in enhancing the feature requested by Alfonso for adding estimated time vs actual time for tasks?

  12. Gareth - Reply
    January 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Hi,

    Evaluating TeamLab, and really impressed. Only issue is that all projects are available to all users – for me this isn’t appropriate.

    Is there any plans to make projects available only to the team members who are allocated to them (or make this an option?)

    • January 26, 2011 at 8:54 am

      Hello Gareth,
      We are glad you like TeamLab! We plan introducing access right restrictions for projects already in one of the new versions of the platform in the 1st quarter of this year.

  13. Gary Simpson - Reply
    February 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Hi

    Did the task date get added? I can’t see it anywhere.

    Thanks

    Gary

  14. Olga - Reply
    February 10, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Hi, Gary. Setting due dates for tasks will be available in a month with a new TeamLab version.

  15. February 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Hi all

    Not sure if this is the right place for this question but it has to do with project management.
    I’d like to find out if it would possible when I upload a pdf file to a project for another employee to edit the file directly in the browser window with the use of Foxit reader without having to save the file on the deskop then upload it again? We are an architects office and such a feature will enable us to upload PDF drawings to Teamlab, let the architect check and comment on them then view the updated drawing in Teamlab again. To save the file then upload it again is not the end of the world, just thought I’d ask the question. We’ve just started using Teamlab and its helping us a lot to get more organized, so a big thanks to all the people involved.

  16. Christopher Young - Reply
    March 13, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Wondering if you’ve tight about an iPad/iPhone app with offline access? The teamlab portal is wonderful, but it would be great if I had a mobile interface with offline access for when I’m stuck without Internet access, or I just want to add notes on a project.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who would pay 5+ $ for an app that gives me is kind of access!!!

    Thanks for this wonderful tool!!! no idea how useful this is for me!

    Chris

  17. Olga - Reply
    March 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Christopher, thanks for your feedback!We are going to release mobile app, optimized for iPhone, this spring. As for offline access, it is not in our nearest plans. But we will try to realize it as soon as possible according to our users requests.

  18. Mad Serg - Reply
    March 20, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    How to change priority of tasks? I cant do this by drag&drop and cant see it while editing tasks.

  19. Olga - Reply
    March 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Mad, you can not change tasks priority. But we think about adding it.

  20. March 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Hi, I saw the reply about the iPhone app due this spring and I am very excited about this and will gladly pay whatever it costs (especially if it is iPad compatible) but till then is there any third party iPad/iPhone apps known to work with teamlab?

  21. Olga - Reply
    March 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Gabe, yes, iPhone app will be iPad compatible. There are no third party iPad/iPhone apps, but our apps will be released soon, please wait this little bit :)

  22. Bryant - Reply
    April 15, 2011 at 11:43 am

    This is a great tool. Also, it would be great if you guys could add a resource management are where PMs can assign hours to a resource for a particular project. Maybe in tabular layout and then you can view by department too.

    • Olga - Reply
      April 15, 2011 at 12:01 pm

      Bryant, thanks!We’ll think it over.

  23. April 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    What about the ability to sort milestones? Even when I change the due date (week wise) on the project templates, they still present themselves in the wrong order.

  24. Olga - Reply
    April 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Anthony, currently, you can’t sort milestones in templates. But when you have created a project based on this template, milestones will be sorted normally. You can vote for the sorting option of milestones inside templates here

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