In a service-oriented environment like the IT service desk, tasks are often comprised of sub-tasks that may be both independent of each other as well as interdependent on one another. For example, two tasks may be performed by different people at different times, but one task relies on output of another task.

This generalized structure can be found is situations ranging from change requests to employee onboarding.

ServicePRO’s hierarchical structures that consist of requests, child requests and subfolders for efficient management of multi-task projects.

A Service Pro Project Tree

Each request within a project has its own workflow properties. It can be routed to different individuals or teams, have its own notification options, priority, start date, due date, etc.

Some projects, like creating a new web site, are one-off efforts. Others, however, recur frequently.

For projects that are recurring in nature like upgrading software, installing new hardware or setting up new employees, it is highly advantageous to create templates that define how the project is structured, and how its individual components function.

The benefits of standardization include:

Project Templates

Project templates allow us to design and define projects that will be used over and over. We believe that the use of templates for recurring processes promotes best practices consistency.

Once a project template has been designed, we can easily initiate the project by selecting it from a drop-down list. A project comprised of requests, folders, and child requests with predefined workflow options will be created with appropriate notifications. If we select a ‘New Employee’ setup project, for instance, the following project is displayed:

New Employee Setup Project

The project tree on the left depicts all the folders and tasks that comprise setting up a new employee, from network setup all the way to payroll and benefits. Some of these tasks are not created until other tasks have been completed. For example, Email setup is not created until the Active Directory task has been completed.

The General Information, Workflow, Notification, Scheduling options can be set individually for each task in the project. As well, each task can have its own request type, and therefore its own custom fields.

Creating a New Project

When we click on the New Project Request tile, a drop down list allows us to choose the type of project we can create. These have been designed by the administrator. In the following example, we choose a Change Management project.

Each of the service requests in the tree can be of different type, and therefore have a different set of custom fields. Individual requests may be created based on events in other requests.

Promoting Consistency

Creating new projects from predefined templates is considered a ‘best practice’ in that it promotes consistency, enhances efficiency, and reduces errors thereby ensuring quality outcomes.

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