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There are many great tools helping you to manage your projects or just to track team tasks. But I am looking for a tool to track recurrent tasks of my team. For example, there are lot's of tasks like do weekly code reviews, write a blog post 2 times a week, and so on.

What tools are you using for that?

closed as not constructive by jmort253 Oct 1 '12 at 3:35

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    What is the objective of tracking these activities? Cost? Just to make sure they got done? Is there an SLA for these? – David Espina Apr 13 '11 at 13:54
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    Just add recurrent events to your calendar – dSebastien Apr 14 '11 at 3:21
  • what is the objective? make sure you are not forgetting about regular tasks. – Mark Kofman Apr 21 '11 at 6:03
  • calendar doesn't work as not all tasks are meant to be done at specific time. Some tasks you have to do once a year and it doesn't matter in which day exactly you will finish that task – Mark Kofman Apr 21 '11 at 6:06
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  • Outlook
  • rememberthemilk.com
  • those are personal task-tracking tools as far as I understand. What I want is a tool for projects/teams – Mark Kofman Apr 21 '11 at 6:15
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    They can be applied for projects too, and they are collaborative (you can share items). This is precisely my own answer. – ashes999 Apr 21 '11 at 22:41
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In terms of tracking I see no difference between recurring and one-time tasks. Basically you want to know how much time you've spent on a specific task so you need to add it somehow to your weekly/monthly schedule. It can be a single task or a separate task for each occurrence, depending on your goals, e.g. whether you just want to know how much you spend on such tasks or you also need to plan people's time in a detailed way.

Anyway, I don't think a specific tool makes any difference here.

Also you may want just to ignore tracking such tasks and just make sure they're somehow accounted for other work so you don't miss your estimates. See Joel Spolsky's article on Evidence Based scheduling to see how it can work.

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Recurrent tasks don't fit "as is" into project management paradigm (according to PMBOK). You can't add recurrent tasks into PERT chart, and you can't use them in WBS.

What you can do (and should do) is to translate your recurrent task into a collection of fixed-scope tasks, connected to each other as finish-to-start. For example:

Task #1: 
  SOW: Audit software artifacts and report defects
  Duration: 1 day
  Responsible: John Doe (programmer)
  Dependencies: none
Task #2: 
  SOW: Analyze the necessity of the next audit and create new Task
  Duration: 1 hour
  Responsible: Mark Kofman (project manager)
  Dependencies: #1:finish-to-start
  • yes, that would work...but it involves me adding new task every time I have finished the old one. It would be great if tool would automate this work for me – Mark Kofman Apr 21 '11 at 6:12
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How about using Google calendars + Remember The Milk? It's simple, portable, and can give you email reminders when things are getting close to deadlines. You can create calenders per team-member (or per task type, eg. writing vs. coding vs. ...) and share them.

Supplement this with Remember the Milk, which is a prioritized todo-list manager. You can have it email you when tasks are due if you want.

So the entire workflow would be:

  • Add tasks that have no due date to Remember the Milk (handles recurring tasks)
  • Add tasks with specific date/time to Google Calendar
  • Set up both to share what's done and not done publicly
  • Calendar is good to arrange weekly/monthly meetings but not very good for other tasks that have no clear date or time allocated. Another important problem with Calendar is that if you don't complete your task at the date you have set a reminder it will disappear from your tasklist – Mark Kofman Apr 21 '11 at 6:09

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