Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Using SharePoint Views to do a Simple Workflow

We just posted a couple screencasts to show how IntelliGantt can take advantage of two things:

1) The ability to work with any SharePoint view
2) Applying views to automatic refreshes

That's a little abstract so let me run through the scenario because the result is quite useful.

SharePoint 2010 introduces a new column in the task list called 'Predecessor'. (SharePoint 2007 doesn't have this by default, but IntelliGantt can add it for you). The idea here is to capture more schedule information in SharePoint. But other than drawing a pretty line from the finish date of one task to the start of the next, what is done with this data?

Well, IntelliGantt makes use of it to flip the Status of a task when its predecessor is marked as 'Completed'. Turns out computers are very adept at traversing dependencies and updating them when things change. So, IntelliGantt finds all the successors of a completed task and changes their status to 'In Progress'.

This in and of itself is interesting, but combined with a new SharePoint view and IntelliGantt's refresh logic the feature becomes dynamic.

That is to say, we create a view called 'My Tasks In Progress'. A SharePoint team member can then select this view in IntelliGantt and remove their hands from the keyboard and mouse. When predecessors to their tasks are completed, their own tasks will pop into view automatically. Team members don't have to click 'Refresh' constantly to see the latest. IntelliGantt keeps them up to date.

The result is the handoff between dependent tasks becomes that much more efficient. Even better, the team members don't have to change a thing-- IntelliGantt will do the handoff from one task to the next for them.

This is quite a bit to explain so please do see the 'SharePoint View' and 'Workflow Tasks' screencasts.

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