In this use case I will explain how the different levels of priorities in Sam9000 are used by our small team of cross functional people. I will show how, we can, as a team working on multiple projects, easily assess and readjust our priorities.
Understanding how this system of priorities works is an important step to get the most out of your Sam9000 experience. Defining priorities is what directs the automatic scheduling to decide which tasks appear in each team member’s personal dashboard.
There are two distinct priority schemes:
This level is particularly important, for us, considering we are working on multiple projects in parallel, and considering priorities constantly need to be readjusted. To assess the current situation we use two different perspectives: Priorities and Scheduled.
The Priorities perspective is where, as a team, we can have a bird’s eye view of all active projects and review their current order. In this view all projects are presented in the various Priority Groups we previously selected for them. Also to help us with our evaluation, this view allows us to review other information about our different projects: last Log entry, extra manual information, budget hours, Wish End date.
To complete our assessment we can use the Scheduled perspective. This perspective gives us the detail of all tasks turned to Soon across all active projects. Tasks are turned to Soon to indicate they are ready to be scheduled to appear on each team member’s dashboard.
In this menu, we can check them by user or by project. Also, to see what is coming next we can use the Backlog menu to review all Later tasks, tasks that are planned in our projects but not yet ready to be scheduled.
Once the current situation has been assessed, we can go back to the Priorities perspective to readjust the in which priority group projects should be, if needed.
One aspect I really appreciate is that I can go and adjust my own priorities during the day. This applies mostly on all tasks in projects where I am the main contributor.
Here is an example of how the changes made in the Priorities perspective affect what tasks appears in my personal dashboard. To get to this perspective, I selected the top menu Projects, and the left menu Priorities.
I can see several projects placed in three separate priority groups: P01, P02 and P03.
Note: Three different projects have been placed in a same priority Group P02 because the priority between them is not important, they don’t have dependencies. They simply appear in their creation date order which has no impact on the scheduling. Projects in P01 are higher priorities than all projects in P02. Within P02, all projects are equal in priority, regardless of the order on screen. They all have higher priority that projects in P03.
Based on these Priorities my dashboard looked like the following picture, with tasks from Desplantes Block 1909 project scheduled.
I could then work on Block 1909 (a project for a client), and all would be well.
Now, what if, for any reason, something changed with our customers? Imagine the team decides to change the priority of Block 1909, moves it to Priority Group P02. And moves Sales Tools Update (Project C3EV7Z..) to Priority Group P01.
After these adjustments the top level view looks like the following snapshot.
After one or two minutes, Sam's automatic AI scheduling rearranged my dashboard to put the task I had activated for Project Sales Tools Update before anything related to Block 1909, which is still there, but lower in my dashboard, since it is a lower priority project for the team.
The following snapshot shows my dashboard after the automatic re-scheduling.
I can see a task Process Material from the project Sales Tools Update sitting on top of my personal backlog.
Note: What if I did not want the Block 1909's task to disappear, simply because the top level project priorities changed?
Easy: when you are working on a task, or are ready to, simply change its Status field to Started. When started, Sam will not remove a task from your dashboard, since you are already working on it. The task will not disappear, and it should not.
Tasks Priorities (within projects)
In this article, I will only briefly explain this second level in the Scheduling system, the task level, within projects. We should study this in more detailed in another in depth article.
The way tasks priorities work is similar to the way they work for projects. This makes the system easy to learn and manage. To set them, myself, or another of my coworker, first access a project either from our dashboard, or by going to Projects in the top bar menu.
Once in the project, depending on the situation, I can manage tasks priorities in different ways. Some of our projects have tasks that do not have dependencies. The decision to work on a task or a group of task, first, is based on time optimization. Regrouping tasks with the same type of work can achieve this goal, for instance. The priority can be left to the default for all tasks (Priority Group T05).
Simply turning the tasks I would like to focus on next to Soon in the When indicator is all that is needed. This in turn will give the indication to the automatic scheduling that they are ready to be scheduled.
On the other hand, other projects have tasks that needs to be done before others and that is when the Priority menu can be used to make sure this happens. The function looks very similar to the Project priorities.
I can select the Priority field and assign the task to any group. In this example, I chose priority group T03.
The main difference between task priority groups and project priority groups, is that, at task level, priorities are about determining dependencies between tasks.
With task Priorities even when a task as been turned to Soon it will not be scheduled as long as a task with a higher priority level is not marked as Done. This mechanism is so efficient that I sometimes use it like a sort of “conveyor belt” to always have new tasks appear on my dashboard. When one tasks is completed the next in order of priority automatically gets scheduled and appears on my dashboard.
After using Sam9000 two level of priorities, I realized all the synergies this system creates between the top level goals and the tasks level goals. And the nicest thing about it is, it is so easy for us as a team to manage and understand. Indeed all we have to is focus on one priority level at the time, Top level with Projects on one hand and Task level separately. Then based on these instructions, at both these levels, Sam calculates the most effective tasks to work on next to achieve our top level goals, for each team member.