Creating task groups

In aACE, task groups can be used to build template task sets for standardized operations.  For example, a task group can be attached to a category so that each time a certain item is ordered a set of tasks is generated; or a task group can be used to build tasks for a lead when there is a standardized sales process.

To begin, navigate to the Task Groups module (Order Setup > Task Groups) and create a new task group. Type, Name, and Code are for organization and identification; Task Group Items are what will become tasks when any process is run that generates tasks from a task group. Task Type, Task Title, Description, Dept (Department), To (Assigned To), Category, and Qty (Quantity) will populate the corresponding fields in the generated task as-is.  Anchor, Start, and End information are used to set the start date and time and end date and time of the generated task.

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There are four options for the anchor: Job Start (JS), Job End (JE), Previous Task Start (PTS), and Previous Task End (PTE). Essentially, the task scheduling information can be anchored to the date and time of relative job or task, both during the generation process and in the event any relative dates or times change. The values you enter into Start On Day / Hour and End On Day / Hour should be integers and will be used to determine the correct scheduling data for the task.

During the scheduling process, weekends are not considered such that if a task is set to begin "the next day," that will be Monday if the "current day" is Friday. Also taken into consideration are the Business Hours Start and End as set up in aACE Preferences on the My aACE tab. For further details on anchoring and scheduling, read below.

Job Start (JS)
If a task is anchored to the Job Start, its date and time will always set relative to the start date and time of the job it belongs to.

Examples
• If a job is set to start on Monday, January 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM, entering 0 for all scheduling data will have the task also start on January 3 at 9:00 AM and end on January 3 at 9:00 AM.
• If a job is set to start on Monday, January 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM, entering 1 for all scheduling data will have the task start on January 4 at 10:00 AM and end on January 4 at 10:00 AM, i.e. 1 day and 1 hour after the Job Start Date.
• If a job is set to start on Monday, January 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM, entering 1 for the Start Day, 2 for the Start Hour, 3 for the End Day, and 4 for the End Hour will have the task start on January 4 at 11:00 AM and end on January 5 at 1:00 PM, i.e. starting 1 day and 2 hours after the Job Start Date and ending 3 days and 4 hours after the Job Start Date.

Job End (JE)
If a task is anchored to the Job End, its date and time will always set relative to the end date and time of the job it belongs to.

Previous Task Start (PTS)
If a task is anchored to the Previous Task Start, its date and time will always set relative to the start date and time of the task that comes before.

Previous Task End (PTE)
If a task is anchored to the Previous Task End, its date and time will always set relative to the end date and time of the task the comes before.

Testing
Since relative scheduling can be complex (consider a task that is set to start when the previous task ends, but the previous task is set to start when its previous task ends, which is set to start 5 days before the end of the job), a testing interface is available. While in edit mode of the task group, a tab is made available called "Test Task Schedule".  At the bottom of this interface is a section called "Test Job Info" where you can enter a start and end date for a hypothetical job.  Clicking "Test" will populate the start and end information for each task group item so you can see exactly when each task will start and end given the test information. Hovering over any piece of data on this interface will also give a tooltip providing additional guidance on how the data was calculated, what the implications of the settings are, or any errors that were encountered.

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