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The Masterclass: Concept Evolution and Task Management

Concept Evolution™ is a fully web-enabled CAFM solution, accessed through a standard web browser to provide an extremely powerful, flexible and easy-to-use solution from any location.  Before discussing tasks and task management, let's remind ourselves what these terms refer to.

A task is an action or part of a set of actions which require assigning to an individual for completion.  Task management is the management of tasks through their life-cycle.  Contributing factors include identifying the actions required for the completion of a task, the assignment of tasks to resources, the tracking of activities for tasks, and the reporting of tasks to internal management or the client.  We can now discuss tasks and task management in Concept Evolution™.

Task management in Concept Evolution™ manages both planned and reactive tasks in a single overview, which can be customised to the preferences of each user.  The status of any given task can be monitored by the user, from initiation through to completion, who can choose to filter the overall task list to the level of information relevant to their role.

Tasks can be easily filtered using two simple methods.  Firstly, a 'quick search' function allows the user to enter text, and return a list of tasks containing that text in the task control window.  For example, a user could type a task reporter's name into the quick search field and immediately return all the tasks reported by that person.

Secondly, the query function can be used should more sophisticated task retrieval be required.  Pre-configured queries are supplied with the system, for example: 'tasks logged today' and 'tasks due in the next seven days' that can be selected from a list; that filter is then applied to the task list.  Users can create their own queries using a simple graphical interface, and save them for future use by themselves or other Evolution users.  At any time, users can simply print a snapshot of the task list, or export the list directly to Microsoft Excel.

Once a task is logged or a planned task is issued, task information is automatically displayed in the task list for users and for user groups.  Task data is shared and updated by the users involved in processing the task through to completion, thereby removing the need for paper-based systems and associated administrative costs.

Users can set-up message alerts which will update them with pertinent information relating to any work they are responsible for or involved with.  Message alerts also allow stakeholders to be automatically notified of relevant information relating to ongoing works by automated email or text messaging.

Various information from within Concept Evolution™ can assist users with the allocation of available resources to tasks.  This information includes the availability of resources for the completion of tasks based on current work commitments, statutory holidays, and planned individual resource absences and suitability with regard to discipline and shift allocation.

Tasks can be easily identified and therefore selected for allocating to either directly employed resources or third-party service providers for action.  Any information relevant to the completion of the task can be issued to the resource or service provider in a number of formats: printed media (locally and over a network), email, SMS text, fax or deployed to a Mobile device.  Resources and service providers can also view task details from any location using the internet or an intranet website.

Each and every task has a Service Level Agreement (SLA), which displays the target time in which the task must be completed.  Tasks can have one or multiple targets to achieve, e.g. respond, attend, contain, complete - depending on the specific requirements.  It is therefore simple to monitor the progress of a task from creation through to completion.  Users can define a traffic light system for each task, which indicates the time left until the relevant target.  This ensures that any overdue tasks, or tasks which are about to breach SLA's will be highlighted to the user.

Once a task has been completed, any associated resources, e.g. administration personnel, engineers, sub-contractors and third-party service providers, have the opportunity to feedback details regarding time taken and materials used.  This can be achieved through a number of areas of Concept Evolution™.  For instance, the Helpdesk in Concept Evolution™ (which provides the ability to log facilities and maintenance requests against contracts and services) can be used to enter any labour, stock and purchase order cost information relevant to the completion of the task.  Additional information includes time used by individual resources in completing the task.  Finally, a consolidated view of all activities completed within a specified time period by a resource can be completed and updated or amended accordingly.

Forthcoming Concept Evolution™ masterclass lessons from FSI include: Asset Management, Planned Maintenance, Service Level Agreement (SLA) management, Hazards & Warnings, and Management Reporting.