Define Tasks

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A task is a unit of work that contributes to the fulfillment and completion of a scheduled work item. Tasks allow decomposition of scheduled items into manageable units of work. Team members can take responsibility or ownership for each task, providing estimates and remaining time for completion. Tasks are owned by a single scheduled item for roll-up reporting. Tasks are the main units of work for a team member.

During iteration planning (also known as sprint planning) team members:

  • Break stories into tasks
  • Estimate the effort required to complete each task
  • Assign owners
  • Commit to the overall plan for the iteration

Once the iteration is underway, team members (also called contributors) work on their tasks and let the rest of the team know how the work is progressing and whether they are blocked. As they get deeper into the task, they also have a better picture of how many more hours of work remains. They update their tasks to share this information with their team and with others in the organization who have a need to know.

In Rally, you can:

Your ability to manage a task is dependent upon the user role and permissions you have been assigned for the project.

Manage and view your tasks

You can manage and view the tasks for which you are responsible from:

From My Tasks and the Task summary page, you can:

  • Assemble your tasks into meaningful displays using Rally's predefined quick views.
  • Create your own custom views.
  • View the calculated roll-up information for estimates and to do of tasks displayed in the Summary bar. Filter on any available field and the roll-up information is recalculated to reflect new totals based on the filter applied.
  • Select the Edit edit icon to the right of each listed task to edit that task. You can also double-click in any editable field to invoke edit mode.
  • Select the Copy icon to the right of each listed task to make a copy. An editor window displays where you may reassign the copied task to another user story or edit other details before saving.
  • Select the Delete delete icon to delete a task.

My Tasks

My Tasks is part of your personalized dashboard, and is presented as an app from the My Home tab. Only those tasks for which you are responsible in the currently-selected project display in this view. Use this view as your daily task workplace to update the amount of effort left to do.

Tasks must be assigned to an iteration or release before they will appear in My Tasks.

Click on the task ID to view the full details of the task, participate in discussions, edit task details, or add attachments.

Task summary page

The Tasks summary page provides basic information regarding all tasks that have been created. When viewed from the User Story detail page or the Defect detail page from the sidebar link, the Tasks summary page displays all of the tasks directly associated with the work item. This allows you to work with all of the tasks that directly or indirectly affect the work item.

Use the Tasks summary page to view the status of each task in a color-coded display that makes it easy to assess the progress of each task at a glance.

Sort on the State field to return an alphabetic display of the states of the tasks; it does not sort based on a State progression or order.

Task detail page

The Task detail page provides a view of an individual task.

From the Task detail page, you can:

  • Use the sidebar to get a summary view of the related artifacts.
  • Click the url URL icon in the upper-left corner to open a new Task Detail page with the complete URL to this work item. From here you can copy the URL to use as a reference link in email to team members, or attachments to other work items, and so on.
  • Use the Actions button to edit, copy, print, and delete.

The detail page includes a read-only field of time spent in hours on the task. This field is displayed when Enable Rally Time Tracker is enabled on the workspace.

Create tasks

You can create a task in Rally from multiple locations. This flexibility allows you to progress through work activities and create a task whenever you need it from logical positions within Rally.

From the Iteration Task Status or Release Status summary pages:

  1. From the Track tab, click Iteration Status or Release Status.
  2. On the Task Status page, click the Create New Task icon new task next to the user story or defect to which you want to add a task.
  3. On the Create Task editor, complete fields as necessary. Fields highlighted in red are required.
  4. Click Save & Close.

Use the drag icon to drag the task up or down to prioritize your tasks.

To inline add a new task:

  1. From the Track tab, click Iteration Status or Release Status.
  2. On the Task Status page, click the Inline New Task icon next to the user story or defect to which you want to add a task.
  3. In the editable row, enter a Description and specify the State. Optionally, specify the To Do, Task Estimate, and Owner.
  4. Click one of the following icons:
    • Save and New
    • Save
    • Cancel

From the User Stories or Defects summary pages:

  1. Click the hyperlinked name of the user story or defect to which you want to add a task.
  2. On the detail page's sidebar, click the Tasks link.
  3. From Actions, click New Task.
  4. On the Create Task editor, complete fields as necessary. Fields highlighted in red are required.
  5. Click Save & Close.

From a board-style app, such as the Kanban board:

  1. Hover on a card and select the plus icon.
  2. Select Tasks.
  3. Select Add New and enter a name for the task.
  4. Click Add to quickly add the task, or click Add with Details to enter more information.

Edit tasks

When you edit a task you can modify information such as fields, resource values, and textual descriptions. Rally offers multiple locations from which you can edit a task.

You may edit a task from any of the following locations:

  • Task Summary
  • A card on a board-style app
  • Expanded Iteration Status and Release Status pages
  • My Tasks
  • IDE
    • If you use your own tools with Rally, you may be able to update tasks without leaving your development or test tools. Click the Access Rally from your IDE link on the Getting Started for Contributors app for details about which tools have built-in task updating.
  • Team Status page
  • Task Board app
    • If you prefer to update tasks during your daily meeting or standup, the Task Board app is a perfect tool for this. If you don't already have a Task Board app tab, create one from the app catalog. During your standup, the scrum master or any team member can update task status by dragging the task from state to state.

Note: From the Timesheet page you can update task state and enter hours spent on development work daily, as well as update tasks to dos.

Since all tasks are associated with a work item, you may change, but not delete, a work item association.

Copy tasks

You may copy tasks to quickly create a set of similar work assigned under a common work item, or when you need to duplicate a task from one item to another. When you select the copy command, an editor window displays where you may re-assign the copy to another work item and edit other details such as owner or description.

You may copy a task from any of the following locations:

  • Task Summary page
  • Expanded Iteration Status page
  • Expanded Release Status page
  • Team Status page
  • User Story, Defect, and Defect Suite detail pages

From most pages, select the copy tasks icon to the right of each listed task to make a copy. From detail pages, click Actions and select Copy.

Copy tasks from another work item

If you have a common set of tasks that need to be completed for many, if not all, user stories or defects, you can copy a set of common tasks from one work item to another.

You can create a user story or defect as a template and then copy tasks from that template into new user stories or defects. Keep these templates in your team's backlog or in a special project for templates that all teams can access.

From the Iteration and Release Status pages

The copy tasks from icon is available on the Iteration and Release Status pages for user stories, defects, defect suites, and test sets.

  1. Select the Copy Tasks From Copy tasks from icon to the right of the work item you want the copied tasks associated to.
  2. On the chooser pop-up, use the drop-down menu to select search criteria. You may search by work item name, FormattedID, or project.
  3. Optionally, enter text into the Search box, and click the Search button to narrow down results in the chooser.
  4. Select the radio button next to the work item that contains the tasks you want to copy. You may only copy from one work item at a time.
    Copy from chooser
  5. Click Copy Tasks.
  6. Task copies display under the work item.

From detail pages

Copy tasks from the detail pages of user stories, defects, and defect suites.

  1. Navigate to the detail page of a work item.
  2. Click the Tasks link from the sidebar on the left.
  3. From Actions, select Copy Tasks from. A chooser window displays.
  4. On the chooser pop-up, select the radio button next to the work item that contains the tasks you want to copy. You may only copy from one work item at a time.
    Copy from chooser
  5. Click Copy Tasks.
  6. Task copies will display on the page.

Note:
  • You may use these steps to make a copy of all tasks within the same work item. If you do so, (Copy of) will be prepended to the name of the new tasks.
  • You may only copy tasks between the same type of work items. For example, you may not copy tasks from a defect to a user story.

Assign tasks

To assign or take responsibility for a task:

  1. Edit the task.
  2. In the Owner drop-down list, locate and select the name of the new task owner.
  3. Click Save.

Reassign tasks

You can re-assigned to a different work item from the Task detail page.

  1. Edit the task.
  2. On the Work Item field, select the Choose chooser icon.
  3. Select the appropriate work item for your task.
  4. Click Save.

Import tasks

You may import tasks from another system using a CSV formatted file. To import one or more tasks:

  1. Navigate to the Tasks or Iteration Tasks Status page.
  2. From Actions, select Import Tasks.
  3. On the Import popup, verify your CSV file is correctly formatted by clicking the hyperlinked import template.
    The header columns in these templates must be exactly reproduced in your CSV file for successful import. Each template can be modified for your import.
  4. Click Browse to locate your CSV file.
  5. Select your file and click Open.
  6. Optionally, click the advanced hyperlink to specify your character encoding.
  7. Click Import.

Task fields

Set these fields when creating or editing a task. Required fields are highlighted in red on the full screen editor.

The subscription or workspace administrator has the ability to hide fields.

Field Description
General
ID A system-generated ID is assigned to your task. It is unique and will never change. The ID consists of a tag prefix and a numerical value. The tag can be customized by your system administrator to reflect a differentiating prefix for each work item defined in your project, such as US for user story, DE for defect, and so on.
Description Enter a brief description of your task in this Rich Text Format field. Enter any text in the description that will help all team members clearly understand the intent of the task.
Task
Blocked Indicates that work on the task cannot continue until all issues preventing further progress are removed. Use the Notes field to record the reason the task is blocked. Any task that is blocked will automatically roll up to the related scheduled item and activate the blocked check mark of the scheduled item. The blocked state will display in the Iteration Status or Release Status view in red to indicate blocked, but will still carry the associated state letter so the initial state of the scheduled item is not lost.
Blocked Reason Indicates the reason why a task is blocked.
Ready This checkbox can be used to indicate that a task is ready to be worked. This field is primarily used by teams using the Kanban Board or other board based method of pulling work.
Rank A read-only numerical field that displays the relative importance of the related scheduled item.
Estimate Enter the number of units estimated to complete the task. This field is a real number and can accept three digits followed by a decimal and two more digits.
To Do Enter the remaining amount of work to be completed for this task. When the task is created, this numerical field is initially defaulted to match the value of the Estimate field.
Time Spent A read-only numerical field that displays the number of hours spent on the task.
Actuals (hidden by default) Enter the actual number of units it took to complete the task. Temporarily show this field to record time actually spent on tasks as a way to detect lack of availability or software complexity underestimated during planning if those root causes of missed commitments are not already detected during the retrospective. To track software cost, use Rally Time Tracker.
Notes
Notes Use this textual field for recording additional information associated with the task such as team decisions, customer input, or discussion results.
Revision
Change Description Record any changes made to the task during an edit. Change Description comments are stored and displayed in the Revision History page. Note: Changes made to the task are also systematically captured for Revision History.

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