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Task Templates Table

This table holds records that serve as templates for automatically generated tasks. Each Template record specifies a Task related to one of the other tables. Task Templates have a Related to field, just as tasks do, and they may be linked to a specific service, task workflow, or project type. Task Templates define the method of assignment, the expected number of working hours to complete, and any prerequisite tasks.

Task Templates may be combined within a Task Workflow, or they may be independent of a workflow. They can be combined to form a set of "User Selected Tasks" linked to a service or project type, or a single task template may be linked to a service for a change request.

Task Template Layout

The next sections outline the important fields and options on each of the Task Template record layout tabs.

Template Details Tab

All the fields that users can fill out are on the Template Details tab:

The Task Title may not contain commas; this prevents errors when running the task automation rules. The Related To field links Task templates to Service Requests, Change Requests, or Projects.

Task Usage may be Default or Conditional. If conditional, then a saved search condition based on metadata in the record where the task is generated should be defined. At the point where the task would be assigned, the condition is checked to see if it is met or not and the task's status is changed accordingly.

The Number of Working Hours to Due date is used to set the task's Date Due once the status is marked Assigned, by adding the defined number of working hours (for the assigned team) to the current time.

Assign Task Based On allows you to define a task template whose resulting task will be assigned to a person defined in the main record. The default of Assigned Team / Person lets you "hard code" the assigned team or person in the task template. A different value allows you to choose a variable that has been pre-configured in the Replacement Variables table. For instance, for a task related to a service request you will see these options:

The choices in the Assign to field are set in the Replacement Variables table and can be edited there, or new fields added.

Note that if you set a task to be assigned in this way, but there is no value in the selected field – for instance, there is no submitter manager defined in the service request-- then the task will not be properly assigned. As a backup, such tasks are assigned to the 1st level Support Team.

The Choose a Task to Add field is used to select a task for the same workflow to be a prerequisite task to this one. The Prerequisite Task to Remove is used to remove a task that was previously defined as a prerequisite. These fields are used in conjunction with the action buttons to their right. Note that prerequisite task setup is only visible and enabled if the task template is linked to a Task Workflow and if the linked field Workflow Enable Task Prerequisites=Yes. Otherwise these fields will not be visible.

At the bottom of the tab is the option to set up a task checklist. If Yes is selected, then you can add individual steps and define the order the checkboxes should use:

To add steps, first check the Create New Checklist Item? checkbox, then fill out a Step Name and Step Number, then click Create Task Step. This is a handy way to provide a list of troubleshooting steps or a list of things to be done within a single task.

Related Information Tab

This tab may show the record that contains this task template. If the template is part of a task workflow, the workflow will be listed. If it is linked to a particular service as a "User Selected Task", then the service name will be linked in:

Use Case

Task Templates are related to either the Project, Change Request, or Service Request tables using the "Related to" field at the top of the form.

Whenever a Task Template is used to generate a Task, a conversion is done from the Task Template table to the Task table, mapping important information in the Task Template to the Task record that is generated. This Task record is linked to the Service Request, Project, or other table that spawned it, as well as being linked back to the source task template. Templates can be made inactive when they should no longer be used, and that will prevent them from being generated as tasks. When the Status is changed to Inactive, an edit rule called Edit: Other edit actions - unlink inactive task template, handle cloned templates will blank out any link to a task workflow, project type, or service will be eliminated so it will no longer appear as available in those services or new projects.

Another rule prevents task titles from having commas in them, and if a comma is stripped out, provides a popup message alerting the creator that it has been stripped.

Automation and Workflow

The automation on the Task Template table includes rules to strip out any commas from the task title, a rule to update the sequence of task templates in relation to other templates for the same workflow, and the rule to unlink inactive task templates.

In addition, the system tracks the service requests and projects for which a task template based on user selection has been generated so that users are prevented from generating the same task for the same parent record. Since change request tasks must be generated multiple times, one for each asset, we cannot block this in the same way.

Cloning Task Templates Along with a Task Workflow

Task workflows may be cloned and then modified, and when a task workflow is cloned, its task templates and any task steps are also cloned and linked to the new workflow.

Cloning reproduces all the elements of the original task template. 

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