TaskBeat’s methodology is based on the company’s proprietary management concept. The concept was developed to provide a very consistent method of managing the operations and finances of the enterprise. The innovation of the methodology lies in the management of the company based on a social network of employees combined with a system for managing the projects and finances of the enterprise. Management of projects and finances of the business to determine the profitability of the portfolio of projects, as well as the profitability of the entire enterprise. The innovative methodology allows the organization to adapt faster to changing business conditions.

The methodology was developed to facilitate work in small work teams subject to the pressure of constant change, when change often affects the accepted way of working of a department or organization. Individual project plans and even the adopted daily schedule of a given employee are subject to constant modification. The implementation of the solution assumes the introduction of a tool that allows managing small and medium-sized companies in a way that does not require specialized knowledge of management or accounting principles. We decided that with the changes taking place in the organization’s environment, it is necessary to develop a methodology that will allow us to support the increasing pace of changes taking place in organizations.

Methodology is a tool that, by applying the concept presented, allows project managers and teams to focus on accomplishing the right tasks. Methodology sets a very narrow group of tasks placed at a specific level, such as managers at the level of stages and employees at the level of tasks. The methodology is designed to prevent chaos, errors and miscommunication, and above all disorganization resulting from conflicting priorities. The methodology makes it possible to carry out large projects by decomposing problems and assigning the right order of tasks to each employee. Setting a clear path for the implementation of the work positively influences the increase of focus, the effect of the teams using the methodology, and, consequently, the certainty of project implementation.

This document describes in detail the unique work management methodology that we have developed as the TaskBeat concept. The methodology does not impose any specific implementation or tool, only the concept of work planning itself.

The TaskBeat concept was developed taking into account a primarily human understanding of activity management. By taking into account certain aspects related to the execution of work in work teams, the methodology employs a methodology that allows the designation of a specific list of tasks that allow teams and individual employees to focus on specific tasks scheduled for completion in a specific order. In order to ensure the transparency of tasks, the principle of decomposition of complex projects by means of a hierarchy of tasks was applied. The hierarchy consists of decomposition of complex undertakings (projects) into individual stages, and these into individual tasks, and these into individual task steps. The methodology does not assume any specific number of projects, stages, tasks and steps. The actual number of nested levels should depend only on the complexity of each individual project. The order of the tasks to be performed by each employee is determined by the position of the task belonging to that employee relative to the hierarchy – the tasks located highest, regardless of the level of nesting, receive the highest priority.

The innovative methodology allows managing multiple projects, stages, tasks, submissions, budgets, expenditures, and time and material inputs operating on only two concepts: the task concept and the budget concept occurring in specific relationships to each other. The concept allows you to control the process of coordinating the work of work teams in a consistent manner. The methodology assumes a concept of work implementation and reporting that reflects the real picture of the progress of the tasks being carried out and the financial condition of the company in a clear and obvious way.

Unlike reactive systems (such as a ticketing system, sales management or accounting program), where specific events arise as a result of reactions to external actions (such as an order or document), the methodology allows the team to proactively plan its work and estimate its economic impact in the future. Planning the work before it begins allows organizations to anticipate various scenarios for the implementation of a given project, and in certain situations allows certain projects to be abandoned. Planning the work also makes it possible to find possible obstacles and hindrances that may affect the inability to implement a given plan.

Enterprise action planning also brings additional benefits. Through all exchanges of opinions and considerations, we aim to develop the most effective methods of solving them. As a result, the very process of planning the work allows us to make the right decisions about potential problems that may arise in the future, such as time constraints (can we make it on time), resource constraints (do we have the right number of employees), or budget constraints (do we have enough funds). Planning for future projects can be done by taking into account lessons from previous projects, as well as internal and external constraints affecting the proportion of unforeseeable circumstances to foreseeable circumstances.

The TaskBeat methodology assumes that a hierarchical list of tasks can be presented in a continuous list. Representing a hierarchy of tasks using a continuous list allows you to capture certain views by filtering tasks in the hierarchy and showing them as a report of tasks in a certain order relative to the hierarchy, for example:
a) a list of tasks assigned for (do not have) a specific owner,
b) the list of upcoming tasks of a specific employee,
c) a list of tasks whose scheduled completion date falls on today’s date,
c) a list of tasks whose scheduled completion date has already passed,
d) a list of tasks that do not have a designated completion date,
e) a list of tasks that are not assigned to (do not have) an assigned owner.

Tasks presented in the manner of a continuous list are determined using the chronological method, i.e. by inspecting the subtasks of the first task in the main task list, the order of the tasks that are first in the continuous list is determined. By inspecting the second and subsequent tasks in the master task list, the tasks appearing next in the continuous task list are determined. The same method of determining the chronology of tasks is used for each of the primary views defined in the TaskBeat methodology.

The methodology assumes that work is organized around tasks, and each task can have multiple functions: each task can be a step in the implementation of another task, each task can be a project, and each task can be a process. Tasks can have different functions over time. TaskBeat assumes that tasks are arranged in the form of lists in such a way that each task can be placed on only one list at a time. TaskBeat organizes tasks in such a way that each company has a master task list on which it represents the most important processes and projects, as well as individual tasks carried out in the company. TaskBeat organizes tasks in such a way that each task can contain an infinite number of subtasks: tasks nested in other tasks become steps in the execution of those tasks, for example: a task – a certain project step is nested in a task of a given project. Tasks can have a varying number of subtasks over time. The simplest implementation of company tasks consists of a to-do list. The list can be changed at will over time. TaskBeat assumes that some major tasks are processes, e.g., a task to improve something will always be enriched by additional implementation steps, and the methodology does not assume that such tasks will ever be completely completed, but also that these tasks can be estimated in terms of time and money inputs over time.

According to the TaskBeat methodology, complex tasks can and even should be broken down into subtasks, making it easier to perform complex tasks and how to solve difficult problems. All you need to do is to work according to the established steps. This approach makes it easier for teams to complete them. The TaskBeat concept introduces a fully task-based approach to getting work done. The risk is that where the introduction of multiple disparate solutions to manage a large number of tasks (using lists, notes, calendars), there will be fragmentation and frustration ( when a task scheduled for today has not been completed). TaskBeat counters fragmentation and conflicts between tasks on different lists, managed by different tools, because it assumes that all work carried out by workgroups (e.g., in large enterprises) should be managed in a unified way.

The TaskBeat methodology assumes that each task can have subtasks. Thus, the methodology simplifies project management with lists of tasks with clearly defined relationships, organized in a tree-like hierarchy. Sub-tasks are defined and managed in the same way as any other task. The TaskBeat methodology assumes that any task can simultaneously become a project or phase by adding subtasks to it where required. The methodology does not assume any maximum number of tasks on the list and does not assume a maximum number of task nestings, although specific tools implementing the TaskBeat methodology may have some limitations on the number and nestings of tasks. At the same time, the methodology encourages experimentation and learning to develop the right number of subtasks for a given project team and the specific project the team is executing.

The TaskBeat methodology encourages breaking down tasks into the smallest possible units worth tracking in the system. Sometimes it happens that due to the complexity of certain work, some tasks will be broken down into subtasks at several levels. In the case of simpler and more predictable work, such a breakdown of tasks is not necessary, however, in the case of complex projects, the methodology assumes that breaking down tasks and determining individual estimates will allow the application of the law of large numbers, i.e., with a large number of subtasks, errors resulting from underestimates along with overestimation errors cancel each other out, reflecting the likely end result for the implementation of the entire project. The use of appropriate detail in the breakdown of tasks depends on a number of factors: the degree of certainty about the implemented project, the experience of the team in the work in progress, the need for accurate estimation of time inputs.

The TaskBeat methodology allows us to work at different levels of nesting simultaneously. We can work with a task that has subtasks, or work with specific subtasks, or with tasks at different levels simultaneously. TaskBeat assumes that sometimes we don’t need to break each task into subtasks or we don’t know which subtask our work is about, for example: a marketing task representing a marketing process may have multiple subtasks. Sometimes it is easier for employees to log their work time in specific subtasks representing marketing projects or clients they work with. Sometimes, however, it is easier to log time, expenses and comments directly in a marketing task if the work being done cannot be made more specific. TaskBeat supports such scenarios and offers for this purpose the ability to log comments, work time or cost at any level of abstraction of the task, for example: we have done marketing work for clients, but not on any specific project.

The TaskBeat methodology works so well because it allows us to separate the two main processes: developing the right order of tasks (necessary, to be done later, optional tasks) from the process of executing them. Thus, we can focus on task planning and task execution as separate, independent processes.

TaskBeat introduces a single priority list for the entire team, part of which is the list of issues of a particular employee. It focuses on showing tasks in such a way as to take into account the relationship of the different lists to each other and determine the order in which they should be completed. TaskBeat proposes a management concept in which the priority is not a rigid time frame, but the order in which tasks are performed. The tasks are organized into lists, where the priority of a task is determined by the order on the list. No two projects are of equal importance at the same time, since they also have a designated position, even if in practice they are carried out simultaneously.

TaskBeat organizes subtasks according to any order, which is set manually by the owner of a given task, with tasks in the master list set by the leader of a given workgroup or the owner of the company. The order of tasks can be changed over time as the situation and the company environment requires. Each task list contains tasks arranged manually so that tasks at the top of the list should be understood to be more important than those at the bottom of the list. The order of assignments on the list determines the logical relationships between tasks, while also determining the order in which they should be completed by team members. In this way, tasks have a certain priority in relation to each other, and the priorities of tasks lying on different lists never conflict. The urgency of a given task is a separate feature of each task and is determined by the set deadline for completing the task.

The TaskBeat methodology allows task-oriented work to be defined in the context of both a specific community and an individual working according to the TaskBeat methodology. The methodology assumes that work is carried out within a certain workspace called Context. The Context delineates the workspace and organizes the work of individuals working in one team with equal rights within the group. This means that in addition to private tasks, employees working within the same Context should have equal rights to modify and review all plans and budgets operating within the Context. One company can have multiple contexts at the same time by setting visibility boundaries between different departments or work groups.

TaskBeat assumes that only the owner of a task can set the order of the steps in the execution of its task, with each step in the execution of a task being delegated to another employee who will become the owner of that subtask. Tasks that do not have an owner can be changed by any employee.

TaskBeat assumes freedom to change the plan in terms of what, when and in what order, assuming at the same time that there is an agreement between employees and managers to delegate tasks and not to disrupt the team with constant changes in the plan for the implementation of individual steps. TaskBeat assumes the freedom to change the plan in terms of what, when and in what relation to other tasks, assuming that tasks will be delegated to different employees giving the freedom of the order in which the steps are completed to employees and the ability to see the overall degree of completion to those who delegated the tasks.

The TaskBeat methodology assumes that completed tasks are returned to the delegate by assigning the task owner to the delegate when the completion progress reaches 75% (or defaults to status: completed). In this way, those delegating tasks to colleagues can control both the progress, time and budget of the task as it is completed. Assigning a task to an outsourcer thus closes the task completion loop, allowing a very large number of tasks to be delegated and supervised to co-workers, which works especially well for small companies handling multiple tasks simultaneously. The outsourcer can assess whether the task was completed within the right time, budget, and whether it was done properly. This is the moment when the ordering party can “close” the task by marking it as 100% completed (or by default selecting the status: checked) or “return” the task for corrections to the person who performed it. This is the moment when both parties can also determine the conclusions of the task and recommend that further tasks be carried out differently.

The TaskBeat methodology assumes that certain tasks can be carried out simultaneously by different team members, depending on the resources of the venture, for example, several tasks at the top of the list can be carried out by different members of the product team simultaneously. The TaskBeat methodology assumes that each task has one person responsible for completing a given list or task, making a specific employee the “owner” of the task or list. TaskBeat assumes that each task has at most one owner, i.e. the execution of a specific job can be entrusted to one contractor, and a task that has subtasks has at most one specific manager. Tasks without an owner are tasks waiting to be prioritized and assigned to a specific person. In this way, TaskBeat shifts the burden of control over project execution from project managers back to the members of the community executing the project. In this way, the tool increases the commitment of team members to the project and imposes clear responsibility for the successful completion of projects, milestones or tasks always on one specific person within the project.
Task empowerment

TaskBeat assumes that where there are multiple lists, there may be multiple priorities that are hard to evaluate in the relationship of one list to another, especially considering private tasks. TaskBeat solves this problem by placing private tasks in a shared task list and hiding the trees, as well as individual tasks marked as private from the view of other team members. In this way, it not only guarantees that private and professional tasks will not interfere with each other, but also that private tasks will never have the same priorty as professional tasks and will always fit into a uniform structure of tasks to be performed. As a result, private matters do not interfere with professional ones, and different projects carried out by the company at the same time can never be of equal importance. Even if we feel that they are, TaskBeat organizes work in such a way that one is always more important than the other, so that the order in which tasks are completed is always clear and follows the order in which the tasks were added to the list.

The TaskBeat methodology assumes that each task can optionally include an estimator, i.e. a forecast of the task’s performance, if such a forecast is possible to determine. The ability to forecast tasks and determine estimators depends on the type of work being performed and the experience of the team. TaskBeat assumes that not every task has a deadline and not every task has a time or financial budget. According to the TaskBeat methodology, estimates should be determined by the employee actually performing the work and owning the task. Each task can be given an estimate in terms of the time required to complete the task and the cost that can be incurred to complete it. The sum of the subtask estimates make up the task estimate, for example: for task X having 5 subtasks projected as to be completed in 1 day each and involving a completion cost of: 100 each the forecast for the execution of task X is: 5 days and cost: 500, which is the result of adding the subtasks.

TaskBeat assumes that each task has a degree of completion that is determined by its owner, with the degree of completion of tasks that have assigned completion steps (created subtasks) being calculated proportionally: based on the degree of completion of all assigned subtasks and the number of hours estimated to complete each subtask. TaskBeat simplifies the display of task progress by showing the user a percentage in the form of a thermometer. The thermometer is signed with the percentage of task completion or the expression: x/y where x is the number of completed steps and y is the number of all steps in a given task.

The TaskBeat methodology assumes the ability to plan and place tasks in time according to a set order. Task scheduling in time involves taking into account the order of tasks on different lists in a chronological manner, taking into account information about the position of the task in relation to other tasks and the planned time input in such a way that the planned date of task completion is determined by the date of completion of the preceding task of a given employee within the same branch leading to the root of the task tree adding the time planned for task completion. For example, if tasks X and Y are in order such that task Y is lined up behind task X, and the completion date of task X falls on Monday, and the workload of task Y is six hours then the completion date of task Y falls on Tuesday. Due to the fact that the location of tasks in time is determined according to the above scheme, any delays in execution allow easy recalculation of all dependent tasks with minimal time input. It should be noted, however, that the TaskBeat methodology emphasizes the order in which tasks are completed, not the exact placement in time.

The TaskBeat methodology assumes that each task has a status defined numerically as a percentage of completion (on a scale from 1-100). Specific percentages can be assigned descriptive statuses specific to the type of work and nomenclature used in the industry. Typically, tasks with a status equal to 0% are marked as “new,” i.e. those that do not yet have a designated estimate, a planned completion date and an owner. Tasks with a status equal to 25% are marked as “assigned,” i.e. those that have been assigned to and approved by the owner, along with the necessary time and cost to complete them. Tasks with a status equal to 50% are marked as “in progress,” meaning that they are currently being completed by an employee or are waiting for some other dependent work to be done. Tasks with a status equal to 75% are marked with a status of “completed,” which means that there are no additional steps that the task owner expects to perform in connection with the task, and the task is only waiting for acceptance or checking by the person who created the task or ordered its execution. Only tasks with a status equal to 100% are understood to be accepted and verified.

TaskBeat assumes that any employee can add a new task to any list, with new tasks by default taking as owner whoever owns the parent task, or they have no owner and by default have the lowest position in the list (new tasks are added to the end of the list). The TaskBeat methodology assumes that newly created tasks have no owner and are always added to the end of the list with a status of “New.” In this way, the methodology assumes that new tasks can be created at any time during the project allowing employees to submit their own ideas. Newly created tasks can be evaluated at any time by those responsible for the implementation of the project and only go through the process of: a) prioritization, i.e. manually placing the new task in the correct position on the current (or other) list, and b) assignment, i.e. determining the person responsible for the task.

TaskBeat is revolutionizing the way categories of various tasks are managed by replacing the concept of categories with the concept of tags, which can be assigned in any number to any one task, and allowing tasks to be found based on any tag. A tag consists of a single word, such as invoice, or multiple words entered into the system as a single phrase. The concept of adding any number of tags to any task allows multiple meanings and contexts to be assigned to each task. Thanks to the concept of tags, it is possible to present tasks in a flat view showing all tasks that have been tagged with a specific tag according to priority, i.e. the order in which the task appears in the task list along with subtasks, maintaining their order in the task tree.

TaskBeat’s methodology involves the implementation of rewarding employees for completed tasks. Rewarding employees promotes: teamwork, completing tasks on time and within budget. Remuneration is based on the concept of: “points” and “likes” assigned to employees individually for the progress and completion of tasks.

a) Likes can be assigned to each other by employees as they complete tasks. Employees can mark individual progress within a task as “likes.”
b) Remuneration in the form of points is allocated to employees for completed and completed tasks, in proportion to the contribution each employee made to the success of the task. Points are assigned taking into account the elements of time and cost, and other parameters. If the completion of a task by one or more employees falls within the stipulated time and cost, employees receive additional points for completing the task.

The methodology assumes that the exact algorithm for calculating remuneration for completed tasks may vary from version to version, and may be adjusted for each product implementing the methodology, as well as for each user using the TaskBeat methodology.

Project profitability management is a way to manage projects with the goal of maximizing profit from ongoing projects. Profit maximization is the achievement of the maximum economic profit from ongoing project activities. TaskBeat’s project profitability management methodology is designed to capture the real revenues and expenses of individual projects within an organization’s project portfolio.

Project profitability management involves defining a portfolio of projects undertaken by the organization. Within each project, a list of main tasks necessary to complete the project is defined. Each task can be decomposed into individual steps leading to the completion of a given task. In this way, the project plan is defined by a tree-like structure of project tasks. The task structure can contain any number of levels, with the task at the highest level defining the entire project.

Each task, without being priced in terms of: expected revenues and costs: direct costs and the cost of labor time required to carry out the task. In the case of projects in which tasks have been decomposed in as much detail as possible, the estimation of expenditures for each task in the hierarchy has a beneficial effect on the correct determination of the expenditures of the entire projects thanks to the effect of large numbers, i.e., in which the expenditures for some tasks will be overestimated and some underestimated, and the resulting errors will cancel each other out.

According to the methodology, each task has an assigned task card intended for recording task parameters such as task name, degree of completion and description of task activities, and other parameters such as a list of persons responsible for task execution, task deadline and other parameters in accordance with the requirements of a particular organization or a specific project. In addition, the task card is used to record the detailed progress of the task over time, including but not limited to: direct costs and the time expenditures of individual employees performing the task. Both expected and actual working time should be multiplied by the rate for the working time of each employee performing the task.

Implementation progress estimates should be determined based on the individual degree of completion of each task located at the lowest level of the project structure. Completion progress is defined as a percentage such that 100% completion of a given task means that the task is complete and requires no additional work. For tasks containing stages, the progress of completion is defined as the proportion of the sum of time required to complete the stages to the individual progress of each task. For example, for task Z1 containing three tasks: Z1.1, Z1.2, Z1.3 valued successively at: 1, 3, 5 hours, whose progress of completion is successively: 20%, 40%, 60% the progress of task Z1 is: (((1*0.2)+(3*0.4)+(5*0.6))/(1+3+5))*100 = ((0.2+1.2+3.0)/9)*100 = (4.4/9.0)*100 = 49 (percent)

Estimates of costs and profits should be summed within tasks in such a way that: the sum of expected profits and outlays is calculated by adding up the estimates of a given task and the tasks registered directly within a given task as its stages (sub-tasks). Adding up the expected profits and expenditures at each level of project tasks, we get the sum of expected profits and the sum of expected expenditures for each project. The expected profitability of each project can be defined as the proportion of expected profits to expected costs. The actual profitability of a project is defined as the proportion of the profits actually recorded to the expenses actually incurred for the project.

Interpretation of the profitability result involves interpreting the ratios of estimated and actual profitability of each project included in the portfolio of ongoing projects. Projects whose estimated profitability does not exceed the ratio of 1.0 should not be undertaken (they will be unprofitable), and projects whose actual profitability does not exceed the ratio of 1.0 should be abandoned or require changes. The decision to continue the project is influenced by the determination of the ratio of actual profitability of the project to the degree of its implementation, where the values of actual costs and actual profits are multiplied by the current progress of the project in order to better capture the current profitability of the project taking into account the current progress of its implementation.

1. TaskBeat is a proprietary methodology for carrying out work, but does not require any specific tool for implementation within the working group. TaskBeat is also the name of a tool in the form of a web application implementing this methodology. However, the concept presented here does not designate any specific tool, assuming that there are many possible implementations of the TaskBeat concept using many different tools.
2. The TaskBeat methodology is based on research in productivity efficiency conducted by London-based Taskscape Ltd and is protected by UK copyright law and International Agreements. Copying, distributing or using this document in part or in whole requires written permission from the document owner.