Previously, we’ve covered how to add projects to Opportunity stages, but how can you manage these projects within Salesforce? Many companies use external tools to build project plans and track tasks, but the AppExchange actually offers its own native solutions as well. These solutions are perfect for projects like installations, professional services, and onboarding efforts. By managing these projects within Salesforce, you gain performance insights and integration possibilities with other Salesforce information. Because of this, if you’re looking for a solution to manage customer-related projects, a native Salesforce solution may be best for you. At Ntegro, we’ve chosen to use TaskRay, the leading project management tool on the AppExchange.
What is a Salesforce Native Application?
When navigating the AppExchange, you will often see this term used. Being a native app means that the app uses the Salesforce technologies and Data Architecture.
- Native Salesforce technologies include Apex, Visualforce and Lightning Components
- Using Salesforce’s Data Architecture means that the app uses standard Objects.
- This also means that all of the app’s data is stored in Salesforce and not on third party servers. This has significant implications when it comes to security, centralization, and access of data.
This doesn’t mean that non-native (in this example using Trello for Projects) apps should be avoided at all costs, but rather that there are considerations of choosing one over the other. In this case, TaskRay is 100% Salesforce native.
NOTE: Because many Salesforce applications involve license costs, it is best to use native apps for Salesforce or customer-related projects.
What Is TaskRay?
TaskRay is a project management tool that allows project teams to track projects, subprojects, and tasks throughout their progression. TaskRay allows users to create tasks, assign resources, manage time tracking, and link everything to Salesforce records. Teams can use Chatter to collaborate within the system, and it even comes with Kanban board and Gantt chart functionality. By using TaskRay, users can create task dependencies and project milestones to fully manage projects from start to end. In short, it is a robust project management tool that allows you to manage your project completely within Salesforce.
Setting It Up
Setting up TaskRay is as simple as downloading the app from AppExchange, paying for the licenses that you need, and assigning permission sets to your users! TaskRay is fully customizable, so you can create layouts, fields, and statuses that reflect your unique business processes. The interface is incredibly intuitive, so play around with it for a bit to decide what works best for you. For in-depth guides on how to use or configure TaskRay, they also have detailed guides readily available online.
Using TaskRay For Professional Services
At Ntegro, we use TaskRay to track all of our Salesforce consulting projects. Because we also manage our Leads, Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities within Salesforce, TaskRay is the perfect tool to bring everything together. Some best practices we’ve found through our usage are:
- Create validation rules to ensure that all tasks have adequate information as they are created or updated
- Always require a note for time tracked on tasks so management can see how resources are spending their time
- Make it mandatory to enter estimated time for tasks in order to create accurate project timelines
- Create project templates for repeatable projects
- If you are performing many similar projects (like installations) with different clients, create a template that you can reuse
- Add project stages, forms, statuses, and other fields to your template so when you have a new client, you don’t have to build everything from scratch
- Add TaskRay to a community
- If you want your clients to have insight into your projects, add it to a community page so community members can see and receive updates
- Create email alerts and notifications
- Send messages or notifications to project team members when tasks are assigned or tasks are nearing their due dates
Contact Us For Assistance
If you’d like help setting up TaskRay or another project management tool in your Salesforce instance, get in touch with us today! We can help you evaluate the different options based on your current business needs and select one that works for you. Then, we can help you with installation and setup so you and your users can get right to work managing your projects within your CRM! Contact us online today for a free consultation to get started.