Monday, 15 February 2016

The Ultimate Reporting Solution Using SharePoint Task Lists

Preamble 
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We've all done it before, built a task list, exported SharePoint list data to excel, created a pivot table & chart to show status in each column.  Below is a quick example of what you can get by doing something simple like that.  It's great for getting a snapshot of the task list, but terrible for reporting on team performance.

export to excel


Pivot-table & chart of a task list


What 
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Reporting isn't just about showing stats on how your tasks are tracking.  Sure, it gives you an idea of what you have achieved over a set period of time which is great information for upper management.  But it doesn't help you improve your customer experience.

  • What if you could develop an automated report that could track every task individually?  
  • What if you could see how long a particular task sat at a particular status?  
  • What would happen if you found out that tasks spend most of their time in the 'On Hold' status?

I know what would happen.  You would now be able to find all the bottlenecks in your process & start to resolve them one at a time.  You would be able to see which staff perform better during certain phases of a task & you could fine tune your team into a well-oiled task destroying machine.


Why
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I just told you.  By implementing this solution are getting performance monitoring down to a granular level which allows you to surface bottlenecks in your process and sort that shit out.


How
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I'm going to attempt to explain how to achieve this via diagrams & process maps because the step by step process would be slightly long!
  • Create two lists. a Task List, used for logging each task and it's status.  and a Task Logging List, used to hold all the logs for when tasks are updated.  Here's a picture of the columns you need to include in each list



  • Create a Workflow on your Task List that will run every time the status of a task changes. Here's a picture of the workflow process I went with:
View of workflow & trigger actions:



Detailed view of workflow & each step that occurs at each stage:


  • Export the Data to Excel & create a Pivot Report
Here you can see a VERY basic excel report that is pulling back all the data we have been logging to the Task Logging List.  It shows on average how long a job/initiative sits in a status before being moved to the next status.  You can then filter/slice this data to show how long a specific initiative or task owner takes on average to complete a task at each status.



References
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I'm not covering any new ground, this has been drilled into us again and again.  I'm just trying to deliver what's been offered previously in a more step-by-step approach.  Here's where I particularly enjoyed reading about it:

PROVEIT! - Using Analytics to Drive SharePoint Adoption and ROI (Published by Mark Miller, Edited by Loren Johnson)
 - In Particular, Chapter 4 (SharePoint Analytics) by Sadalit (Sadie) Van Buren

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