Define Tasks

A task is a unit of work that, when performed, 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 project 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 there is left to do. 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:

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.

From this view you can:

  • Assemble your tasks into meaningful displays using Rally-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.
  • 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.
  • Delete a task by clicking the Delete delete icon.

Tasks must be assigned to an iteration 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.

Using the Detail Task page

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

You can do the following from the Task Detail page:

  • Use the sidebar to get a summary view of the related artifacts of the indicated type.
  • Click the url URL icon in the upper-left corner of the Detail page 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 located in the upper-right of the Task page to select options such as Edit, Copy, Print, and Delete directly from the Task Detail.

Create tasks

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

Your task is now ready for detailing. To prioritize your tasks with respect to a parent, select the drag icon to drag the task up or down to establish a relative priority among its siblings when viewing the Iteration Task Status.

Edit tasks

When you edit a task you can modify information such as 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. Each location provides two access routes to editing a task – the Summary view and the Detail page.

  • Expanded Iteration Status view
  • My Tasks
  • 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.

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.

Select the copy tasks icon to the right of each listed task to make a copy. Inside of task detail pages, click the Actions menu and select the Copy option.

You may copy a task from the Iteration Task Status page.

Copy tasks from another work item

Does your organization have a common set of tasks that need to be completed for many, if not all, user stories or defects? You can speed up the process of tasking out by copying this set of common tasks from one work item to another.

In fact, some organizations will create a user story or defect that they designate as a "template" (by putting Template: in the name) and then copy tasks from that template into the user story or defect that they are currently planning. These unofficial templates can be kept in a team's backlog or even in a special project for templates that all teams can access.

The copy tasks from feature is accessed when viewing the work item that is being planned and tasked out:

From the Iteration Task Status page

The copy tasks from icon is available on the Iteration Task Status page for user stories and defects:

  1. Select the copy tasks from Copy tasks from icon to the right of the work item you want the copied tasks associated to. A chooser window displays.
  2. Use the drop-down menu to select search criteria. You may search by work item name, FormattedID, or project.
  3. 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 the Copy Tasks icon.
  6. Task copies will display under the work item.

From detail pages

The copy tasks from menu command is available from the detail pages of user stories and defects:

  1. Navigate to the detail page of a work item.
  2. Click the Tasks link from the sidebar on the left.
  3. Click the Actions drop-down menu in the upper-right corner.
  4. Use the drop-down menu to select search criteria. You may search by work item name, FormattedID, or project.
  5. Underneath the Task Actions section, select Copy Tasks from. A chooser window displays.
  6. Enter text into the Search box, and click the Search button to narrow down results in the chooser.
  7. 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
  8. Click the Copy Tasks icon.
  9. Task copies will display on the page.

Assign tasks

Agile development suggests that tasks are created and listed during the iteration planning meeting. After tasks have been created and the associated scheduled items ranked in order of importance, team members take responsibility for tasks and update the remaining work for the task. The team member completes the task and then moves on to the next task of the highest ranking scheduled item.

To assign, or take responsibility for a task:

  1. Locate the task in the Iteration Status view.
  2. Edit the task.
  3. In the Owner drop-down list, click the downward arrow, locate and select the name of the new task owner.
  4. Click Save.

Reassign tasks

Tasks that have been created to fulfill a work item can be re-assigned to a different work item from the Task Detail page.

To assign your task to a new or different work item:

  1. Locate the task to be reassigned in the Iteration Status view.
  2. Edit the task.
  3. Locate and scroll to the Work Item field.
  4. Select the Choose here icon.
  5. Select the appropriate work item for your task.
  6. Click Save.

Task fields

These field values can be set 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
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.
Description Capture 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.
Attachments Browse for a file to attach to your work item details.
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 appear in the Iteration Task 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.
Work item This field displays the work item from which the task was created. Reassign the task to a new work item from this field by clicking the chooser icon.
Estimate Use this field to record 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 Use this field to 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.


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