ServiceM8 provides a diverse set of features to support business operations, two of which are ‘Tasks’ and ‘Job Checklists.’ Both are designed to streamline your workflow, but they serve different purposes and are best used in different scenarios.
Let’s delve into each feature’s characteristics and explore when ServiceM8 Tasks might be a more suitable option.
ServiceM8 Job Tasks
Tasks in ServiceM8 are designed to help you keep track of individual items that need to be completed. Each task can be assigned to a specific team member and given a due date, making them excellent for managing and delegating work. Tasks are flexible and can be updated or reassigned as needed.
If you wish, tasks can also be independent of individual jobs. A ‘job-less’ task might be used for internal administration or housekeeping activities. But for the most part, the most common kind of task you will use will be those you associate with a specific job.
Depending on which version of the ServiceM8 Online Dashboard you are running – at the time of writing there are two; the legacy version and the new version – may first require the activation of the Tasks add-on in your system. If you are on the legacy ServiceM8 Online Dashboard, then Tasks are enabled by default. However, if you are on the newer version, you will need to first go to the ServiceM8 Addon Store and enable the Tasks add-on.
Once the Task add-on has been enabled, you will see an extra tab in your Dispatch Board called ‘Tasks’.
Creating a new task for a job is relatively straight forward:
- From the Online Dashboard, go to the Dispatch Board and either a create new job card or open an existing job card.
- In the job card toolbar, click the Tasks icon to create a new task.
- Provide a task name,
- Optionally, provide a due date
- Optionally, assign it to the desired staff member
As you can see, due dates and staff assignments are optional. While it’s usually best practice to set a due date or assign the task to a specific staff member, there might be instances where you don’t want to do either.
If you do not provide a due date, then in the Task dashboard it will be displayed as “N/A”.
If you assign the task to a staff member, only that staff member will see the task when viewing the job card from the mobile app. If you assign the task to ‘Everyone’, that’s basically the same as assigning the task to nobody, and as a result everyone will be able to see and perform that task. If you do not assign the task to a staff member, then in the Task dashboard it will be displayed as “Everyone”.
When to Use ServiceM8 Tasks:
Tasks are best used when you have individual, assignable items that need to be tracked and completed across various jobs. They’re excellent for managing larger workflows, especially when multiple team members need to be coordinated.
ServiceM8 Job Checklists
On the other hand, Job Checklists are more static and are tied directly to a specific job. They represent a series of steps or requirements that need to be fulfilled for a job to be considered complete. Unlike tasks, items in a job checklist can’t be reassigned to different staff members or given individual due dates.
Job Checklists are a great way to ensure consistency and quality control across similar jobs. They ensure that each step of a process is completed in order and that nothing is missed.
By now you should be familiar with the concept of creating a simple job checklist. But if you aren’t then the steps are:
- From the Online Dashboard, go to the Dispatch Board and either create a new or open an existing job card.
- In the Job Description area, add a list of checklist items, with each item being led by a hyphen, e.g.,
– Take ‘before’ photos
– Do the pre-work inspection
– Prepare the job site
When staff open the job card in the mobile app, each of these checklist items will be automatically converted into a clickable item that they can mark as completed. Additionally, once a staff marks a checklist item as complete, it is automatically copied into the Work Completed area located in Quotes & Invoicing tab when viewing the job via the Online Dashboard, or in the Billing screen when viewing the job via the mobile app.
A better way to create job checklists is through the use of job templates, which are pre-defined job cards that help speed up the job creation procedure. By creating a job template along with the typical checklist for the common types of jobs you regularly do, you can create consistent, repeatable outcomes for your staff and your customers.
When to Use ServiceM8 Job Checklists:
Job Checklists are best used when you have a set procedure or list of requirements that need to be fulfilled for a specific job. They’re excellent for maintaining quality control and consistency across similar jobs.
Another benefit of checklists is as each one is marked ‘completed’ by staff, the checklist item will automatically transpose into the ‘Work Completed’ field in the Quotes & Invoicing tab.
Depending on your workflow, this might be a convenient timesaver.
When Are ServiceM8 Tasks a Better Option?
While both tasks and job checklists have their uses, there are certain scenarios where tasks might be a better fit:
- Versatility and Reassignment: if you use our Job Task Manager or Job Task Manager Pro add-on, tasks can be modified and reassigned as needed, making them much more flexible than job checklists.
- Due Dates and Delegation: Each task can be given a specific due date and assigned to a team member, making tasks an excellent tool for managing work and deadlines. If used with our Job Task Manager add-on, you can manage a single job card like a simple project.
- Overseeing Multiple Jobs: When used with our Job Task Manager Pro add-on, tasks can provide a broad view of ongoing work across all jobs, which can be beneficial for managers and administrators.
To sum up, while both Tasks and Job Checklists are powerful tools in ServiceM8, the choice between them depends on your specific needs. Tasks offer greater flexibility and control, making them a superior choice for dynamic workflows and larger teams. Job Checklists, on the other hand, are perfect for maintaining consistency and quality across similar jobs.
Understanding these differences will allow you to utilize both tools effectively in your ServiceM8 system.