For all those hard-working coordinators and managers out there who are in charge of the schedule, here are some helpful tips for managing your artists and their workload, and keeping your team up-to-date through reports.
Scheduling a Project usually involves juggling multiple people and numerous departments across various Projects. That’s a lot to handle! So how can Shotgun help you achieve transparency across your schedule and allow you to manage your teams simply and effectively? Enter the Tasks and Gantt view!
Task Views and Pages show what your teams are working on and what still needs to be completed. It also lets you see the Project as a cohesive and collaborate whole—how your teams affect downstream departments as well as how your team influences upstream departments.
Creating and assigning Tasks
Tasks are the smallest component of work that need to be completed against an Entity (something you track) in Shotgun. Once you have your Tasks created, it’s time to get scheduling!
One of the most commonly used scheduling tricks is to create an “Unassigned” saved filter. This filter allows you to easily see what Tasks you’ve yet to assign out with a single click. To create an unassigned saved filter, head on over to a Tasks View/Page, click on [+ New Saved Filter], and set the conditions as below:
Once you’ve assigned all your Tasks, you might want to view whether you’ve balanced your assignments equally across your artists. The easiest way to do this is from—you guessed it!—the Tasks view. Simply Group your Tasks by Assigned To to display how many Tasks you assigned to each artist and from there you can decide whether they can complete this amount of work in time.
Another handy feature of the Tasks View is the ability to narrow down by department using the Filter Panel and the Pipeline Steps filters. If you’re working at a large studio, Pipeline Steps are usually closely related to departments and you may want to create a saved filter with just the department relevant to your teams. That way you can toggle between all Tasks and how they influence each other, and Tasks just relevant to you.
As production ramps up, it will be important to narrow down to specific Tasks to see how your teams are tracking. This is when the Filter Panel comes into play. Here you can filter to display Tasks that are a specific status, or click next to the Field condition name to toggle on the *is not* filter. The *is not* filter will allow you to display Tasks that are not a specific status, such as final/complete, without having to manually check on all the other filter conditions.
Pro tip: When using the Filter Panel, hold down the Command/Windows key to multi-select filter conditions, without the page updating, until you release the Command/Windows key.
A Project’s production is rarely a solo effort, and as a coordinator or manager, you’ll often be asked to present a report on how your teams are tracking. A report in Shotgun is a page with applied filters, color formatting, and field layouts. Let’s say you want to create an Anim Department report for any Tasks due this week. You would create the saved filter as below:
Because you used the dynamic filter token of “current week”, you won’t need to manually recreate this report each week as it will dynamically update as the data changes—another benefit to using Shotgun and its live data!
You might also want to highlight Tasks that are overdue in a report. To do this, you can create a new formatting rule for Tasks that were due before the current date (again using the dynamic token so you don’t need to manually update this report) where the status *is not* complete/final.
Select either a New Page rule or Global Rule.
Once you’re happy with the report, you can click on the Page Icon > Save Page As and name the new Page “Weekly Anim Department report”. You can then access this page whenever you need to, without having to recreate the page or reset filters due to the dynamic tokens.