When you look at the purpose of different task management tools, there are a lot of similarities. Simply put, they help you keep track of tasks and task lists so you know what you need to work on. Sometimes they are notes that you make for yourself, and sometimes you have solutions that allow you to get tasks from other people on your team. These are great in certain situations, and work well for what they are designed to do.
My personal example of how I use a task list application is for my monthly bills. I just set up all of the different bills I need to pay as reoccurring monthly tasks, and I get a reminder on my computer. Once I’ve paid the credit card bill or written the check for that month’s rent, I mark the task as complete and the application generates the same task for the same time next month. It’s simple, but effective for what I need to do.
What You Are Missing
Where these type of applications fall short is reporting. There is not an easy way to see what tasks I have done other than scrolling through a list of completed tasks. I cannot see when they were done, and if there were multiple people completing some of these tasks I would not know who had actually been the one to do it. That validation does not matter for me for personal usage. However, a retail setting can have a variety of people that completed a task, and you might need to know who that person was. It could also be important what time he or she did it. This will not always be the case, but when it is, you will be glad you have it.
Another part of the reporting that you will be missing is having the data from the tasks work together. I might be able to pick through and see that some tasks were done, but I will not be able to see how often the tasks were done and at what success rate.
A mobile task management tool should give you the option to not only mark that a task was complete, but also that it was not done. There might be a case in which something could not be completed for one reason or another, and a solution designed to handle that will give your locations the opportunity to state why. This closed-loop feedback adds value to the reporting because it allows you to not only see where potential problem areas exist, but also leverages location staff’s inside knowledge to find the root cause of the problem. Once you know the root cause, it allows you to fix something permanently, instead of consistently “using a bandage” to fix it.
There is value in having a task management application that can help you organize what you and your team need to complete. However, do not underestimate the value of being able to have a more robust solution that gives you additional options on the front end, as well as a reporting method that gives value to the task completion data.