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ABSTRACT

The increasing growth of social business applications has created a new set of demands on employees’ time and attention. As people participate in tasks and projects with information scattered across multiple blogs, wikis and activity streams, staying organized and knowing what needs attention is a real challenge. A new type of tool is needed, one that combines the collaborative features of social networking software with the organizational and task features of task management system. The intent of this project is to develop a Task Management system for Federal University of Technology Minna. The core function of the system is to enable staff of the university to manage tasks through its life cycle, which includes initiating, assigning, tracking, and reporting of tasks. This will help various individuals achieve their goals or help groups of people to share knowledge on a group task. The system is a web application that was designed using Microsoft .Net Framework. Model View Controller Design Pattern was adopted when developing this web application. The MVC approach will separate the business layer tier (Controller), Data layer (Model) and User Tier (View). Microsoft SQL Server was used as the database while Microsoft Webform Technology to design the user interfaces and vb.net as the programming language of choice to handle the implementation of the business logic. It was concluded that staff of organization implementing Task Management System will be more efficient on how they manage their task as it allow them to seamlessly delegate task as well collaborate on group task to share ideas, files and documents.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY         

In every business environment, the timeline to execute various tasks assigned to employee is paramount towards ensuring the efficiency of the organization. According to Wikipedia, Task is defined as an activity that needs to be accomplished within a defined period of time or by a deadline. It is any piece of work that is undertaken or attempted by an individual or group of person as a workflow.  In addition, a task is conceived as a very cogent factor affecting human being’s behavior in social psychology and organizational management. The manual process of delegating task to different employee in a business environment requires that interaction exist between employees. The life cycle of a task started from when a task is assigned, approved, on hold, rejected, and completed by an employee. An employee being assigned to a task is expected to report the progress status of the task to the initiator of the task. The main bottleneck of the traditional mode of assigning task is on how to manage task through its entire life cycle. An illustration is when an employee is assigned to different tasks by different employee with each task having their respective deadline. Such an employee faces the challenges of how to judiciously execute those tasks to meet deadline. Challenge of which task is to give a high priority when performing various tasks, task that is close to deadline, the current state of the each task as well as interactions that occur on tasks involving several people within the confinement of an organization. In addition, it will be very tedious for managers to generate several reports on tasks to be performed.

Also, the rapid growth of social business applications created a new set of demands on employees’ time and attention. As employees engage in tasks or in projects with information that spans across various activities, it becomes a great challenge for an employee to stay organized and know which of the activities requires an attention. A new type of tool is needed, one that combines the collaborative features of social networking software with the organizational and task features of project management software.

Most importantly, the computing paradigm is now geared towards ubiquitous computing (computing any where anytime). Although, task management as a matter of fact is not a new concept, but many of the methods and tools that are use in this modern time in organizations were developed long time ago and they did not have the collaborative characteristics that are common and required in today’s enterprise social networking platforms. These legacy tools suffer from a variety of shortcomings that can impede the successful completion of a project. The research work was carried out to design and implement a task management system that will augment task/project management features, such as task delegation, handling task priorities by their due dates with some modern social networking features such as adding of comments and sharing of files, enabling people to work together more efficiently. There are various architecture platforms available for developing and implementing task management, the architecture used in this research is web based architecture. The task management system developed in this research were implemented for Federal University Technology of Minna (FUTMINNA), to improve the way employee get their work done by helping employees organize their tasks and collaborate efficiently.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM      

The problems generally associated with the traditional way of assigning task are enormous. The problems are stated below.

i.        The main problem is how to efficiently manage tasks so as to meet deadline that are associated with task.

ii.      Data integrity and security: Security of data can be easily compromise; documents associated with different task may be accessed by un-authorized personnel. Also personnel can give a false report on the time a task is being assigned or to be completed.

iii.    In addition, organizing a team to work effectively on a project can be so difficult. Team performing various tasks belonging to a particular project cannot collaborate at a real time, they have to schedule a meeting for that to be possible which would contribute to longevity of time in completing a given task or project.

The above problems demand the development of this new information system for the efficient management of tasks.

1.3                         AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY   

The aim of this project is to design and implement a web based Task Management System that will improve the way employee get their work done by helping employees organize their tasks and collaborate efficiently.

The objectives are stated below;

i.        To carry out an extensive analysis on the workflow process of the Institution and explore the challenges being faced by the system.

ii.      To design an application that can easily create, assign and comment on tasks, so that an owner of task can always know real time progress and who is performing it.

iii.    To ensure that teams ideas, files and conversations are in a single location so that user can always know the right place to locate information.

1.4                         SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY                  

In business environment, the time to get work done is a cogent factor towards ensuring productivity. Studies have shown that most organizations deliver projects behind schedule date as a result of inefficient management of task at hand. In this modern age where computing is becoming ubiquitous, it behooves organization to have an information system that will support the planning and management of task/project to be executed by their employee.

Such Information System should provide a good platform for team working on a project to collaborate effectively on a real time to execute job seamlessly in lesser time.

Organization has a lot to benefit from implementing a task management system. Apart from easy creation, allocation, and conversation on task that will be provided by this application, organization will benefit immensely from generating vital reports to aid decision making.

1.5                         SCOPE OF STUDY

This project which will be a web based application will handle issues related to planning and management of task and project within FUTMINNA. It will be confined to creation of users by the administrator, online task creation and assigning of task to employee, with detail task description and provisions to upload and update files that may be needed for task.  Deadline will be associated with task. Collaboration will be possible through adding of comments among users that can participate in a specific task. Team involve in a task will be updated on status change on a particular task.

1.6                         LIMITATIONS OF STUDY        

Although this project is designed with mobile connectivity in mind however, the mobile application interfacing with this application is not developed.  Also the application does not include a conference or video calling integration. And finally sub task is not handled as part of the

1.7                         OPERATIONAL  DEFINITION OF TERMS

1.      Task: A piece of work to be performed or attempted by an employee.

2.      Inward Task: Task involving employee of a particular department in an organization.

3.      Outward Task: Task involving several departments in an organization.

4.      Project: Work to be done that will involve assigning tasks to different employee.

5.      Web Method: allows exchanging data with remote servers using nothing but the operations of http.

6.      IIS: Internet Information Service (IIS) is a web server for hosting Asp.Net application.

7.     Systems: An assemblage of interrelated elements, which we find interesting to study, it could      be a process, machine or program.

8.     Design: It is a detailed plan or arrangement to achieve a particular purpose.

9.     Software: A program designed to perform particular tasks.

10.                        URL: Uniform Resource Locator is also known as web address.

11.  Metadata: Data that describes other data. Data that provides information about one or more aspects of the data.

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