Using the work queue

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The work queue enables your firm to place work items into a queue from which qualified staff can select additional work when available. If your firm is licensed for the Staff Management module, you can take advantage of this feature. To enjoy the full benefits of work queues, your firm should also be licensed for the Project Management module.

Staff qualifications

When you create a project, task, scheduled phone call, or to-do item, you can assign the item to a specific staff member, or define minimum qualifications for staff who will work on the item and place the item into the work queue.

Staff members who meet the qualifications for the work item can see the item in the Work Queue portlet on their Staff Dashboard. Firm administrators or staff with access to the Manage Staff screen can assign items from the work queue to qualified staff members. Staff can also request the next available item from the work queue by clicking a button in the Schedule Items portlet on the Staff Dashboard.

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Adding items to the work queue

You can add the following items to the work queue:

The process of adding an item to the work queue is similar for all relevant work items.

You can set qualifications and define projects and tasks as work queue items at the template level, or later on an item-by-item basis. Scheduled phone calls and to-do items must be assigned on an item-by-item basis.

To add an item to a work queue, follow these steps.

  1. Open the item in Practice CS. The item could be a project template, task template, individual project, individual task, scheduled phone call, or to-do item.
  2. In the Assigned section, choose a qualifications filter in the Staff qualifications field.

    Staff qualifications field

    Notes

    • If an appropriate filter does not exist, click the More More button button and create a new filter. Qualifications filters typically are based on Skill Sets.
    • You are not required to choose a qualifications filter. If you add an item to the work queue without qualifications, it will be available for all staff to select.
  3. Click the Work queue option to designate the item as a work queue item.
  4. Click OK (or Enter) to save your changes to the item.

The item is added to the work queue and is visible to those staff who are included in the qualifications filter you selected.

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Adding multiple items to the work queue

You can add multiple projects or tasks to the work queue at once by following these steps.

  1. On the Manage Project screen, press SHIFT or CTRL while selecting multiple projects or tasks.
  2. Right-click and choose Edit Selected Projects (or Edit Selected Tasks) from the context menu. This opens the Edit Selected Projects/Tasks dialog.
  3. In the first drop-down field, select Staff Qualification.
  4. In the next field, select the qualifications filter you want to apply to the selected items.

    Note: If you want the project or task to be available to all staff, skip the previous two steps.

  5. Click the Add Row Add Row button button and choose Staff Assignment Method from the first field in the new row.
  6. In the next field, select Work Queue.
  7. Click OK.

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Selecting items from the work queue

Staff who are qualified to work on items in the work queue can view the queue using the Work Queue portlet on the Staff Dashboard. When a staff member selects an item from the queue, the item is removed from the work queue and added to that staff member’s assigned items.

To select an item from the work queue, follow these steps.

  1. Click the Staff Dashboard button toolbar button to open the Staff Dashboard.
  2. If necessary, add the Work Queue portlet to the dashboard. If items appear in your Work Queue portlet, you can accept assignment of those items.
  3. Select one or more items in the Work Queue portlet and click the Assign Selected to Me button at the bottom of the portlet.

You can also request the next item from the work queue using the Schedule Items portlet. This process simply assigns to you the next available item for which you are qualified, regardless of what it is.

  1. Click the Staff Dashboard button toolbar button to open the Staff Dashboard.
  2. If necessary, add the Schedule Items portlet to the dashboard.
  3. Click the Assign Next in Work Queue button to assign the next item in the work queue for which you are qualified. The item is added to your assigned items and will appear in the Schedule Items portlet.

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Administering the work queue

Staff with security privileges for the Manage Staff screen can administer the work queue from this screen. You can manually assign open, unassigned items to available and qualified staff. You can also place open items that are currently assigned to a staff member back in the work queue. To do so, right-click the item and choose Assign to > Work Queue from the context menu.

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Related topic: Staff Management overview

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