Managing Project Issues

Zach Burcaw

Jun 13 2016 8 min read

In a perfect world every project is completed on time and under budget. As any project manager knows, that’s easier said than done. Here at Cloud Coach, we believe that consistent execution should be more than aspirational. Utilizing Salesforce’s powerful automation tools and Cloud Coach’s purpose built project and productivity tools, you resolve minor project issues before they become major issues. In this post we’ll show you how to use automation to consistently identify issues early on, and to create a resolution process for project issues that can be applied uniformly across your organization.

Use Case:

Universal Containers is having problems getting projects back on track once things have started to slip. Management has noticed that each project manager defines project issues differently and approaches issue management in their own way. The executive team would like a more consistent approach within the PMO, and have decided to look into ways they can customize Cloud Coach to standardize how they manage project issues.

Example Solution:

The first thing we want to do is to ask ourselves what kind of data points might indicate a problem with all or part of our project. Since every organization is different, there’s no single way to approach this question. In this example, we decided to combine two criteria, that when taken together, very clearly indicate that something is wrong.

  1. Status = “In Progress – Late”. This means work has begun on the Project Task but the estimated completion date of the task has passed.
  2. The Completion % of the Project Task is less than 50 %.

Now let’s take that criteria and use it to drive some sort of action. We’ll keep it simple for now and just update our Traffic Light field on the Project Task anytime a Project Task meets our two criteria. To do that we will create a Workflow rule by going to Setup > Workflow & Approvals > Workflow Rules.

First we’ll define the entry criteria:

Next, we’ll define what should happen:

Now anytime we have an active project task that has missed its projected due date and is less than 50 % complete, the traffic light will change to red.

That’s a nice workflow rule, but on it’s own won’t really help mitigate any project issues. As it is, we’ll still need a human to look at that traffic light and decide on the next steps. Let’s build on that by using the red light to drive some additional automation.

Anytime we have a red light on a project task, we want to:

  1. Create a meeting
  2. Base the meeting off of the appropriate meeting template
  3. Automatically invite the individuals who can get the task back on track

First, we create a meeting template. We can do that by navigating to the Productivity Fox app > Setup > Meeting Templates

Let’s create a meeting template that can be used as a guide anytime we run into a particular issue:

Here we’ve named our meeting, written a brief objective, and have identified two key individuals who can assist with project issue resolution.

Then, under “Agenda Items”, we’ve created three agenda items with specific discussion points:

Now that we’ve created a Project Issue Management meeting template, let’s build a process that will automatically launch a meeting using our template anytime a health traffic light turns red.

Navigate to Setup > Workflow & Approvals > Process Builder. Then click “New” to start a new process.


To start the process flow, we will need to define which object should be looked at by the process. In this case, we will select the project task and start the process anytime a record is created or edited.

Next, we will define our entry criteria. As we said before, we want to run this process anytime the health status is changed to red on a project task.

Finally, we need to define our actions. We invoke an Apex class that comes with Cloud Coach – ‘InvokeMeetingTemplate’.

The meeting template ID can be found by going to the meeting template and clicking on the information icon:

The related record ID should reference the project task that started the process. And meeting start time can be determined by you – in this example we set the start date to today + 1 day.

Click save and activate the process.

Here’s what our work looks like altogether:

Let’s step back and think about what we’ve been able to achieve in a short amount of time:

  • Defined two parameters that indicate an unhealthy project task
  • Created a workflow rule that automatically flags our project tasks anytime they meet these parameters
  • Created a process that launches a meeting anytime a project task is flagged

We now have the makings of a consistent, automated approach to managing issues within our organization!


Zach Burcaw

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