Ability to Cancel a Project through the Task Inbox

Joe Cerep 7 months ago in Productivity Management updated by Carolyn Mccarthy 2 months ago 9

We are looking to add the ability for a task assignee to Cancel the current Project through the Task Inbox. Right now, we configured the ability to send a Project to a closed status through an EA "Cancel this request?" that routes the WF Template to the End Step when set to Yes. We use this (rather than the Cancel button on the Project Details) because it allows us to force a required child field to input the reason for cancellation which is then sent to the requester through a notification. The Cancel button on Project Details does not require the user who cancels to enter any subsequent details or alert other users who need to be informed of the cancellation. Getting to the Cancel button in the Project Details is also not always an intuitive experience for users.  The ability to have a Cancel option built into the Task Inbox, and ideally requiring a details/cancellation note to be added, will cut down on the amount of configuration we have in WF Templates since they currently have to have a Cancel Output Port on any Step that users can select to cancel in.

We would use this as well.  When trying to put more control back to the users to do this, rather than having the admins cancel, it started to get very complicated to do this with the configuration. 


Personally I am struggling with this a bit since the cancelling of a project does not have an "oops" or undo option so if done too casually it cannot be recovered.

What are the users and their roles that are doing this?  Are they the requesters/stakeholders?  I assume they are not the PMs right?

I am not opposed to this in theory but back when we showed all the buttons for a project right on the page (Start, Pause, Cancel, etc) we used to get feedback that users will accidentally clicking the "close" button when they did not mean to actually close the project.

The "Pause" option seems safer to me.  Then someone can evaluate the pause and decide to truly cancel it or not.

Also, from a UX point of view I am not sure about putting this directly into the Task Inbox UI.  I would have concerns about the users really understanding the context that this "cancel" is the entire project and not just that task.  Also, could be misleading if what they really want is to cancel the Activity/Campaign and not just the one project their tasks sits inside?

Do not misunderstand me in that I am open to adding more flexibility into the system but I surprised to be hearing this.

Joe, if this the requester (which I think it is probably?) maybe the better user experience would be to allow you to "cancel" or "pause" your active work requests from within the Work Request UI somehow?  Give the option to make a "request to cancel" button or something, then you can configure that to require an approval or not and maybe collect a reason for it?  If it is done then it cancels the entire activity and all the projects inside it?

I think that these are fair points.  The decision to cancel a project sits with the Project Manager, and we build it in at the right check points.  If it needs to be cancelled at other times, they are trained up for how to do it through the task worksheet.  I am only speaking for my firm, but our production PMs are a closely held group and we handle this through EAs so I think that what we have now works

Adding a recent question on this topic from our main stakeholder group. How about for a request that never went through (decided not to support). How can I “cancel”?

We currently instruct our users who have the domain rights to Cancel/Close to exit the Task Inbox, go to the Project Details and Close/Cancel there. Since these users have the domain rights, and already are using these options, they would benefit from the buttons being in the inbox where they are working, rather than having to navigate to a different screen.  

I understand your concerns with these buttons in the inbox making it more likely for users to mistakenly select them, but I think there are ways to combat this (i.e. a pop up "are you sure you want to cancel this project, it will not be able to be re-started") and the improvement to the user experience would be significant.

So that question implies to me that it is the requester that wants to cancel maybe?  As I stated above I could see allowing the owner of a Work Request to cancel their request.  Would that solve your use case?

Honestly, the flow of: I get assigned a task, I realize this project should be cancelled so I click on the Project Title in the Information panel, it jumps me to the Project Details page, I confirm this is the right project and then right on that page in the 3dot menu is the option to cancel.  That does not seem like a bad UX flow to me.  The ability to cancel the entire project is just one click away.

Given there is no "undo" of that action I think taking the time to make that extra click, view the details and confirm your on the right project first, would make sense.

Regarding the pop up message, we have not found those to be effective.  The first time a user sees a pop they may read it and acknowledge it but after that they never read it again and just click "Ok" every time so that will not make anyone pause and make sure they have picked the right project before continuing.

Right now I would expect that the vast majority of customers would NOT want this added in the Task Inbox but I am willing to be proven wrong. :)  Maybe bring this up in the FinServ Forum next time and see what that group thinks? 

I do like the cancel a Work Request option but that should probably be its own Idea.

Just adding in that the option to Pause would also be a huge benefit. If a user has the rights to Cancel/Close/Pause a Project, they should be able to complete these actions directly in the Task Inbox.

This is sooooo needed!  Thanks for inputting this Joe!

We would also like to see if when a user does select to "Cancel" a Project, the Activity status would then change to "Cancel" as well.  So we would like to see 3 options for Activity status (Open, Close, Cancel).

Christine, what are your thoughts on the "oops" situation? Who at FTI would be doing this?

Because this has been a long awaited for option from Aprimo, we are already adding this ability as a Project Level EA option where the Activity Owner can select the "path" to cancel the Project within their task. We also cascade a required "Cancellation Reason" EA to further ensure their desire to cancel.  This is our oops fail safe.

However, if this solution were to be made available at the Task Inbox level (so only enabled on an Activity Owner task), we would need to have that pop up message Joe mentioned.