Quick start

Socratic is a new kind of task management, one that provides actionable intelligence that helps teams work easier, faster, and better, without all of the usual digging and querying required by legacy task tools. With Socratic, you can sail right past all the time/money/nonsense spent trying to measure how well work is going, and just focus on building great product.

Organize your work in Socratic

Here’s a summary of the work entities in Socratic, and how they relate to each other:

  • Task: A task is the smallest unit of work. Tasks live in workstreams. A task belongs to one workstream at a time, though they can be moved from one workstream to another as needed. Tasks may also be optionally included in a sprint and/or objectives.

  • Workstream: This is where you create tasks and set your work phases (e.g. To Do, Doing, Done). A workstream may also optionally contain sprints. Workstreams are most commonly aligned to a functional area. For instance, at Socratic we have one workstream for product engineering work, another for design, and another for go-to-market activities, since those areas observe different workflows.

    • Sprint: When enabled in your workstream settings, sprints will auto-generate based on your choices for start date, sprint length, and the number of sprints to be generated in advance. When a sprint reaches its finish date, Socratic will automatically (a) move any unfinished tasks to the next sprint, and (b) generate an intelligent retrospective showing the results of the sprint, including how sprint performance compares to past sprints.

  • Objective: An objective is a collection of tasks, grouped toward some larger goal. Objectives may contain tasks from any workstream. You can also nest one or many objectives inside a larger objective—very similar to stories and epics. Objectives may be optionally organized in a plan.

  • Plan: Plans give you a way to define, prioritize, manage and measure objectives toward some larger body of work, such as a product roadmap.

You can further aggregate and analyze work through any of the following:

  • View: With just a few clicks, views create a unified look at the health, progress, and forecast time to complete of virtually any body of work. You can create a view to see a rollup of work by just about any filter criteria. You can even create a view of other views.

  • Team: Create a unified look at the health, progress, workload, and total assigned work for any collection of people. You can even create a team that rolls up other teams, for departments and the like.

  • Location: As with a team, a location is another way to see the progress, workload, and total assigned work for a collection of people. You can even create a location that rolls up other locations, for regional centers and the like.

See the health of active work

For nearly every body of work, we surface a health card. Here’s what the hearth card shows:

  • Forecast: For most bodies of work, we reflect a forecast for time to complete, modeled from your historical actuals. The exception is workstreams, which tend to be persistent, making a forecast irrelevant. For workstreams, we instead show a progress bar of completed tasks against the total.

  • Task age: Shows the distribution of tasks by age. Click the bar or use the age selector to see the corresponding tasks.

  • Personal WIP limit or Capacity: When viewing a body of work without an end date, the health card shows a personal WIP (Work-in-Progress) limit, which provides the distribution of active tasks by person. Use the selector to set a target WIP limit, and then see how many people are at, under, or over that target. When viewing a body of work with an end date, such as a sprint or an objective with a due date, we show capacity.

  • Worked time: Shows the distribution of tasks according to how long they’ve been active. Click the bar or use the time selector to see the corresponding tasks.

  • States: A means to quickly see and filter tasks according to their state or type (e.g. critical, defect). The first four states—blocked, idle, rework, deprioritized—represent exceptions to good, flowing work. Except for blocked, Socratic infers these exception states automatically, based on task movement.

  • Labels, Objectives, Sprints: Further quick-filter options for viewing tasks.

Note that the health card is responsive to any filtering you choose.

Meaning, if you select an objective and filter further to see just defects that are part of that objective, the health card will reflect insights specific to that selection.

In this way, you have a “portable” framing of work health for virtually any slice of work.

For almost all bodies of work, we also provide a Trends view. With Trends, you can see how key productivity metrics compare to past periods, as well as your average.

The Trends view can be filtered for even more granular selections of work, and provides a date range selector to compare the results of virtually any period to prior periods. Each Trend metric is clickable for further diagnostic metrics.

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