When to use a queue management software as your task management platform

If you have been researching on task management softwares, by now you might have already come across some of them, may be even tried a few.

However, while I was envisioning a general queue management platform for all things human and non human, a question occurred to me. Can a general queue management platform offer a better solution to task management problems? Turns out, in many commonly occurring situations, the answer would be a big YES.

Well, the thing is that when your tasks are repetitive in nature, like a application processing task for example, or when the tasks are of very similar structure, and they change stages in predictable ETAs, or when the tasks are too many, but only what changes is some fields like name, number, etc, using a queue management software would bring in the much needed efficiency in your business, much more than what a usual task management platform would.

Lets turn it around and ask if a task management solution can fit in well as a solution to queue management problems. Take for example Trello. Would it be intuitive to manage the wait list of patients in a clinic using Trello? Here a queue management software would be more appropriate. There are multiple reasons for this though, one being that apart from a “list or queue” view for the receptionist (who is the one managing tasks here) a queue management platform will typically have a TV display and / or a number dispenser and / or an SMS notification as a communication hook for the patients for informing them about the advancing of the queue. Another reason that a queue management solution fits in better in the clinic’s scenario described above, is simply the fact that the queue management software would generally be tailored for well structured repetitive tasks. For every task here, there is an entry form step capturing the name and number, then there is an assign doctor step, then check-in, and finally check-out possibly with billing and invoicing. And this structure does not change for any of the patient’s in the queue, even the typical time taken for each patient in the queue would roughly be similar on an average (for the same kind of consulting requested).

So in case your tasks have any of the following properties:
1) Less Variations: Repetitive and well structured,
2) Similar ETAs: Changes state in roughly same time for all items in the list,
3) Will be good to have email or sms communication during change of task’s state,
4) You can feel there could be possibilities of automating your tasks,
then using a general queue management software as your task management platform is likely to be a much better for your business. It would certainly open doors for a ETA predictions, company wide analytics dashboard and communication via email or sms to bring in transparency, last but not the least, with an extensible task queue management software in place, you may as well be headed towards possibilities of automation in your business.

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