Set up your default work breakdown structure and related budget using project templates. In this feature you can add the standard stages and tasks, set the default stage fee payment, assign staff members to specific stages, then define the duration of your stages. If you are using Business or Enterprise you can also group the stages in the template using phases. Budget templates are not available in Synergy Professional.
What are project templates?
In Synergy, project templates are used to speed up building your work breakdown structure. New projects created in Synergy can have a project template applied to the default project structure, or add the template to an existing work breakdown if you need to revise the project details. When you add a template to an existing project, it does not overwrite the existing data but adds to it. If you are still in planning mode, your budget will also update.
When using project templates, like in the work breakdown you can define parts of the project such as:
- Phases - Group stages together that are for a similar type of work, or need to appear together on invoice documents sent to the client.
- Stages - Describe the steps or sections of the project. The stage controls the way that the linked transactions are invoiced to the client.
- Tasks - Add custom tasks that are required for timesheet entry, or build a list of the work to be completed for the stage.
Why use project templates?
When templates are set up, you can apply them to new projects and build the standard work breakdown structure for phases, stages and tasks. The structure includes everything from resourcing, to standard comments, through to billing. It’s all about saving you time in the long-run.
- Go to: Settings > Templates > Projects.
Click the 'Add' button in the top right of the page.
The template name is used to identify which template to use when applying the template. For example, you might have standard processes for projects over $1M AUD.
Select a project type. The project type is used as an identifier when applying the template. For example, the resources you have working on a project may differ between a landscaping and hospital project.
- In the project template page, click on the template you need to edit by clicking in the relevant row.
- Click on Edit to edit the template name, or project type. The project type is used as an identifier when applying the template. For example, the resources you have working on a project may differ between a landscaping and hospital project.
The changes you make here will appear when you apply this template to any of your projects.
Access the project templates from the template menu in the navigation bar. Template > Plan > Work breakdown or by clicking on Open on the template page.Expanding and collapsing the stages
There are two ways to show or hide the stages below each phase.
- Click on the Expand all or Collapse all buttons.
- Click on the triangle icon at the start of the row to expand or collapse the underlying tasks.
- Colors are used by clients to easily visualize the stages. For example, you can make all evaluation stages for your projects, red. Or you can use colors for tasks completed by the same team. The color selected at the stage level will default to the tasks created under the stage.
- Change the color by clicking the circle icon at the start of the row to show the color palette. Clicking on a color will confirm the selection.
If you need to reorder your stages or tasks, hover over the skyscraper icon and you will see your cursor change. Click and drag the row to its new location. Tasks will move with the parent stage.
Click in a cell on the Phase/Stage/Task column to change the name. This stage or task is where you will assign resources and determines what you will invoice and where staff will register their hours.
You can add phases to group stages together.
To do this, click on the ellipsis in the top right and Enable phases. You will see the stage rows will have indented to the right. This indicates they are now under the phase you enabled.
To enable a new phase, you will need to click Add + icon on the phase row. Type in the new phase name, click Add. This will create the new phase under your last stage. You will then need to reorder your existing tasks if you need to move it to the phase you just created. To add a stage to this phase, click on the Add + icon and select stage. To add a task to a stage, click on the Add + icon on the stage row you want the task to be under and select task.
This column can be used to include information regarding the phase. This information is shown on proposal documents. For example, you may always want your concept design comments to contain “Work undertaken in the concept design stage includes one site visit in addition to one client meeting attended by a Junior and Senior Architect.
These are the staff members who will always be assigned to this stage. Assigning a staff member in a template will save you time when you are resource planning.
Select how this stage of the project should be invoiced to the client. Based on the fee type selected other fields of information will become mandatory to be entered for each stage. See Stage fee types for more information.
This will be active if Percent of contract is selected as Fee type. For example, in your organization, you may always require upon completion of the concept design phase payment of 20% of the total fee value.
The value that will be billed to the client. For example, a fixed fee of $5000.00 for this stage of work. This can be entered for the fee types 'fixed fee', 'percent of project' and 'capped rates'.
Clicking X will delete the row and any children rows. You can undo the changes.
- Clicking on the pencil icon in the WBS and going to view details will show the Stage details page. Refer to stage details for a full blown explanation.
- In templates, when you set the start and end date for all the stages, this will scale according to the project duration. What we call proportional logic only works if you set dates for all the stages.
- When you apply a project template to a project, it will add everything, including your budget. So it is a good idea, to get this right from the onset, to save you time. This is useful when you want finer detail than just an overall lumpsum.To get to the budget template, it is under Template > Plan > Budget or click on either of the amounts in the template details page
- When you open the budget template, what you will see are all the stages you have in your corresponding work breakdown. You will notice that
- You can apply a rate to a task. The rate is the role that will be assigned to work on this task. This is why it is essential to have your rates setup first.
- What you will then need to do is, under units/value is assign the number of hours this task will take. This is what is calculated in the budget whenever the template is applied. The budget will copy the units.
- At this point, you can include any resources you want to work on it but remember, this will have an effect when you look at resourcing. Even if a project is still in proposal mode, the resource will appear to be booked.