Setup your project plan to include phases, stages and tasks. Assign the tasks to the staff members required to complete the work, and the set a due date for each item. Control how each stage of work is invoiced to the client using fee types, and setting up the agreed fee values. Copy in the default project structure for this type of work using a work breakdown template.
|Setup required before use
|Who can use it?
|Where is it?
Assistant Project Manager*
Project Manager level or higher required to add new projects.
Projects > Work breakdown
What is the full work breakdown?
Build the project plan using the work breakdown page, outlining the work to be completed for each step in the project. and set due dates for tasks to be completed.
The work breakdown structure is made up of:
- Phases - group together 2 or more stages of work. Display the phase level totals reports, or on the invoice to the client.
- Stages - setup a stage for each major deliverable for the project. Stages are shown on the invoice, and control how the invoicing process works with the stage fee types. Stages also control how data is transferred to your accounting system with Synergy add-ons using the cost centers and discipline mapping options.
- Tasks - create tasks to outline each step of work required to complete the goals of the stage. Staff use tasks when entering timesheets. Set a due date for when staff should have the task should be completed by.
Quickly setup a work breakdown structure by copying in a work breakdown template, and then editing the created items to match your required project structure.
Tip: Phases are only available in the Synergy >Business and Enterprise products.
Create work breakdown
Build out your project plan using the work breakdown tab, to outline the steps required for all the project works to be completed and control how the project is invoiced to your client. The parts of the work breakdown are:
- Phases - Grouping for stages in Synergy and on client invoices.
- Stages - Controls the invoicing method and describes a part or section of the project work.
- Tasks - Type of work that must be completed for the stage. Create tasks to build a checklist
Add a work breakdown to your project, and configure the invoicing for each stage of the project by:
- Go to Project > work breakdown tab.
- Click the 'add work breakdown' button in the top right.
- The work breakdown editor opens to allow you to add stages and tasks. If you have Synergy Business or Enterprise products you can also add phases.
- Each project has a default phase and a default stage created. Rename the default phase and stage by:
- Phase update - Click into the light blue row that has the project name shown. Change that name to be the name of the first phase of work.
- Stage update - The default stage is called 'work', click into the field and edit the stage name as required. or example stage names could be concept design, schematic design, detailed design, contract documentation, variations, or disbursements. More optional edits for the default stage are:
- Scope of works add a description of the stage works to be completed, that can be printed on a proposal document.
- Status choose what type of actions can be completed for the stage using the status. Learn more about status options.
- Stage manager select which internal staff member will be managing this stage of the project.
- Fee type select how this stage of the project should be invoiced to the client. Learn more about fee types.
- Fee value the value that will be billed to the client. This can be entered for the fee types 'fixed fee', 'percent of project' and 'capped rates'. Learn more about fee types.
- Add any extra required phases by clicking into the 'phase name' field. Type the phase name, and then stages (and tasks) can be linked to this phase group.
- Phase name Type the name of the phase group that describes this section of the project work, and can be shown on invoices to your clients.
- Add any extra required stages clicking into the '+ stage name' field and typing at least the stage name. The other fields below can be updated as required.
- Stage name describes the step or part of the project works that is to be completed. The stage name is shown in Synergy and on invoices to the client. For example stage names could be concept design, schematic design, detailed design, contract documentation, variations, or disbursements.
- >Scope of works add a description of the stage works to be completed, that can be printed on a proposal document.
- Stage manager select which internal staff member will be managing this stage of the project.
- Fee type select how this stage of the project should be invoiced to the client. This defaults to the hourly rates fee type (time and materials billing), adjust this to a different billing method if required. For example change the fee type to 'fixed fee' if you want to invoice the client an agreed fixed amount for this stage of work. Learn more about fee types.
- 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'. Learn more about fee types.
- Add any required tasks to build the to-do checklist for the stage. Click into the '+ task name' field and type the task name, and the other optional details:
- Task name describe the item in the stage checklist. This will appear in the task drop down list when the staff enter their timesheets.
- Assign to select which internal staff member will be completing this task. Multiple staff can be assigned to each task row.
- Due date set the due date for the goal of when this work should be completed. The assigned staff member will be reminded to complete this work in their 'task and reminders panel' on the dashboard.
- Phases can only be added in the Synergy Business and Enterprise products.
- Synergy Professional product allows you to add stages and tasks only.
- Phase level grouping is only shown in the Synergy Business and Enterprise products.
- Phases, stages and tasks are shown in the summary view, and the details view only shows phases and stages.
Search and filter the list
When a large number of stages or tasks exist use the search to find the item you require.
Search by clicking the button and typing the keyword into the search box. To return to seeing all items in the list click the clear button in the search bar.
Tip: Learn more about searching with the list search or the global search.
You can also scroll from page to page using the page selector at the bottom of the grid.
Filter the list by selecting the search button. Select a filter option and click the search button to apply the filter. The filter options are:
- My tasks - Use this to limit the list to only show the tasks that you have been 'assigned to' complete. The parent stage that the task is linked to is also shown. The all tasks option is applied by default.
Tip: Return to the default view by choosing the clear button in the search bar.
Change the list view (columns)
Use the list views to alter which columns are shown in the list for the full work breakdown structure. Select the 'summary' view in the top left corner to see the other available views.
- Summary - view a summary of the project phases, stages and tasks. Check who each step of the project is assigned to, when the work is due, and an overview of the scope of works required.
- Details - view is used to check stage details such as cost center, discipline, fee type, and external client reference numbers.
Tip: Staff 'user' access level only has the summary view available. Assistant project manager staff access level and above have all the list view options available.
- Colors the color can be assigned to each stage in the editor. The color is then the default color for all linked tasks, and for the progress bar. On a stage row the color is shown on the expand or collapse arrow, and on a task row the color is shown as a dot at the start of the row. Colors cannot be assigned to phases. *Phases are available in the Synergy Business and Enterprise products only.
- Phase, stage and task numbering each item added in the work breakdown structure is automatically assigned a unique number or project plan step number. Phases are available in the Synergy Business and Enterprise products only. The number for a phase would be 1, then the linked stage is 1.1, and a task linked to that stage is 1.1.1. If phases are not active, then the stage is numbered 1, and a linked task is number 1.1. When a work breakdown item is moved to an alternate position, it is automatically renumbered upon save.
- Name the name of the phase, stage or task is shown. Phases are available in the Synergy Business and Enterprise products only. Use the edit work breakdown option to alter the name.
- Progress the progress bar is shown for stages and tasks under the name of the item. Click on the progress bar to update the percent complete for the item. The color of the progress bar can be set for the stage / task in the work breakdown editor. Update the stage or task progress to let the internal project team know how far along the work is for a task or an entire stage of the project work. Project manager access level or higher is required to update the stage progress bar. The task progress bar can be updated by the user if they are assigned to complete the task, or the project manager (or higher) access level can also update the progress of any of the tasks.
- Status the status is shown for each stage row. This detail is shown to show what actions are available for the stage and linked tasks. For example active stages can have invoices created, and completed stages cannot have invoices created. Learn more about the project and stage status options.
- Timer timers are shown on each task row where you are assigned to the task. Start the timer to track how much time you spend completing the required work. Timers are shown on every task row if you have assistant project manager access level or higher. If you have user access level, then the timers are shown against the task rows that you have been assigned to complete. Learn more about using timers.
- Assigned to: this shows who has been assigned to manager the stage, or complete a task. Each stage can have one internal staff member assigned as the stage manager. Alter who is show as the stage manager in the editor view if you have assistant project manager access level or higher. Each task row can have multiple people assigned to complete the work. Assistant project manager access level or higher is required to be able to assign a staff member to a task. Assigning a staff member to a task will make the task appear in the 'reminders & tasks due' panel on the dashboard for that staff member.
- Due date: each task can have a due date set in the work breakdown editor mode. Assistant project manager access level or higher is required to set a due date. The due date is read only in the full work breakdown 'summary' view against each task row. A stage row shows the date range for the linked task due dates. The date range shown is the first due date set on a task to the last due date set. This should you the stage expected start and end dates.
- Stage scope of works: for each stage row the scope of works is shown to outline the works required for the stage. The stage scope of works can be printed on proposal documents, or shown to the users in the work breakdown as an overview for the required tasks. The scope of works is shown in the 'summary' view.
- Task comments: each task row allows the staff members to type a comment about their progress on the task. These comments can be read by the project team, a the stage manager to help them understand their current progress for the required work. Type a comment and press enter or click the 'post' button to save the comment. Click on the number of comments for the task, and a list of all the comments for that task is shown. The task comments can be entered in the 'summary' view by any access level. Task comments can only be deleted by the staff member that entered / created the comment.
- Fee: the value shown for each stage row varies for each fee type. For fixed fee and percent of project, the value shown is the agreed fee. For the fee type capped rates this is the capped value. For the fee type hourly rates the value shown in the total invoiced value for the stage plus the total WIP chargeable value. Assistant project manager staff access level or higher is required to see the fee value. The fee value is shown in the summary and details view. Learn more about stage fee types.
- Discipline: the stage rows display the type of business or activity in the 'details view'. Learn more about disciplines. Assistant project manager staff access level or higher is required to see the 'details' view.
- Cost center: the cost center assigned to each stage is shown in the 'details view' Cost centers are used to define the division or business unit that is completing the work for each stage. Edit the stage to adjust the assigned cost center. Learn more about cost centers. Assistant project manager staff access level or higher is required to see the 'details' view.
- Client reference: the client can provide a number or description for each stage as a client reference number. This can be their unique number form the clients internal system which might be required to be shown on an invoice. This can be seen in the 'details view' of the work breakdown, and displayed in reports and document outputs. Assistant project manager staff access level or higher is required to see the 'details' view.
- Fee type: the invoicing or billing method can be defined for each stage using the fee type. View the fee type applied to each stage using the 'details view'. Learn more about fee types. Assistant project manager staff access level or higher is required to see the 'details' view.