Managing an active project
Step 1: Update the project details
Update the project details once you have won the job. The general details that need to be updated or maintained for an active project are:
- Update the project status to active - set the project status to 'active' when you have won the job.
Select the active status, or one of the custom active status options to show the current progress of the project. Learn more about setting the project status.
- Scope of work - description of the job or project work required that can be shown on a project documents.
- Site address - check the address location for the project work is correct on the project details tab.
- Select the project dashboard images - select dashboard image(s) to be shown to the internal project team. Images can be used to show a quick snapshot of the site or the planned project works. Use the project documents or images tabs to select a dashboard image.
- Update the list of project contacts - check all the required people are listed on the project contacts tab. This is a list of all contacts (companies) and people (individuals or personnel) that are in the external project team, and the internal staff members involved in the project. Update the 'portal access' allowed for each of the contacts to make sure all the required people can chat about project tasks in the project portal. Learn more about project contacts.
- Add project notes - add any notes for the internal project team to review to record general details about the project, phone calls made to the client or project contacts, or action items from meetings about the project. Learn more about project notes.
Step 2: Check the fees and update the stages
The works required for the project may have changed since the initial proposal was created, or when using a full work breakdown structure only part of the project may have been approved to start. The suggested steps required are different for a simple vs a full work breakdown project.
Simple work breakdown project
Check the following project details are correct after the job has been won:
- Project fee - check that the entered project fee is still the correct value. This can be seen on the simple work breakdown view.
- Project status - update the project level status to active. (Simple projects do not have a stage level status to update.) Learn more about project status options.
- Project tasks - make sure all the required project tasks are listed in the simple work breakdown structure. Assign the tasks to the staff that need to complete the task, and set a due date for each task to be completed by. Tasks are added in the simple work breakdown view.
Full work breakdown project
Update the phases and stages to reflect the known scope of works for the project, and then use the stage level status to show which parts of the project have commenced by updating their status to active.
- Add stages or phases - use the work breakdown tab of the project to confirm all the required steps or parts of the project are listed. Add any stages that are missing in the work breakdown structure.
- Update fees for each stage - check each of the stages has the correct fee type (billing method), and the agreed fee for each stage is entered correctly. Learn more about stage fee types.
- Add tasks to stages - enter any specific tasks that are required for each stage. Staff can be assigned to each task that they need to complete, and due date for the tasks to be completed by can be set. Staff select these tasks when entering their timesheets for the project. Learn more about adding tasks using the work breakdown.
- Update the stage status - update the status against each stage to be 'active', to reflect which parts of the project have been won. Use custom active status options to reflect what type of work has started for each stage, to make it easy for your team to see how the project and each stage is tracking. Learn more about setting the stage status.
Tip: Phases are only available with the Synergy Business or Enterprise products.
Step 3: Update the project budget
This step is optional, and only required for projects that required a budget for planning and monitoring purposes. Budgets are normally only entered for projects with a full work breakdown structure created.
Tip: Budgets can only be entered in the Business or Enterprise Synergy product levels.
A budget can be entered against each stage of the project to plan what staff work or expenses are expected to be required. Use budgets to:
- Track the expected staff hours for each task.
- Assign which staff member or resource will be completing each task.
- Plan the number of required site inspections for each stage.
- Record the expected supplier and staff expenses for each stage.
Add budgets to each stage using the work breakdown tab of the project. Learn more about creating budgets using the work breakdown tab.
Monitor the budget for each stage to check the performance and see if the team is on track. Monitor and update the following items in the work breakdown tab of the project:
- Compare the budget items for each stage against the actual timesheets or expenses entered.
- Check which budget items went over or under the planned budget.
- See what other transactions have been recorded against the project that were not included in the original budget.
- Update the existing budget if required to increase the number of hours required for a task, or add a budget note to explain the scope of the task to your internal team members.
- Update the complete % for tasks to reflect the progress. Once a task is marked as 100% complete then it can no longer be used by staff when entering timesheets for the project stage.
Step 4: Review the project transactions
Use the project transactions tab to check the following types of items:
- Timesheets - review the hours entered against each stage by staff in timesheets.
- Cash expenses - check what staff expenses have been entered for project related expense for client visits like parking costs, flights, accommodation etc.
- Travel expenses - track any claims for mileage (miles or KM's traveled) for staff traveling to the client's site in their personnel use car, or any claims for other fixed cost expenses like road tolls or a daily per diem expense.
- Office expenses - internally completed work that is to be on-charge to the client like printing costs.
- Supplier or Sub contractor expenses - check what items have been purchased for the project, and what project work was completed by a sub contractor.
When reviewing the list of project transactions the following options are available:
- Write-off - update any transactions that cannot be invoiced to the client to 'written off' status using the WIP write-off feature.
- Lock transactions - mark transactions as 'locked' status if you want to ensure they are not yet billed to the client. Further work may be required for the stage before you can on-charge these project costs.
- Query transactions - when the project manager requires additional details on a transaction it is marked as 'queried' status. This allows the staff member to review the entered timesheet or expense and add extra details before it is on-charged to the client or written off.
- WIP transfer - when the timesheets or expenses have been entered against the incorrect stage, use WIP transfer to move the transactions to the correct stage that they require to be attached to on the project invoice. This method is used when there is a 'full work breakdown structure' to move the transactions to the correct stage. This option is not required for a 'simple work breakdown structure' project.
Tip: Learn more about the above actions and how to complete them in the project transactions tab.
Step 5: Monitor the project financials
Use the project financials tab to get a quick snapshot of how each stage is performing in terms of budgets*, charge values, and invoice progress. The following columns can be found in the financial views in this tab to help you to monitor the progress or success of each stage:
- Agreed fee - monitor the fee value for any 'active' status stages. Or use the 'fee' column for any stages at proposal status.
- Chargeable value - review the total charge value for the WIP + Invoiced transactions.
- Complete % - the total invoice percentage complete for each stage that is setup with a fee type of fixed fee or percent of project.
- Invoiced - the total value invoiced to date for each stage.
- Residual - the remaining value that can be invoiced for each stage, which for stages with the fee type of 'fixed fee' or 'percent of project' this is the fee value less invoiced. For stages with the fee type of 'hourly rates' or 'capped rates' this is the total value of the time and expenses in WIP.
- Budget* - check the total planned budget value for each stage. *Budgets can be entered in the Synergy Business or Enterpriseproducts.
- Cost - toggle between seeing the standard or actual cost of the transactions attached to each stage.
- Profit - the profit value for the transactions attached the stage. Try using the profit views to include or exclude the WIP from this column, as the WIP transaction may be discounted or written off.
- Learn more about standard and actual costs and how they are calculated in the project financials topic.
- Standard cost reporting is available for staff with the project manager access level or higher, and actual costs can be seen by staff with director or System Administrator access levels.
- When using a 'simple project' work breakdown structure a default stage called 'Work' is added, which allows you to use these financial reports using the default stage.
Step 6: Save files to the project folders
The default project folder structure is automatically created when you create a project, based on the project folder template setup by your Synergy System Administrator.
Use the project documents tab to:
- Add additional or custom folders to the project folder structure.
- Download and files stored against the project.
- Upload new file versions to the project.
- Preview any image files saved in the folders using the Images tab of the project.
- Create project documents using Synergy document templates, to include details from your Synergy project in the word document output.
- Share project documents with your project contacts, to allow the contact to download or view the file in the project portal.
- Select project images to be 'added to the dashboard' to have the images displayed on the project details tab.
Step 7: Create project invoices
Project invoices are created to charge the client for the completed work. Select what work and which transactions are to be included on the invoice.
The details required for each project invoice are:
- Invoice contact - which project contact the invoice will be addressed to.
- Invoice attention to - which personnel name will be shown in the invoice 'attention to' field.
- Invoice address - which of the addresses for the invoice contact will the invoice be sent.
- Terms - Payment for the invoice is due in X days. e.g. 15, 30, 45 days.
- Invoice period - the date range for the invoice billing period, which controls which transactions from the project can be included on the invoice.
- Note - description about the invoice works that can be shown on the invoice document.
The invoice total is defined for each stage, and the method required will vary based on the stage fee type.
Any project created with a 'simple' work breakdown structure has a 'fixed fee' fee type applied by default, where the project fee is the fixed amount that can be invoiced. When using the full work breakdown structure the stage level fee type can be altered, and this will impact how the invoice is created.
- Hourly rate and capped rate fee types - open the stage and check the box for each transaction to be included on the invoice. If any transactions required to have a custom discount or surcharge applied then update the rate, number of units, or value columns. The total value of the transactions is used to create the invoice total for the stage. For capped rates only the transactions will be invoiced out up to the total capped value for the stage.
- Fixed fee and percent of project fee types - open the stage and type the total 'value' or 'complete %' for the invoice. Optionally you can also select which transactions will be linked to the invoice for each stage, and the value entered will be apportioned against the selected transactions. If no transactions are selected, then a pre-billing placeholder transaction will be created for the stage invoice value.
The last step in the process is to save the draft invoice for further review, or to finalize invoice and create the invoice document. Learn more about this in the project invoicing topic. The process of creating a final invoice will
- Assign an invoice number - the invoice number is created using the prefix and number format setup in the organization settings. The invoice number is unique, and the invoice create process will automatically assign the next available number in the sequence for the invoice prefix selected.
- Create an invoice document - after finalizing the invoice an invoice document can be created. This invoice can then be sent to the client via email, or shared with the client using the project portal.
Tip: Learn more about the process of creating an invoice for each fee type in the project invoicing topic.