Templates & Template Editing
Templates are created and edited under the Configuration > Templates menu. Chages made in a Project can be saved back to the original Template or to a new one: this provides a flexible way of iterating towards “great” templates, by applying the lessons learned/necessary changes from in-Project experience.
The Template screens provide easy-to-use drag-drop sequencing of Tasks and Phases and prompt panels to add new elements to the workflow. For “power editing” or importing template information, see Import/Export/Edit
Template Status Features
Templates have an auto-incremented version number. Projects show the name and version of the Template that was used when crated.
This saves the edits that have been made to the next (auto-incremented) version of the Template. Exiting after editing without Publishing will discard edits (after warning the user). An asterisk next to the Verson number indicates un-saved edits.
Archiving a Template changes the Active status (to Archive) (but does not delete it) so they can be filtered out of the list of available Templates. Template Managers would probably want to archive older versions of Templates for convenience.
Use the Re-Activate button on Archived Templates to make them Active again
Copies the current Template to a New-name Template. This is useful when changing the Template is inappropriate because it is being used as a Master for project creation.
These appear after editing has started.
Tasks can be re-sequenced within the Phase, or Phases re-sequenced by dragging/dropping via the blue dotted-grid icon to the left of the Phase/Task name
New Phase/New Task Buttons:
To add new Phases or new Tasks into the current Phase
A (Template) Task can have the properties listed below. Note that when Projects are created from a Template, its Tasks each have Target Start/Finish date fields as well as Actual Start/Finish dates.
Target Start/Finish dates in the Project are populated in project Setup.
Actual Start/Finish dates are updated by the system, when the Task is Started (begun) or marked completed.
Template Tasks do not carry dates.
Task Name: (required)
The text name for the Task
A flag that sets the Task as a Milestone, Milestones are displayed differently from regular Tasks in the Dashboards
A value in days that sets the default completion time for the Task, ie the default difference between Target Start and Target Finish. Unspecified Durations are assumed to be 1 day.
Outputs (At least 1 is required)
Outputs are the definition of what the Task will produce as a work product.
Each Output has a Name (Required)
Several Outputs types are available:
None: A text output or comment output type (this is the Default). All Tasks have at least this as an Output
Files: One or more documents are required, each can be named. There are the typical work product Output of a project Task and when executed, can either be stored in APM folders associated to the Project or can be references to resource files in the Catalog, such as a CAD (master) file.
Form: A user-configurable form (defined via Configuration > Forms) to interactively capture key property information from the Task Assignee in a structured manner.
Tasks can have multiple Outputs, of mixed Types:
Each Output can optionally require Approval. Approvals can be specified in the Template to require Approval by) a specific Role user, or by a specific (named) User. Specifying Roles provides a more flexible approach.
Important: Dependencies are made in reference to the Output of a Task (not just the referenced Task). This is a powerful capability that enables the system to identify which Tasks are impacted if the Output of an earlier Task on which it depends has been changed.
Example: A KickOff task might generate a finalized Requirement document, a Team Roster and a planned review meeting schedule. A downstream Task can depend on that Requirement output. If the Requirement doc is updated, those downstream Tasks that depend on it can be notified. Some Tasks might depend on the Requirements output, other Tasks might depend on the Team Roster.
All project tasks automatically carry a system-created Dependency on the (Output of) the Entry Gate for the Phase in which the Tasks exists - these are system managed and largely invisible for users.
Additional Dependencies can be added to the Task in the Template.
Dependencies can reference the Outputs of Tasks anywhere in the Project (ie Tasks in other Phases of that Project)
The Dependency listing shows the output type for the Output selected /that it depends on
Adding a Dependency therefore requires choosing the specific Output on which it should depend:
Clicking the Import/Export button generates the grid view of the Tasks, grouped by Phase to separate “workbook” tabs
This feature provides flexible ways to manipulate or power-edit template content by providing an Excel-like grid view of the template phase/task content in a workbook paradigm. This can be used to:
import data from Excel, adjust it and apply to a new Template, or
adjust the current Template data in the grid view, and apply it or export it, or
combinations of the above.
see also Clone Template
This view tabulates the template Task information (Name, Target dates etc) with appropriately named columns into a named tab for each Phase.
IMPORTANT: The first column and first rows include system ID information and should not Modified or Deleted.
Changes made in the grid can then be APPLY’d to the Template.
Certain grid edits may result in Errors, which will be either highlighted in-grid or with a below-the-grid error message
The grid provides direct inline editing or copy/paste, drag/copy update of cells in an Excel-like manner.
(task) Rows can be re-sequenced, via drag/drop or deleted. (Deletes may result in APPLY Errors if this impacts Dependencies)
New Task rows can be inserted: leaving the first cell (ID) blank will result in APPLY treating it as an Add.
Phases can be re-sequenced by moving the tab order (APPLY will renumber them per sequence order),or Deleted. New Phases (and their Tasks) can be added
Cells can include formulas: APPLY will take their values to the Template. (Templates can't have formulas)
Users can add additional columns, ex. for doing calculations or for data imported from elsewhere. APPLY looks for the pre-named “template-related” columns and uses the ID column to relate the grid content to the relevant Template element, “irrelevant” columns will be skipped/ignored.
Blank values in ID column cells will be treated as Adds.
The File selector at top left provides an Import or Export Option
Export: writes the current Template content to an Excel (.XSLX) file, named per the Template name. (This will not include in-grid changes that have not been “APPLY”d)
Import: Populates the grid with the content of a user-selected Excel-compatible file (CSV, XLS, XLSX etc). users can then manipulate tis data in-grid to get it Template-ready. The APPLY function attempts to map this data to the Template, and will ignore “unrecognized” columns:
Tip: For Understanding Import, first Export a current template to become familiar with what the system is “expecting” and the column names that the system is using to map Template properties.
Provides a sortable table of Tasks with all or only Milestones shown and their Output, Dependency counts. Task/Milestone status can be changed via the left selector
Network View Tab
Provides a zoomable, and re-arrangeable diagram of the Phase-Task workflow with Gates & Outputs, where they connect (are Dependencies) and Approvals. This is a sequence/dependency chart and does not reflect timelines.
click-select an item-and-drag to rearrange items
click-move to pan/move around
use mouse scroll button to zoom in/out
Add New Role
New roles can be selected for use with the Template (and then included in Approval lists). This button allows election of predefined Roles from a list.
The list of valid Role names is defined via Configuration> Lists > Team Role, so that roles can be standardized across projects.
Once a Role has been added, specific users can be optionally associated to the Role and can be included/referenced as Approvers for specific Outputs.,
ex. A Task in Phase 3 has an output which should be approved the “QC Manager”
Susan is a User in the Role of QC Manager, as is George. - for this Template
Note that Projects created from the template inherit this information. Building in usernames to Templates (vs just using Roles) may not always be helpful in rapidly-changing organizations .