We hope 2013 is off to a good start for you and you’re busy with lots of new business. Of course new business means creating new project records and specifying team members, phases, tasks, etc. If your firm specializes in certain project types (e.g., schools, churches, or car dealerships), this can result in a lot of tedious, redundant work which can lead to wasted time, errors, and mind-numbing boredom.
Boredom aside, lost time due to errors or redundancy can put a kink in your cash flow. Fortunately, you can slice away at the wasteful redundancy that comes from frequently working on similar projects using ArchiOffice’s project templates.
Using project templates results in greater consistency and eliminates guess work on the part of your employees. They simply select the template and make minor tweaks to customize it for a specific job. Templates also reduce the need for a manager to go back and correct an employee’s errors such as entering incorrect billing rates or budget values.
Project Information That Gets Copied
When a new project comes in and you start the project from a template, it brings over team members and their rates, phases and job codes, tasks and document template information. Templates do not retain document files, timecards, notes or events.
Creating Project Templates
You can create a new project template in ArchiOffice in minutes using the following steps:
- Open the project you want to use as the basis for the template.
- Select Duplicate from the Action drop-down list on the toolbar.
- ArchiOffice will assign a new project number. Change the number so it signifies the project is a template. For example, you can add ‘T’ as a prefix (e.g., T2011-0006 or T-0001). Click OK to continue.
- Edit the project’s name (e.g., Car Dealership Template) and change its status to Template. This status prevents the template from displaying in any reports.
- Next, delete information in the project address fields and save your changes.
- Reassign an employee (e.g., Principal) as the billing client and delete any project contacts (listed on the Projects > General tab) so the template isn’t associated with any existing clients.
Creating Projects From a Template
When your firm gets a new project, do the following to create a new project from one of your existing templates:
- Go to the Projects module and select Find from the Action drop-down list on the toolbar.
- On the Find screen, select Template from the Project Status field and run a search.
- Open the template to be used to create the new project and select Duplicate from the Action drop-down list.
- Click OK to confirm the project number and continue.
- Edit the project’s name and change its status to Active.
- Enter a project address and save your changes.
- Fine-tune the project by assigning the billing client, project originator, principal, contacts, etc.
Make a habit of using project templates. They’ll reduce your workload significantly, result in greater project management efficiency, and let you focus more on revenue generating activities.