You can build projects from built-in templates and ones you can create and save in advance. The process of converting a project to a template is as simple as changing its status. The Template status is one of the preset project statuses (the others being Open and Closed).
Creating template from project
To create a template from a project:
- Open Activity Center.
- There are two options:
- If you wish to make a copy of an existing project in the database (regardless of its status) into a template, duplicate it via the contextual pop-up menu on the Projects page, and edit accordingly, or
- Create a new project with new activities and/or copied from other projects using Activity batch operations so that it becomes a template project after its status is changed to 'Templates'.
Filling a template with details
Here are some tips:
- Set the status to 'Template' (you may need to create it in advance, see Workflow) so the template project does not show up throughout the application as an open (i.e. in progress) project.
- Select project member(s) and/or resources (Cannot login users) to be 'default' ones.
- Pre-selecting roles/permissions or a portfolio can provide you the flexibility as to who can or cannot access/view, edit, or delete your template projects.
- Set-up email notification settings (send to who & what events to trigger emails) and then disable the rule(s).
- Be sure to review the content of all panels, as all the data, files and settings from activity pages will get copied to new projects when the template project is duplicated.
- Create all activities in the desired order in terms of ID numbers, or start dates, or end dates, etc.
- Remove all data from the fields 'Actual completion dates', 'Actual hours', 'Hours left', and 'Progress'.
- Select assignees and/or generic resources (Cannot login users) and/or no one.
- If you create dependencies between activities, the same durations/timelines will carry-over to duplicated projects. Example: If a template project's activities start and end over a period of 21 days, by linking all the activities with dependencies, when you duplicate the template project, the new project's duration is also 21 days. Therefore, by changing the very first activity’s start date to your date of choice, the remainder will respectively change to reflect a 21 days' duration.
Using a template
Once you have created a template, you can use it on projects being created.
This is how:
- Apply the Status filter set to 'Template' to make the project templates appear in the 'Projects' table. See Filtering projects for more details.
- Via its context menu, select 'Duplicate project', enter name for the new project, and click 'Duplicate'.
- Open the new project.
- View all the activities, modify what might be different from the original template, and when you are ready to launch the project, change the status to 'Open'.
Modifying a template
As an example, if sorting by your preferred column does not provide you the order of tasks in the sequence you desire, and it is necessary to re-arrange tasks or insert a task between existing tasks, the use of duplicating and/or copying is a fairly quick method to save you valuable time. Here are the steps:
- Duplicate the original template project with a similar project name (i.e. add the suffix “ver. 2” to the project name).
- Use the filters on the Activities screen to show the “ver.2” project in the classic Activities view to show all the activities and sort them by your preferred column.
- Click 'Batch operations' and select 'Delete activities', and delete all the activities out of your preferred order.
- Reset Filter/Display to view the original template project.
- Select 'Batch operations' | 'Copy activities', and copy next sequence of activities to the “ver. 2” project. (keep repeating this step until you have completed the rebuilding order, and/or create new activities).
- Delete the original template project and re-name “ver.2 “ with your original project template name.