Project life cycle and statuses

There is a simple life cycle available to manage a project from initiation through to completion. 

The statuses have been kept deliberately simple with the intention to classify projects as either unsigned, signed or completed. As well as indicating what stage of the life cycle they are, the status of a project allows certain key features to be enabled or disabled. This provides a way to control what information is able to be entered and what actions people can do. As an example, projects which are opportunities can not have time recorded against them. Likewise, projects which are archived can't continue to have resources or forecasts added to them.

The project life cycle isn't sequential, projects don't have to progress through each status. You can create a project as an opportunity or in progress as needed. However, there is some logic built in to prevent a status being changed if certain data or scenarios exist. As an example, you can't change a project from in progress to opportunity if time has been worked or an invoice issued.

To supplement the overarching restrictions which are placed on the project stratus, it is possible for your Projectworks administrator to use the custom fields engine to create additional fields to be available (and mandatory) for each of the statuses. Examples of how some organisations apply conditional details to project statuses include:

  • An opportunity project may enforce a "likelihood" percentage to be entered
  • A committed project may require details of approval to be entered
  • To set a project to In Progress may require a link to a signed statement of work to be entered

As well as a description of what each status means, this article covers:


Project Statuses 

There are four project statuses within Projectworks, to help manage your portfolio of work,

  • Opportunity: An early indication that a project could eventuate.
  • Committed: Customer has provided informal sign-off/approval, or approval has been provided internally that work can commence.
  • In Progress: Customer has provided formal sign-off/approval that work can commence.
  • Archived: Project has been completed or closed.

Each status is represented with an icon to help identify project statuses throughout Projectworks.

Key feature matrix

Not all of the management features are enabled for each of the project statuses as they aren't applicable. 

Opportunity projects can be resourced, tasked and have forecasts added, but don't allow time to be recorded on invoices to be raised. Committed and In Progress projects have all features available, with the only difference between them being the level of approval received for the work. Once a project is archived it can only have invoices created, it can no longer be resourced, have time recorded or have a forecast added.


Opportunity

The earliest state of a project is classed as an opportunity in Projectworks. 

An opportunity signifies the potential for a piece of work to proceed and allows you to get it into Projectworks and add in revenue forecasts and resourcing requirements. The decision point of when to create an opportunity is down to you and your organisation. Perhaps you will create an opportunity project when you have a lead with greater than 50% likelihood of proceeding - the decision is up to you.

You might be using a separate tool for lead management (integration options are coming) but getting real "likely" opportunities into Projectworks will provide very rich data for business reporting.

What you can do
  • Enter financial forecasts
  • Allocate resourcing (treated as unconfirmed bookings)
  • Define your work breakdown structure by creating modules and tasks
  • Assign tasks to people
  • Prepare a delivery schedule
  • Start a risk register
  • Change the status to Committed, In Progress or Archived
What can't you do
  • People can't enter time against tasks (timecodes)
  • Invoices can't be created

It is also possible to specify that some additional information must be entered against an opportunity project. Example of how a likelihood % filed can be added to - to only show on an opportunity project.


Committed

The committed status is there to bridge the gap between an opportunity and a formally signed piece of work. 

Your organisation will be able to define a process for allowing a project to be started in a committed state. For example, your customer may have provided a verbal approval that the work will proceed, but the signed contracts or purchase order may take a couple of weeks. Or your organisation could choose to take advantage of some spare capacity to get ahead on a project, before it is formally signed.

From an operational perspective, a committed project is just like a signed (In Progress) project. The key is that tasks can be assigned and timesheets are enabled. Invoices can also be raised and sent to customers if you choose. Resourcing and forecasting reports can be filtered to either include or exclude committed projects.

While there is some business risk attached to working on unsigned projects, the committed status allows your organisation to accept the risk in a managed way.

What you can do
  • Enter financial forecasts
  • Allocate resourcing
  • Define your work breakdown structure by creating modules and tasks
  • Assign tasks to people
  • People can enter time against tasks 
  • Prepare a delivery schedule
  • Start a risk register
  • Create and issue invoices 
  • Change the status to In progress or Archived
What can't you do
  • Change the status to opportunity if any time has been entered or an invoice created

It is also possible to specify that some additional information must be entered against a committed project. For example, to have a project in the committed state could require details of approval to be provided.


In Progress

Projects which have have received formal approval from the customer are considered as In Progress. There isn't much more to say except this is the best project status! 

The the full suite of functionality is enabled allowing the project to begin in earnest, knowing the necessary approvals have been received  Forecasts for in progress projects should be the least risky as the necessary commercial arrangements are in place. Forecasting reports can be filtered to either include or exclude in progress projects.

What you can do
  • Enter financial forecasts
  • Allocate resourcing
  • Define you your work breakdown structure by creating modules and tasks
  • Assign tasks to people
  • People can enter time against tasks 
  • Prepare a delivery schedule
  • Start a risk register
  • Create and issue invoices 
  • Change the status to committed or archived
What can't you do
  • Change the status to opportunity if any time has been entered or an invoice created

It is also possible to specify that some additional information must be entered against an in progress project. For example, to have a project in the in progress state could require details of formal approval to be provided (such as a link to a signed statement of work or contract).


Archived

Project which have been completed (or don't proceed) can be set to archived. Archived projects can still be viewed on the project dashboards as well as being returned in search results. Once a project has been archived it effectively can't be used any more. Projects can't be deleted making archived the final status.

What you can do
  • Locate the project through search, the projects directory or client projects screen
  • View all information such as timesheets, task structures, and financials 
  • Create and issue invoices
  • Add resourcing and forecasts (although this is not recommended)
  • Manage accounts receivable information
  • Change the status to in progress, committed or archived
    • (depending on what information has been recorded against the project)
What can't you do
  • People can't enter time against tasks 
  • Change the status to opportunity if any time has been entered or an invoice created

Changing project statuses

The project lifecycle isn't linear and projects can be changed to any status. However, due to the different data that can be recorded on projects of each status, there are data rules in place which prevent some status changes. 

From Status To Status Notes
Opportunity Committed, In progress No restrictions
Opportunity Archived Only if no forecasts or resourcing
Committed Opportunity Only if no timesheet entries, invoices or accruals
Committed In progress No restrictions
Committed Archived Only if no timesheet entries, future forecasts, future resourcing invoices or accruals
In progress Opportunity Only if no timesheet entries, invoices or accruals
In progress Committed No restrictions
In progress Archived Only if no unbilled timesheet entries, future forecasts or future resourcing
Archived Committed, In Progress No restrictions
Archived Opportunity Only if no timesheet entries, invoices or accruals

Note: Your organisation may be using custom fields to enforce certain data to be captured on a certain status. Any special data requirements will also need to be met for the status to be changed.


Archiving a project

When a project has been completed or just needs to be closed down, it can be set to archived. You will be prompted to tidy up any data that needs to be removed prior to archiving a project - to ensure no rogue information will impact on reporting. 

The project can either be archived from the project details screen, by changing the status or by clicking the trashcan button. 


A project can't be archived if:
  • a forecast is present for a future month
    • you will need to remove the future forecasts
  • resourcing has been entered for a future week
    • you will need to remove any future resoucing
  • any timesheet entries are unbilled (for a billable project)
    • you need to create an invoice for the unbilled timesheet entries (either charging them to your customer or writing the time off by invoicing them at $0.

Deleting a project

It is possible to delete a project but it depends on what data has been entered against the project. Attempting to delete a project will first check whether the project can be deleted, and if it can't the reason will be shown.

Once key data has been added against a project it will need to be archived to make it no longer available.


A project can't be deleted if:
  • a forecast has been entered at any time
  • resourcing has been assigned at any time
  • timesheet entries have been recorded
  • an invoice has been created
  • an accrual has been recorded