Templates are a great way for quickly generating specific projects, without having to go through the motion of single-handedly filling out all the fields.
New Project Template
Project Templates are located under the ‘Projects’ section of Skylight. Hover over the main navigation on the left of your screen to access ‘Projects’ (1) as illustrated in the image below:
Now let’s browse over to the ‘Project Templates’ (2) and select ‘Add’ (3).
Next, enter a ‘Title’ (4) and a brief ‘Description’ (5) for the new template. Make sure that the title is descriptive enough as this is what shows when selecting a project template.
After giving the project template a title make sure to press ‘Save’ so that we can progress to the next view and start creating our first template.
Overview of the Template Builder Interface
Templates are divided into three tabs (6): ‘Main’, ‘Time Blocks’ and ‘Fixed Price Items’ (quantity). We suggest going through and adding all the data onto the ‘Main’ tab first.
Before we progress and create this template, let us have a quick look at the overall interface of our project template builder in the recommended sequence:
Main Tab (7): This is the section where all the key main areas of a project are located. In this tab you tell Skylight the basic information about the project, i.e. description, tags, files to attach, tasks, task lists, milestones, stages and participants or teams that should be automatically added to a new project.
Project (8): This section covers some basic information about the project including project reference, client reference, description of the project, which status to select on creation, files and tags to add.
Milestones (9): This block is where you will be adding Milestones for this project.
Stage (10): This shows how many segments or jobs there are within this project.
Task Lists (11): This opens the task list for this project.
Tasks (12): This shows all tasks associated with this project.
Participants (13): This shows all the participants associated with this project.
Time Blocks (14): Select this tab when time scheduling on this project.
Fixed Price Item (15): Select this for adding one-off expenses or budgeting for one-off fees on this project.
Project General Information
The ‘Project’ section contains some basic information about the project; here you enter your Project Reference (16), Description (17) or anything every project created with this template should have. Select ‘Status’ (20), and add ‘Tags’ (18) so that the newly created project from this template will automatically have these tags enabled. And finally attach files (21) – files uploaded to Skylight can be in any format such as PDF, images, videos and audio files. And for real-time collaboration you can also import and create Google Docs files.
Don’t forget to press ‘Save’ at the end (22).
Adding a 'Milestone' to the Project Template
The next block is ‘Milestones’ and here in the above window we will add a new milestone to this project template and specify when this milestone is due.
To add a new milestone select ‘+’ (23), in the resulting form enter the ‘Title’ (24) and an optional brief ‘Description’ (25). In ‘Due number of days from start’ (26) we need to think whether the milestones in this template are applied to a new project starting on 1st May, and if you need this milestone due on 15th May, then the number of days will be 15 and that would be the value we enter into the ‘Due number of days from start’ (26) field.
Please don’t forget to press ‘Save’ (27) every step of the way. You can select ‘+’ (23) multiple times to enter multiple milestones, and then you can save them all at once by pressing ‘Save'(27) .
This concept of number of days from the start is used across the project templates and is illustrated below:
Concept of Number of Days from Start
The above image represents how Skylight knows when to create a milestone. It calculates it from the project start date, and then figures out how many days into the project you wish this milestone to be created. This is the same concept applied to ‘Tasks’ by the template and all you need to know is how many days from the project start date the task becomes due.
This same concept is further expanded on when creating ‘Stages’, as ‘Stages’ have start and end dates as well.
To create a new Stage for this templates just follow the same process of selecting ‘+’ (28), entering a ‘Title’ (29), selecting when to start this ‘Stage’ (30) and how long this stage is for in the ‘Duration in days’ (31) field. Select the correct status in the ‘Status’ (32) field and press ‘Save’ (34).
Segment Project by Task Lists
Task lists help your tasks stay organized in a collection or a folder if you may want to think of it that way. This is another layer of optional organizational tools available at Skylight.
Select ‘+’ (35) to add a new ‘Task List’ as many times as you need and then add the ‘Title’ (36) and select ‘Save’ (37). If you wish to remove the saved data or if you are editing an old template and need to remove a line, then hover over the row and select the delete icon (38).
Now we have a few basic key elements of our project template with ‘Milestones’, ‘Stages’ and ‘Task Lists’. We are now ready to create tasks.
Add Task on Project Template
Select ‘+’ (38) to add a new task as many times as the number of tasks you need for this template. Enter ‘Title’ (39) for each task and the duration of the task in the field ‘Due number of days from Project start’ (40). In this example, we have used 0 (zero) to make this task a due task as soon as the project starts. All the related data (41) from the sections above, i.e. ‘Milestones’, ‘Stages’, ‘Task List’ are available to add tasks for a specific milestone or a task list. Press ‘Save’ when you are done (42).
Add Project Participants
Participants of a project are your team members, collaborators, clients, suppliers and yourself.
To add a new participant select ‘+’ (43), enter the contacts name in ‘Contact Resource’ (44) and select a ‘Role’ (45) tag. Role tags are generic tags in Skylight to define what role a person was playing on a specific project. It does not reflect what they can or can’t do.
Depending on the user permission and whether they have been scoped by projects, the participants of this project will only be able to view, add, edit and delete records based on user group permissions.
Select ‘Save’ (46) to make sure that you save the changes made.
Scheduling for Time, Budgeting for Expenses and Fixed Price Items
To schedule for time, expenses, one-off fees etc., we use specific tabs in Skylight: ‘Time Blocks’ (47) and ‘Fixed Price Items’ (48):
Both these tabs collect information from the ‘Main’ tab section covered previously. The information pulled in from the ‘Main’ tab include ‘Stages’ and ‘Tasks’.
Adding Time Blocks to Project Templates
‘Time Block’ (49) consists of two sections as illustrated above. Section (50) contains all the variables for an ‘Add Time’ (50) form, section (51) shows all the times for events already saved. After entering the values in the time form press ‘Save’ (52) to see the time block added in the row view below (51).
Adding ‘Fixed Price Items’ to Project Templates
The ‘Fixed Price Items’ section contains quantity-based values. This section is for one-offs or expenses, purchases and things like photocopy costs, web hosting charges and every other element involved in the project.
This section works the same way as ‘Time Blocks’.
To understand more about how ‘Fixed Price Items’ work in Skylight, please browse to our online Knowledge Base at http://support.skylightit.com/kb/.
Applying Project Templates to a New Project
On the ‘Project’ add form, select the drop-down menu ‘Project Template’ (53).
When using project templates (54) on a new project, we need to enter a project start date (55). Creating milestones on this new project or when a task becomes due is all based on the start date of the project.