Creating Process & Milestone Templates from Settings
You can create process templates on the "Process & Milestone Templates" tab of the settings screen. Here you create groups of milestones tied together in a template, you can then apply these templates by hand, or using scripts when actions trigger them in the database.
Many users won't need this section of Complete at first, but once you've been using it for a while you may want to have calendar events created for you instead of doing it by hand, and that is what this is for. The simplest use of this is to build a library of Project templates: one for each type of project you do. You can then apply the template to the project when you're ready to schedule it. Down the road, you may even tie some of these templates to project statuses so milestones are added to the project as the projects' status changes: see Status Processes for more info.
Templates may be added by hand, or through a scripted process. For more on adding milestones to a record, see ProcessTemplates. The rest of this article will deal with making templates.
Tips for Creating Milestone Templates
To create a new template, click "New Template" in the left hand side of the Process & Milestone Templates" tab of the settings screen. Once you've created or selected a template you can add milestones to it in the right hand side of the screen.
You'll likely tweak these templates a lot when first setting them up, and it is a good idea to apply them to a test project a few times as you're creating them so you can see how they look. One quick note. If you give the items all the same phase you can delete all the milestones on the project in one click by just deleting the phase. This can make applying the template over and over again to a test project go faster since you can delete the applied items very quickly. Once you have things looking the way you want, simply remove the phase name from the milestones on the template.
Here are some tips for creating milestones...
Milestones are shown on the gantt chart according to their sort number when the gantt chart is sorted by project; they are sorted by date when the chart is sorted by dates. So if you break up a single string of events into different templates--as we have with our "Med Project..." set of templates, you may want to have the sort for later template start where the previous template's milestones left off. You'll see this if you look at the sort of the items in the template "Med Project: Ready for Delivery".
Phases are optional, but if you enter a phase name here, the software will create a phase of that name when the milestone is added to the project. If a phase of that name already exists, the milestones will be added to the existing phase of the same name. See Project Phases for more info.
Don't Show on Calendar
This is pretty self explanatory, but you may want to use this for items of very long duration so you don't see them on the calendar for their entire span. Such items will still show on the gantt chart.
Resource, Staff, and Status
You can enter an initial value for any of these items and then change it once the milestone is added to the contact / project. For example, if a given staff member usually performs a task, you can default the milestone to be tagged to that staffer, knowing that you can change this later for any individual milestone. Note that the idea here is that you don't have to edit the milestones immediately, so give them a Resource, Staff, and Status so the milestone makes sense to you on the calendar. If leaving these blank makes the most sense, do that.
Items with an "x" in the chained column are linked together. This means that if one of these items on a project has its end date changed, that change cascades down to reschedule the downstream items in the chain. See Linked Milestones for more info.
Use this field to enter a forecast number of hours for the milestone. SeedCode Complete can compare forecast to actual hours at the Resource level. This is not done at the milestone level, since we don't log time against milestones, just against projects and resources. Again, this value can be changed once the milestone is added to a project. See ProjectAnalysis for more info.
This is simply a useful flag when looking at project or contact activity. You'll find that in a few places you can filter events to show just milestones: this is the flag we use to determine if something is a milestone. This can be useful if you have a lot of other activity on a project (meetings and phone call) but want to see just the big milestones of the project on the gantt chart: the filters tab of the calendar presents a checkbox to just show milestones.
Duration and Follows Pre Event
These two fields are used to schedule milestones-- to place the on the calendar on a specific date. If both of these fields are left blank the milestone will still be linked to the contact or project but it won't have a date and thus won't show on the calendar.
The "Duration" field tells the calendar how long, in days, the event should take. Leaving this blank means the event takes 1 day. In concert with "Follows Previous Event" being set to 0 you can thus have many things scheduled for the same day. Leave "Follows Previous Event" blank to start the event on the next day. Entering 0 starts an event the same day the previous event ends. Negative numbers are also acceptable.