Table of contents
- Copy an existing project
- Create a new project
- Project plan
Under Master data > Projects you can not only create projects, but also map project management and controlling.
A new project can either be created completely independently or as a copy of an existing project.
Copy an existing project
If similar projects are already available - e.g. projects for the same customer or with the same articles or sub-projects - the option Copy existing project can be selected after clicking on the +NEW button. In the following overview, the existing project to be copied is to be selected via the arrow button.
If an existing project is to be copied, the following partial aspects can optionally be adopted:
Create a new project
In the first step, click on the +NEW action button and select the Create new project option. An input mask appears. In addition to a name, a project identifier should definitely be given here, whereby various options are available:
- Manual assignment: Make sure that only numbers, capital letters or combinations thereof are used
- Customer number + consecutive number: In this case, the text field can be left blank. xentral automatically inserts the identifier in the format "Customer number. Consecutive project number", starting with a single-digit number.
- Consecutive project number: The system generates a consecutive project number from the central number range.
Furthermore, a description can be added, the person responsible for the project can be determined and a customer can be selected from the master data. Although these are not mandatory information, they make the work process easier by, for example, the selected customer is already pre-filled when creating invoices from the project dashboard. A status must also be specified at the beginning, whereby a distinction can be made between planned, started and completed. The main purpose of the status is to provide a quick overview of the current project activities when the filters are used.
After clicking on Next you get to the editing view of the project. Various settings that apply to the entire project can be made on the Settings tab:
- Color: This color is used to identify the project for evaluations in the Management Board
- Sales figures: If this is not checked, the project will not be taken into account in the evaluations in the sales figure diagram
- Public project: Here you can decide whether the project should be visible to all employees or whether only project employees should have access
- Payment mail
- Cancellation mail
- Use own stationery for project: You can store your own stationery for each project by uploading two PDF documents in the Files tab
- Replace description text: If your own letterhead is used, you can specify whether the header and footer of the company data should be used in the system or whether these are already integrated into the letterhead
The project is then saved.
The desired project is selected under Master data > Projects and either click anywhere on the project or the curved arrow in the right menu area. The project dashboard opens, where the functionalities for project planning and implementation can be found. In addition to some general information such as project name or customer, the upper gray bar also contains a filter for the sub-projects, which affects all areas, i.e. you only see the entries for the selected sub-project in the Articles, Receipts, Time & Tasks tabs displayed.
The dashboard is divided into several sub-areas, whereby the following basically applies:
- Light gray: All fields with a light gray background are details in hours
- Time planned: How many hours are planned for this sub-project step? This field can be typed over directly in the dashboard
- Time booked: How many hours have been booked so far for this sub-project via the time recording?
- Time open: How many hours can still be booked for this sub-project without exceeding the time schedule?
- Time billed: How many of the hours worked have the customer already been billed?
- Yellow: yellow fields, on the other hand, are always of a monetary nature:
- Purchase time planned: How much would the currently planned working time in purchasing cost?
- Purchase time booked: How much does the working time actually cost so far?
- Sales time planned: How high is the income that I can expect for the currently planned working time?
- Purchase articles planned & sales articles planned: Stored purchase and sales prices of your articles
In addition, a profit forecast or live monitoring can be viewed, with the planning in the dashboard and the time recording of the employees forming the calculation basis:
- Formula: Sales time planned - Purchase time booked
- Statement: How much would my profit from working hours be today if I can earn the planned amount? If, for example, a fixed quota of hours has been sold to the customer, you can see at a glance the extent to which exceeding working hours affects and can counteract this in good time
- Formula: Sales article planned - Purchase article planned
- Statement: Here you can run through various scenarios to check whether your planning is feasible and profitable
- Total: Sum of profit forecast time and article
Any number of partial and sub-projects can be created in the right menu area. To do this, click on the plus icon in the right menu area, which opens another input mask.
Here you will find various parameters:
- Subproject: Name
- Description: Optional information
- Open: the sub-project is still in progress
- Active: the active sub-project is printed in bold on the dashboard and is displayed in the overview of all projects
- Completed: this sub-project is considered completed, so that no more hours can be booked for this sub-project in the time recording
- Predecessor: Here you can define the position by specifying the direct predecessor
- After: The new sub-project is created on the same level as the direct predecessor
- Sub-project: The sub-project is created as a sub-project of the immediately preceding sub-project
- Start and submission date: Use in the project plan and in the traffic light system for the sub-projects
- Responsible: An address can be selected from the master data
- Color: use in the project plan
- Hide in project plan: optional exclusion of sub-projects possible
- Product number planned: hourly rate at which the times of this sub-project are to be billed or the product number of the article that is to be used for this
Create sub-projects: cost estimate
The Cost estimate area is colored yellow and supports project planning on the basis of estimated or empirical values:
Time planned: planned working time in hours
- Selection of purchase and sales prices
- Hourly price: Select hourly price if you want to use an hourly purchase or sales price for the calculation
- Flat rate: If, for example, you have negotiated a fixed purchase price with your customer, select Flat rate to show this
- Purchase and Sales prices planned: The corresponding hourly rates or flat-rate values must be entered here
You can always decide flexibly whether you want to work with flat rates, hourly rates or a mixed calculation. For example, you can calculate with a fixed sales price, but keep an eye on the costs at any time using the corresponding purchase prices on an hourly basis.
Note: If the Time recording costs module has been purchased, you can read under this how different employees can be easily selected at this point and how it can be calculated what they cost in purchasing.
On the one hand, pure planning can be carried out here; on the other hand, the products can be incorporated into documents such as productions or invoices and thus it can be controlled how successful the project was.
Add product to a subproject
Various options are available in the product area. Essentially, different products can be assigned to the sub-projects here, e.g. because they are to be produced as part of a customer project.
Note: The delivery note column shows how many delivery notes the item is in and how many of them have already been delivered.
Note: The time recording data is maintained in the additional module "time_cording_costs", so that the then available in the project dashboard.
To do this, first click on the Add product to subproject button at the bottom right, which calls up the following interface:
First of all, the sub-project to which the articles are to be added is selected. Then select the way in which the articles are to be added:
- Create new article / parts list> A quick entry mask appears where you can enter a little information in order to create an article or a parts list.
- An existing article is selected from the article master
- An import template is selected that was created in the import center and an article list is then uploaded in CSV format. Here you'll find further information
Special import variables:
article_ek_geplant: Corresponds to EK article planned, but is also entered in the master data
article_vk_geplant: Corresponds to VK article planned, but is also entered in the master data
Calculation with budget figures
There are basically two different options:
1. Use a dummy product:
- Add a planning product for each sub-project (dummy product is sufficient)
- Provide this product with a plan quantity of 1 and the plan numbers for purchase and sales
- When you add your real items for sales and production in the next step, make sure that the values EK and VK planned are set to 0
- Then the plan product is always used to calculate your plan figures, but as soon as you generate a document, the values from the master data of your article are used
2. Plan with real products:
- Upload your product list or add your products to the respective sub-projects
- Enter plan values for purchase price, sales price and the quantity
- Note that you can change these plan values at any time without affecting the master data
- So when you generate documents, the values from the master data are always used
Depending on how many items go into your project, you can choose which planning type you want to use. Since project plans are constantly changing in reality, you can also use the "dummy article method" for rough planning and then replace the plan values for the individual products, depending on what seems more suitable for your company.
In the finance sub-tab you will find a general overview of your project activities:
The numbers are divided into three core areas: Booked, Planned and Comparison and are made up as follows:
Booked values: These figures are based solely on the real documents, which should therefore be available to the system in full
- Invoices: Outgoing invoices linked to the project or created directly from the dashboard
- Credits: counterpart to invoices
- Cash book: Income from the cash book if the project was saved at the time of booking
- Orders: Orders that arose as part of the project
- Payables: Outgoing invoices that have been linked to the project, but for which there is no purchase order
- Cash book: expenses with project link
- Travel expenses: Travel expenses related to the project
- Time income: VK time Planned
- Product income: VK item planned
- Time spending: EK time planned
- Product spending: EK article planned
- Income: Total booked income - Planned total income and thus the amount that could be generated beyond the budgeted figures
- Spending: Total expenses booked - Planned total expenses and thus the amount that had to be spent in excess of the budgeted figures in order to realize the project
Furthermore, services can also be converted into offers, orders or invoices directly from the dashboard. This is done as follows:
- The sub-projects area is opened
- The desired sub-projects must be marked or all sub-projects selected by clicking on Total.
- Click on Apply to selection in the lower action area and use the select field there to select which document is to be created
- The following input mask appears:
If a customer has already been stored for the project, this is pre-filled as a receipt recipient, but this can also be changed at this point. You can also decide whether the selected subprojects should be added to an existing design or whether they should be created from scratch. In addition, it must then be decided how the individual sub-projects are to be handled, with the following options available:
- Subproject as a position
- Subproject as position (use article text)
- including all sub-projects as a tree in the article text
- including all sub-projects as a separate position
- Planned times as position (article name and article description in document)
- Planned times as position (sub-project name and description in receipt)
- Book non-billed times as a total (times in description text)
- Unbilled times as individual items (with details of the sub-project)
- Unbilled times as individual items (without specifying sub-project)
If, in addition, the hourly rate at which billing is to be carried out has already been specified in the sub-project, the sub-project display is preselected as an item. With a click on Save and Close, the draft of the offer opens immediately, where the description of the hourly rate article is overwritten by the sub-projects. If this is to be prevented, the second option Subproject as position (use article text) can be marked, whereby the description of the billing item is adopted unchanged.
At the bottom left there is a question about the product format, where by means of a dropdown either the numbering of the project can be transferred to the receipts or this can be excluded. If no hourly rate article has yet been specified, this can be done at this point; In this case, it should be noted that the hourly rate given refers to all sub-projects to which no hourly rate has yet been assigned. If this is a sub-project that is based on further sub-projects, the sub-project can be billed and the associated sub-projects can optionally be displayed as descriptive texts. Alternatively, the sub-projects can also appear as independent positions by selecting the option including all sub-projects as a separate position. The planned times can also appear as a position, whereby the corresponding setting can be used to differentiate between the designations of the billing article and those of the sub-project.
Receipts, liabilities, time tracking and tasks
- Receipts: All receipts can be viewed here that have ever been posted to the selected project. You can filter according to the type of document and search for a specific status or customer using the search field, for example.
- Liabilities: Liabilities associated with the project are displayed
- Time recording: All times that have been booked on the project via the time recording are listed here. Furthermore, times selected directly here can already be marked as billed, which means that they are no longer displayed as open in the dashboard.
- Tasks: On the one hand, all tasks related to the project are displayed here, on the other hand, there is also the option of creating new tasks and assigning them to an employee.
If start and release dates have been defined for the sub-projects and the sub-projects have not been specifically excluded from being displayed in the project plan, a GANTT diagram can be displayed here:
Click on the GANTT bar to open a dialog in which the main settings of the sub-project can be made. Milestones of projects can be created, named and marked with a color in the project calendar (or in the main calendar of the system). The content of a GANTT diagram can be printed out or exported as a CSV file:
The color of the bars can be set - as described above - in the dashboard for each sub-project. If the colors are not set manually, the GANTT bars (from version 19.3 on) are marked in color according to the following scheme:
- If your own color is stored in the sub-project, it is always displayed
- Open and active sub-projects that are in the past are overdue and are marked in red
- Open and active sub-projects that are within the timeframe are displayed in green
- Completed and billed sub-projects are shown in blue
- Incorrect sub-projects (e.g. if a date is missing) are marked orange
Overview of ongoing projects
From version 19.3 onwards, all projects can be displayed in an overview plan (GANTT) on the level above. Individual projects can be excluded by setting them to completed or by manually excluding them using the Hide in overview project plan option in the project settings. Click on the project name in the overview to navigate to the respective individual project plan.
In the Files tab, you can add different documents of any file format to your project by clicking on Create new file.
In the interface that appears, the desired file can either be inserted into the gray upper area using drop & drag or the relevant document can be found using Choose File. The designation of the individual documents, which is displayed in the selection field, can be customized.
For this purpose, the file keyword templates can be searched for and opened in the App Center. Then click on +NEW. The desired designation can be entered there and specified as the project module. No tick may be set for Not visible, i.e. the checkbox remains empty! In future, the new file types that have been set will then be displayed as a suggestion.