|Created:||11 Jul 2018||Updated:||25 May 2020|
How to create a new project
Creating a new project in Easy Project is really easy. You can use a template of another project for that purpose which saves the time. But first, let's take a look on how to create a project without a template. Just click on the Projects menu item on top of the page and then New project.
Then fill in the name of the project, whether it is a subproject of any existing project. Enter a description and author (if not you), inherit members (members of the parent projects will be automatically assigned to this project) and some other options as shown below. Select a currency for this project (used by Money module). Moreover, you can choose project phase, select modules, trackers and custom fields to be enabled on this project. Everything can be later edited. When done, click on the Create button down. Some of the project attributes only become available to change after the project is created, such as whether it is public (everyone can see it) or planned (no email notifications are sent).
When the project is created, you land on the project's settings page, where you can always edit the settings. Besides project's top menu (modules) and project setting categories below, you can find several options on the right side.
- Archive: Archive the project for possible later restore. You can find archived projects in More: Administration: Projects.
- Close: Closes the project, no one can add any task.
- Copy: Creates an identical copy of the project.
- New subproject: You can directly create a subproject.
- Create a template from this project: If you really want to save time, use this feature. The whole project how you've set it up with all the tasks can be saved as a template from which you can create a new project with just a few clicks. You can find project templates in More: Administration: Project templates.
If you want to create a new project from a template, click on the respective button on the project list.
Then select the desired template. Using the buttons on the right side, you can create a new project from the template, or copy the template into existing project as well as edit or delete the template.
You land on the page like this. Here you can edit the name, subproject, start date, author, and inherit options to your liking. Then just click on Create button. If you need to edit more options than available here, just create the project first and then edit them from project's settings as explained before.
Copy template into an existing project
There is an option to copy project template into any existing projects. This option copies and transfers the same data as the "Create from template" option, except for the project settings. For example, all customizable page modules on the project overview page will be overwritten as well as all data that is linked directly to the project or any of its modules. Moreover, all data (such as tasks, time entries, activities, invoicing, money...) present in the project template will be added to the target project (any existing data of the target project will not be deleted). To start the process, go to More: Administration: Project templates. On the list of templates, click right mouse button to the required one and then click on "Copy to project" as shown on the below screen.
Now there is a form that needs to be filled in. The project template has already been selected but not the target project yet. Choose it from the drop-down menu. Set start date for the project (pre-filled is today). There is a checkbox "Update task/milestone/subproject dates according to project start date", which only relates to tasks, milestones, and subprojects, nothing else. The following checkbox will change tasks' start dates accordingly. Moreover, there is a possibility to change author on all tasks by selecting him from the drop-down menu. Inherit activities, invoicing settings and money settings means that the target project will inherit all this data from his parent project (if having any). When everything is set up correctly, just click on the green button "Copy to project".
To summarize how it works:
- Completely rewritten from template - Project overview page
- Changed settings - Comments on tasks are private by default and Enable copying of task comments to parent task
- Newly created data - saved filters, wiki, milestones, task categories, tasks, members, documents, spent time, news, project status, custom project menu (modules), calculation, checklists, contacts, knowledge, budgets, budget rates priorities and test cases.
All existing data of these types on the project are kept.
Option "Update task/milestone/subproject dates according to project start date"
If the option Update task/milestone/subproject dates according to project start date is selected when creating a new project from a template, it is important that the project has specified start and due date (fields must be filled with dates) OR start and due date must be calculated from tasks. It is recommendable that all task in the project template have start and due dates as well, especially in the latter case.
Be careful, the template can lose the start and due date in case that the setting of project start and due date is changed in Administration. Case: The checkbox Calculate project start/due date from tasks is firstly selected and project templates are saved. Later on, the mentioned option for project start/due date is unchecked. That leads to the situation that project start date and due date in the template are missing.
Further explanation of Update task/milestone/subproject dates according to project start date behavior:
- counts the date difference from the original project start date in template and the manually set/pre-filled start date on the form for creation of a new project from template
- according to this difference all relevant dates are moved (e. g. milestones, start/due dates, date of creation of a task)
Start date project in template: January 1
Start date of the project from template is set to: May 1
A task in the template starts on: February 1
The same task in the new project from template start: June 1
That means that if there is no start date of the project in template, the project start day won’t move according to the start day you set for the new project from template, as you may expect.
Recommendation for data setting in project template based on consultants’ experience:
Sometimes project managers tend to create all thinkable relations among tasks in the project template with the aim to create the best copy the reality. Nonetheless, it is recommendable not to create too many relations among tasks in the template though they may all seem logical. It is better to stick only to those essential. Firstly, the project Gantt view would not be clear anyway. Secondly, it may cause troubles to move tasks in Gantt in the real project.
Close project possibilities
When finishing the project, you have the following options available in the context menu of any project under Administration > Projects:
1) Close the project
The closed project is read-only, nobody can change anything in the project. Only people with the permission "Close / reopen the project" can reopen. The project is still visible in the project list in the menu (for all former project members). Spent time reports still include time spent on this project. When to use? When you need to access the project easily for lessons learned. Because of spent time reports
2) Archive the project
The archived project is accessible only for admin. Admin can Unarchive the project. The project is not visible in the project list but can be found under Administration > Projects > filter for Archived. Only spent time entries can be seen on this project, any other information is hidden. When to use? For a project that you no longer need to access, but do not want to lose the data completely
- You create a template with the "following" relation between 2 tasks and 0 days delay between them. The first task ends on Friday and, for that reason, the following task starts on the next working day - on Monday. Now you want to create a new project from that template and because of the different time frame, the first task ends on Tuesday. Now the second task should start again on the next working day - on Wednesday but it starts on Friday because of the weekend that was between the two tasks in the template.
- Unfortunately, there is no algorithm, that would be able to determine whether the original delay was during the weekends, and which would be modified when creating a new project.
- When you have the option "Has custom menu?" enabled and want to activate or deactivate a module on the project, first you need to untick the custom menu. Then set up the modules you want and save. Finally, you can enable the custom menu once again (see below).
- If project modules (such as News, Documents, Gantt, Kanban...) are added to a project overview page using the "Customise this page" button and a project member sets them as disabled in project modules setting, these modules either disappear from the project overview page or show no data.
When project start dates are calculated from tasks (this can be configured in Administration > Settings > Project > tick the checkbox "Calculate start date from tasks")...
...then Start date of existing project templates is defined by:
1) earliest start date of a task in the template
2) earliest start date of any task in a milestone that is shared with all projects
For example, you have a project template that contains tasks starting from 1st May to 31st May. You think that the calculated start date of the template is 1st May. However, the application contains a milestone shared for all projects and that milestone contains a task in a different project with start date 1st January. So this is the real start date of the template. When creating a real project from this template, you are setting a new start date and calculating all dates according to the new start date.
In this example, all data from the template will be moved by difference "11th May - 1st January" and not by difference "11th May - 1st May" as one would expect. In the light of this behaviour, please do not to use milestones that are shared for all projects if you are using project templates this way. It will cause dates of the tasks in the created project to be shifted very dramatically.
When creating a project template, it is strongly recommended that the template does not contain any task allocations (i.e. tasks assigned to particular users). If a template contains task allocations, these tasks will automatically be assigned to the users in Resource management with real projects. It may result in users' overload as well as issues with incorrect displaying of daily workload per such users in Resource Management.
If a project is created from a template and one of the options "Update task/milestone/subproject dates according to the project start date" and "Set all tasks' start dates by start date of the project" is selected, it may happen that tasks will be created with start date or due date on the weekends or holidays. Also if the template itself does not have a filled start date, none of these options will do anything.
Setting a specific start date in a project from a template does not lead to a time shift of subprojects relative to the parent project, only the tasks themselves are shifted in time. Therefore, when you set the start date of the project in the form, this date is set for all projects included in the template (parent project + subprojects). So, if you want subprojects to jump off adequately, you won't do that this way. To solve this situation, uncheck the option "Update task/milestone/subproject dates according to project start date" and the project will be created in the sequence you want. Then move the project in the global Gantt chart to the date when it should start. This will also shift all sub-projects accordingly.
A parent task cannot be changed inside a project template using the standard template edit mode. To make the change, create a new project using the template, make the required parent task change on that project and then save the project as a template again.
When a new project is created from the copy of an existing project including tasks linked to milestone(s) belonging to that project (or shared with the project), the new project will get the identical copy of the milestone(s), however, links between tasks and milestones cannot be copied and, therefore, they need to be recreated manually.