Reviewing your Project Templates
Once you have the Project Templates you require in your Xeppo portal, the next step is to review and customise them to meet your needs, plus ensure everything is optimised for both yourself and other staff to work efficiently.
In this article we will cover:
- Tips for reviewing your Project Templates
- Configuring notifications for your practice
- Enabling push notification for staff
- Building views for your activities for individual users and team
- Testing your templates
Locating your Templates
To get started in reviewing templates in your Xeppo portal, go to the Activities App then Projects > Search Projects. From there, select the Views (button) > Project Templates.
To review each template, simply select the View button next to it. We recommend holding down the ctrl key on your key board when making your selection, that way the template will open in a new tab and you can easily come back to your list of templates at any time.
If you want to maintain the original template and create a copy, you can select Save As Template. It would be recommended to adjust the Topic and Description on the applicable templates to ensure you can easily select the correct template at a later point in time. Note that the Save As Project option is used to create / kick off a project using the template you are in.
For each project template, check that the Roles under Configuration > Participants, are reflective of the staff roles that your practice would need to assign tasks to for the project. If not, you can make changes as required using the Edit, Delete or Add Participant options on this page. See Related Settings below to ensure you have the Roles available that you require and other configurations.
Related Settings - Participants/Roles, Key Firm Contacts, Teams
In Xeppo, there are other settings that impact project roles. Make sure the following areas are configured to maximise your workflow automation:
- If you need to add, edit or delete the Roles available for selection in the configuration section of your template, go to Activities App > Admin > Settings > Project Roles. In this area, each Role Name should also be mapped to a Key Firm Contact Type where possible.
- In Xeppo, check your Key Firm Contacts have been mapped at Admin > Settings > Key Firm Contacts. Useful resource: Admin Settings Menu.
- If your practice works in a pooled work environment, and you will be allocating work to a Team instead of an individual, ensure your Teams are set up in Xeppo in the Admin > Teams area.
Under the Details tab you may wish to update the Topic and Description. If you make any changes, a save button will appear for you to save the updates you have made.
Under the Details tab, you can also add a Project Value here if there is a standard or average value attached to the project, this is optional and can be edited in individual projects where it may vary.
If your practice is utilising Time Tracking, you can also enter the Estimated Duration here for the entire project, although it is more common to have the Estimated duration against each activity which we will cover later in this article. If you would like to know more about Time Tracking, please see Time Tracking - Capture Time in Xeppo.
High-level Review of the Project's Activities
Using either the Project or Overview tab, review the sequence of events (triggers) and titles for your activities in each stage. At this point this is just considering how the overall workflow fits with your requirements.
If this doesn't quite fit the way you want your workflow to function, this is a good opportunity to think about the points below prior to reviewing the detail within each activity. Please consider:
- Additional activities/tasks you may wish to add
- Any tasks which are not relevant
- If you need to adjust any of the triggers / sequence of activities
- The staff role, staff member or team who would be responsible to complete each task
- Specific documents to be used/generated
Once you have a high level view of how you want your workflow to function, it's time to dive into the finer detail!
Review and Edit Activities
Review each activity by clicking on the activity tile or selecting the Edit function from the dropdown.
Below is an overview to help you understand what to review under each of the tabs in an individual activity. It's important that you review each activity and alter it to suit the needs of your practice.
The Edit tab
Generally this would remain as Task but can be changed if needed.
The default is set to Normal but can be changed to Low or High Priority if required.
Adjust the Title if required.
Category and Subcategory
The Category and Subcategory can be changed using the available options. If you need to change the options available this can be done by going to Activities App > Admin > Settings > Activity Categories. Here you can add, edit and delete the activity categories that are available for selection.
The description should reflect your operational procedures. The best practice templates have guide text, read this carefully and adjust as required. There may be references to merging documents, specific ways of filing documents, etc. This can all be customised to meet your needs.
This will only be visible if Time Tracking is enabled for your practice, and you have the relevant user permissions. You may choose to have an estimated time that this task would ordinarily take to complete. Ultimately in a live project you can then track the actual time to complete the activity. For more information on time tracking see Time Tracking - Capture Time in Xeppo.
Choose who will be assigned this task to complete, will it be assigned to a Role dedicated to the project or a specific User or Team. Use the radio button to toggle between Role and User/Team. Whichever you select, double check the other is set to "Unassigned".
This determines when the activity will become Open for work to start on it. You can choose to have the activity automatically open when a stage has commenced, or another activity is marked as completed. For activities that do not need to open automatically, this can be set to None. Be aware if you select None, the activity will sit as pending until manually commenced.
Start Delay (Days)
When an activity is automatically triggered, you can delay the activity from opening immediately by a specific number of days.
Due Delay (Days)
Setting a specific number of days for the activity to be completed, will ensure your projects keep moving as Xeppo will automatically calculate the due date for an activity, based on when it was triggered. This in turn, will change the activity status from Open to Overdue when your project is in action and the due date has been reached.
Once you have made your changes, ensure you select Save before going on to review the other tabs.
The Actions Tab
An Action can be configured to automatically trigger when an activity is either Completed, Started or Cancelled. When the project is in action, this will prompt the user to perform the configured Action such as
- Merge Document - eg, generate/send a Pre-Appointment Questionnaire
- Create a Project - eg, start the SOA process or archive a client, or
- Create an Activity - eg, complete a file note against the group or client
Our default templates do have Actions on some, but not all, activities. You will need to review whether these should be maintained, edited or deleted.
To review or edit an existing trigger, select the Configure button to view the full detail and make any changes you require. For example, you may want to point to different merge documents or link it to a different project, change text in or recategorise activities that will trigger.
Where the action is to merge a document, the document that is generated is maintained in your Formstack account. When testing this out of Xeppo, you can put it into test mode so that the testing doesn't get counted in your monthly merge limit allowance.
If the action is not relevant for your practice and you would like to remove it, simply select the Delete button next the action you would like to remove. Of course you can add additional actions as required too.
Your description on the edit tab should also reflect any associated actions that will trigger. This will ensure your staff understand what actions they should complete under which circumstance.
Notes, Documents and Time Tabs
These tabs are not relevant to setting up your template, but may be relevant for active projects.
Add a New Activity
To add an extra activity into your template, select Add Activity in the stage that you want to add the activity to.
Once you have configured your new activity, including the trigger, refresh your browser page so the your stage flow / sequence views are updated.
Delete an Activity
To delete an activity, select the Delete function from the dropdown.
If another Activity has a dependency on the one you are trying to delete, Xeppo will not let you delete it and you will receive an error message. You can quickly identify other activities that are dependent upon the one you're trying to delete, from either the Stage Flow on the left hand side of the Projects tab, or by using the Overview tab. You will need to change the trigger of the dependent activities before Xeppo will allow you to delete. This is a safeguard measure to ensure that your project won't "fall over" if an activity is removed that is needed to trigger something else.
Testing your Template
Now that you've reviewed your template, it's time to take it for a spin! Find a test client in your portal (or Create a Test Client) . Kick off the project you have reviewed against the client. Assign you participants before changing the Project to Active. Go through completing each activity, checking that activities are being triggered as expected and assigned correctly. Check that the Actions on applicable activities are functioning as expected.
Review what staff will receive notifications for in Xeppo. To review and update go to the Activities App > Admin > Notifications. Use the toggles to switch the notifications on or off. These settings affect all users, and cannot be altered for individual users.
Enable Push Notifications
Push notifications allow a user to register to a device, enabling them to receive certain notifications, even when they're not logged in. Each user will need to enable their own push notifications from the devices and browsers they regularly use.
To get started, log into Xeppo from the device and browser you wish to register. Go to the My Account Menu (your name) > Push Notifications. Select Manage Current Device if your device is not already listed, and then use the toggles to turn on push notifications for yourself, then Save Changes.
Repeat on other devices and browsers you use. For more information, including what notifications you will receive Push Notifications for, see Set up Push Notifications for more information.
Building Views to Work Efficiently
So you can proactively manage your work, it is essential that you have a personal view saved in the Activities App. You can set this as a default, meaning that when you go into the Activities App, the first screen that appears. If you have activities that are assigned to a Team rather that a Role or individual User, you will also need to have the appropriate team views available for staff.
Creating a Personal View
To create your personal view, most users want to see their activities, ordered by what is first due. See the suggested Filter and Display options below to help you get started.
Once you are happy with your view, use the Save As function. It is recommended to have a view of your activities as your default view, then you will see this first when you go into the Activities App. See Create a Default View for Incomplete Activities for more information.
Creating a Team View
If you are assigning activities to a team, you will need to have saved search views available for the teams so staff can manage activities assigned to their team. To do this, build, save and share a view, to show Activities assigned to a team, but not to a user. See the suggested Filter and Display options below to help you achieve this.
When you are happy with the view, use the Save As function. If you are a Practice Admin in Xeppo, you will be able to create the team views required and then share this with other staff. This is much more time effective and provides assurance that teams have the views they need to work effectively. To share a view so other staff have it available to them under the Views menu, go to Views > Manage.
Once a view has been created for each team, all users will be able to access the team views from the Views menu, showing them the pool of activities allocated to their team, but not assigned to a staff member. Activities can then be picked up and assigned to the appropriate person.