Since we are in the final testing stages for AceProject 4.5, I thought I
would show you how easy it is to work with project templates in
Once we start using a project management tool, as more and more projects are created and completed, a need arises for project templates, also called master projects.
It's very useful to be able to import another project's structure into the new project: no need to reconfigure task groups, statuses, priorities, etc. However, once we have that, wouldn't it be nice to also be able to import the template project's documents as well?
And what about tasks? For repetitive projects, it saves a lot of time if you can avoid recreating the same tasks. Once you've imported the template project's tasks, you may want to adjust the task date according to the project dates, so the first task starts on the same day as the project, and so on.
That was the easy part.
Now comes the real challenge: it would be interesting to be able to dinamically connect a project structure to its template. This way, if you change a task status in the project master, it's also changed in the projects attached to that master. But what if you want to disconnect the project from its master? And what if you want to start from a project template, and adapt it to that specific project?
This whole project template business is becoming sophisticated. The easy way out would be to make project templates complicated and hard to use.
Project templates with AceProject
In AceProject, we've made project templates quite simple. Any project can be a template, simply by checking a box called "Project Template" in the project configuration page. There is nothing else to do to make a project template.
Once you want to use this template, you can choose how much of the template you need to import: only the structure (task groups, statuses, types and priorities), the project documents, and tasks. Again, a simple checkbox will tell AceProject to adjust task dates based on the new project's dates.
With AceProject 4.5, we introduce parent/child project relationships.
Do you want your new project's structure to be dynamically linked to its Parent project? Then simply check the box called Link with.
When you change something in the parent project, it will be reflected in its child projects automatically. This helps you maintain a standardized way to manage and structure projects.
Change your mind?
Now all is fine and good, until you realize you want this project to work differently from the Parent project. Maybe you want to add task groups that are specific to the new project. Disconnecting a child project from its parent is just as easy as it was to connect it in the first. You simply click a button called Remove Link… and you're done!
That's what I call easy templates
No hassle. No complicated wizard. Just a project template.
AceProject 4.5 is coming out in April 2008, and I can't wait to show it off 🙂