Parent Project Overview
SapphireOne Parent Project functionality can be used when any costs and / or income needs to be consolidated and tracked across a group of Child Job Projects. A Parent Project may be created at any time and individual Child Job Projects can be assigned to it as they are created.
The primary purpose of a Parent Project is to provide a consolidated view of all Budgets, Costs & Billings, Risks and Progress across a group of Children that are assigned to a Parent. It should be noted that the consolidated view of these items from the Parent Project is for viewing only. Any modifications or additions can be made within the appropriate Child Job Project.
Child Job Projects may be considered as any operation or group of operations pertaining to the management of a business related task. Child Job Projects management software provides a set of integrated features that allow an organisation to collect, track and analyse business activities and profitability across Job Projects of any scale.
The Child Job Project functionality typically includes tools that allow for the agreed upon time frames, planning, quoting, budgeting and billing, as well as the management of inventory, resources, documents and digital assets, activities, allocation of plant assets, Clients and Vendors. Retention management is also a key component of Job Projects for both Vendor and Clients, where a fixed amount or percentage and release date is mutually agreed upon at the commencement of the Job Project.
Data visualisation tools using a Parent Project can assist with interpreting multiple factors of large data sets. One example of such a tool is a Gantt Chart which is integrated into both Child Job Projects as well as the Parent Project, where it displays a graph of tasks against time to assist with all the Child Job Projects time management. This helps to ensure goals are achieved throughout all of the Child Job Project life cycles and ultimately results in profitability. The Risk Register assessment tools merged into a Parent Job Project can also be utilised towards this end by providing a repository to capture all identified threats and opportunities relating to all of the Child Job Projects for consideration.
An example for a grouping of Job Projects under a Parent Project could be a housing development of a number of houses. In this scenario, all of the Job Projects would become Child Job Projects for each individual house, and the Parent Job Project would be the entire housing development encompassing all of the houses.
As each individual house is commenced and then set up as a Child Job Project, the tracking of Budgets, Costs & Billing, Resources, Risk and overall Progress is performed by SapphireOne. Once the Child Job Projects are linked to a Parent Project, the Parent then takes the data from all of the Child Job Projects and consolidates it. This provides the user with an overarching outlook of the group of Child Job Projects in their entirety. This allows for better monitoring and assessment of the Job Project lifecycle across multiple Job Projects.
Hierarchical Layout for Parent Job Projects and Child Job Projects
In the example hierarchy above, a housing development would be the Parent Job Project and each individual house would be a Child Job Project. Task Headers could be stages in the construction of each house. The individual Tasks would then provide itemisation of the costing, billings and time frame of the activities (labor) and Inventory (stock) assigned to them as follows.
- Activities and Inventory items – These must all have a Cost and a Price which is entered at the Task level.
- Costing and Billing – These are added at the Task level. Task level details consolidate in the Task Header, then to the Child Job Project and finally through to the Parent Job Project if a Parent has been set up.
- Job Projects – (Child) These may be setup without a Parent Job Project if necessary.
- Tasks – These may be setup directly below a Job Project.
- Task Headers – These may be set up under a Child Job Project, to group a series of Tasks, providing an additional level of planning, reporting and consolidation.
Working backwards, at the Task level reporting can be done on each task with a completion target entered by each resource performing an activity. A group of tasks can then be reported on at the Task Header level. Task Headers are consolidated at the Child Project level and as per our example, each individual house would be a Child Job Project.
Finally, by looking at the Parent Job Project a user can see how the entire Job Project (the housing development) is performing as a whole. Cost and Billing can be assessed throughout each level of the Job Project and any problems reported and monitored using the Risk Management function.
All inquiry screens have the option to Customise the list of items that are displayed on page. The Custom Inquiry Option allows you to select the data fields that are displayed, and the order in which the columns of data are displayed across the screen. While a list of clients has been used to demonstrate this here, any type of inquiry may be customised within SapphireOne.
The list below is the Standard Inquiry list.
When the ‘Swap to Custom Inquiry‘ button in the lower left hand corner of the screen is selected SapphireOne will display the default Custom Screen as seen below. This Custom List screen gives the user user two main options when organising the order that the data is displayed:
- To add or remove the data field columns that are displayed on screen. To add or remove a column, go to the ‘Setup’ button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Within the Setup screen you can right click on the column lines and select from Delete, Move Left or Move Right. Further information on the Setup screen is documented below.
- To change the order in which the data field Columns are displayed. To change the order of the columns, go to the ‘Setup’ button in the bottom right corner of the screen. Within the Setup screen you can right click on the column lines and select from Delete, Move Left or Move Right. Further information on the Setup screen is documented below.
Once the user has customised the Custom Inquiry screen, the screen view will become unique to the user and each time the user logins they will be shown the same custom view. The user also has the option to select and save unlimited custom views. This can be done in the ‘Setup’ screen as documented below.
The Inquiry screen below is the initial Custom Inquiry screen which may be modified by the user.
Custom Inquiry Screen ‘Setup’ Function
To commence setting up your Customised List screen, select the Setup button as seen above. The Setup screen will be displayed as seen below.
From this screen the user is able to add and remove columns of data as required. Almost every field within the SapphireOne data tables is able to be included in the Custom List screen if the user is authorised.
There are a number of menu items across the top of the screen. These are as follows:
- Reset to Default – Selecting this button will set the display back to default as determined by SapphireOne. When a new data field is selected SapphireOne will add it to the right hand side of the columns of data. You can then click on the field heading and drag it to wherever you want across the screen.
- Show Related Record – You can also add related fields from other tables. Clicking on the checkbox at the top of the screen, allows you to choose a related record and a mini view of the related record for the chosen record will be displayed for the currently selected record. You will need to select the fields displayed.
- Favourite Set – You can use this option at the top left of the screen to save a custom created screen for later use. For example, you can have a simplistic Inquiry screen for general use, and a more complex screen view when auditing certain information.
When first Looking or Modifying a Parent Project Inquiry the Details page is the first page the user is presented with. The user can change the Page they are viewing by navigating to the Page drop-down menu on the left hand side of the SapphireOne Toolbar.
Very little data is actually entered into a Parent Project. The only data input required is to set up the Parent. It should be noted that in a Parent Project this is the only Page that data entry is required. All of the data on the Child Project, Gantt chart, Risk and Action Pages are all drawn from the Child Job Projects that are linked to a Parent Project.
Planning ahead is recommended before creating the Parent and Child Job Project ID’s. If you create your Child Job Projects first, consider the ID’s that will be using for them in future. Then set up a plan to have Parent Project ID’s as well.
The Project area is where the basic details about the Parent Project are entered and then Viewed.
This area displays basic information about the Parent Project such as the ID, Description, Area and Class.
- ID – Enter in an ID for the new Parent Project. Remember this ID may not be re-used
- Description – Enter in a Description or Name for the Job Project. Unlike the ID above, the Parent Project name may be altered at any time.
- Company – SapphireOne will enter in a Company ID automatically based on the company that the user has logged in to
- Department – This is an optional field as the entry of a department is dependent on a number of factors. For example one factor might be if Parent Project reports are to be generated at the department level.
- Class – All Job Projects may be assigned to a Class. This enables additional Searching, and Reporting for Parent Projects within the assigned class. For example, reporting a Profit & Loss or Balance Sheet by Class.
- Area – This field’s drop down menu is customisable. It allows the user to create a drop down list to select from for any desired purpose.
- Active Checkbox – SapphireOne will by default set the Active checkbox as active, and also enter in the date that this Parent Project was created and by who immediately to the right of it.
- Document Paperclip – Clicking on the Paperclip will display the Document Management dialog box. See below for details.
SapphireOne Document Management System (DMS) includes a Paper Clip icon on all data entry and inquiry screens and allows users to attach relevant documents or files to every transaction or record. Additionally, every data entry and inquiry screen within SapphireOne also contains a separate Page specifically for managing documents related to the transaction i.e. version control.
The red colour of the paper clip indicates that there are currently no documents attached to this transaction. When a document has been attached, the paperclip will turn green and the word Items will be prefixed by the number of documents currently attached to this transaction or record.
SapphireOne Document Management functionality can store any type of file or document, and an infinite number of documents may be stored for an unlimited amount of time. Examples of types of documents include Adobe Acrobat, Spreadsheet Documents, Word Processor Documents, Photo Files, JPEG, CSV, HEIF, MP4 files.
Within SapphireOne Master Defaults, there are settings available for the user to restrict the size of each individual document, and also to select where the documents are to be stored – within the data file itself or in a seperate folder. These options may be altered by going to Utilities > Controls > Master Defaults > System Page. Within the Documents area in the right hand corner of SapphireOne Page, there is a provision for the user to set the ‘Document Size Limit’ (the default size is 10Mb). There are also two radio buttons where the user can select ‘Store with Data File’ as part of the data file, and ‘Store as Files’ seperate to the data file.
To attach a document to a transaction, select either the or Paperclip icon and the following Document List window will be displayed.
How to Attach Documents Using SapphireOne Paperclip
Documents can be attached using SapphireOne Drag & Drop functionality. To use this functionality, simply drag a document from the local computer into the Document List screen and it will append automatically. If SapphireOne detects that the document name already exists, a pop-up will be displayed alerting the user. Alternatively, the user can also select the Plus icon to select a document to upload from the local computer.
Once a document has been attached, the user has the ability to rename any document by right clicking on the file and selecting Rename as seen above. Renaming documents will ensure that document names remain consistent across all records.
- Open – When the button is selected, SapphireOne will open the currently selected document for viewing.
- Update – When the button is selected, SapphireOne will display a pop-up which asks the user if they want to Import a New Version of the currently highlighted document. This functionality allows users to update and keep records of different versions of the same document. When the new version has been selected, the user will be asked to enter in a new version number. The new version will now be the document available, and all previous versions will be recorded and available within the History area of Document List screen. The new version of the document will still be linked to any transactions that the old version was.
- Scan – When the Scan button is selected, SapphireOne will access a local or network scanner, and following the usual prompts allows the user to scan a document directly into the data file and link it to the transaction. The appropriate scanner with software must be installed on the local machine or network.
- Save – The Save button allows the user to save the currently highlighted document to the disk.
- Link Documents – The Link Document button allows the user to link the currently highlighted document to another transaction or multiple transactions in the data file. A pop-up will be displayed allowing the user to make their selection. You can learn more about Linked Documents in the Links Area documented below.
- Link Existing Documents – The Link Existing Documents button allows the user to link an existing document in the data file to this transaction or record. A pop-up will be displayed allowing the user to make their selection from a list of documents. You can learn more about Linked Documents in the Links Area documented below.
- Delete – The Delete button when selected will delete the currently highlighted document.
- Plus – When the Plus button is selected SapphireOne will display a search function allowing the user to select a document that is currently on the local computer.
When a document is selected within the Documents area, the Details area will automatically populate to display additional information about the document, including the Title of the document and the Type of file.
The Notes area is for entering any notes related to the document. The user can select the green clock icon to create a time and date stamp for every note added.
The Notes area will also keep an automatic user log when any changes are made to the document. For example, if the document is renamed or new links are created. SapphireOne will record the date, time and user that made the modifications.
Document Details Area
The Document Details area contains additional information relating to the selected document, and will automatically populate when a document is selected from the list. This includes the date and time the document was appended, the document number and the user who added the document.
The History area displays a record of the complete version history of the selected document. SapphireOne keeps track of all version changes and will automatically display the documents history within this area.
The History area will automatically update as new versions of the document are imported when selecting the Update button . When a new document version is imported, all previous versions of the document will be recorded and available to view within the History area. This enables the user to always view the most recently updated version of the document, however still keep a complete record of the document history.
Updating a Document
The procedure for updating a document is as follows.
- When the update button is selected the user will be asked to confirm they would like to import a new version.
- Upon confirmation the user will then be asked to choose the updated document to open.
- Upon selection a secondary dialogue will prompt the user for the entry of an alphanumeric value for the new version.
- Select OK.
The Links area is used to link documents to particular areas or transactions within SapphireOne. The links area can also be used to view all linking information related to the document. For example, if the document was imported using a function with SapphireOne, the links area will have a line containing this linking information.
To add in additional links to a document, select the document and then select the Link Document icon. The Files pop up window will be displayed. From the File drop down menu, select what you want to link this document to. Then within the Value data entry field, enter in the details (ID). As this data entry field has a blue background, it is user searchable by entering the wildcard ‘?’ or ‘@’ symbols.
Document Management using SapphireOne Documents Inquiry
As well as SapphireOne Document Management Paperclip functionality, SapphireOne Documents Inquiry function within SapphireOne Workbook Mode gives users the ability to view a repository of all documents and files stored within the SapphireOne data file. Users have the ability to add New documents, Modify, View or Delete existing documents from within the Documents Inquiry screen.
Any revisions made to a document within the Documents Inquiry screen will be updated across all areas that the document is linked to across SapphireOne, and similarly any modifications made to documents within the SapphireOne Paperclip Document List window will be reflected within the Documents Inquiry window. For example, if a document is renamed within a transaction Paperclip Document List screen, the document name will also be reflected when viewing the document in the Document Inquiry screen.
You can learn more about SapphireOne Documents Inquiry functionality within the Documents Inquiry article.
As an example, we have an inventory item with documents attached (installation instructions and a packing checklist amongst others). We add this inventory item to a sales order, manufacture, ship, completely finish the job. One year later we might have a revision of this inventory item along with all the Documents (DMS). Understandably, we don’t want to have to make a whole new inventory item for the revision, just update the DMS that are attached. We update the inventory item with all the new documents, ready for the next sale. When we refer back to the original completed Sales Client Invoice or Job Projects Client Invoice, we will we see the documentation as it was when the Job Project, Sales Client Invoice or Job Projects Client Invoice was completed, or the documents as they are now. In the example above where we have elected to produce an Order Client Invoice (OCI) with the current installation instructions and packing checklist. This will automatically flow into the finished Sales Client Invoice once the OCI has been delivered.
In the example above we have both the current and historical documents attached. As a SapphireOne user has the ability to edit the list and if they choose not to store the historical document and simply select the Minus button and they can delete the historical document. We also have the ability to modify the existing dociument keeping a log file of each and every time the document has been revised.
SapphireOne’s implementation of both Dictation (MacOS) and Speech to Text (Windows) is a game changer for anybody doing data entry within SapphireOne. Any data entry field that the user can type into using a keyboard, they can use this feature.
They can also use this functionality on all inquiry screens within SapphireOne. For example, the user is in a Contact within a Client and they have just made a phone call to that particular client using the Softphone technology, this will automatically date and time stamp the contact and the phone number you called to. As soon as the call is completed or finished, the user has the ability to use the Speech to Text (Windows) function or Dictation (MacOS) function and dictate into the memo field of the CRM contact, adding as much description as they require.
This functionality applies across every single Data Entry screen. For example, if the user is entering a Vendor Invoice (VI) and they want to add a memo within the Vendor Invoice (VI), the user can simply dictate the memo. Another example is if the user wants to add additional lines to the General Ledger account, within each General Ledger account when the user is completing data entry using a General Ledger, there’s always a unique memo field for each General Ledger account line, the user can utilise this feature to quickly add the information they need to add. Additionally, if you’ve got an interview with an employee and after the interview process is completed the user is able to make notes about the employee.
Speech to Text or Dictation is an extremely powerful tool and it’s something that we at SapphireOne as well as our clients utilise daily. It is a massive timesaver.
The Grouping Area displays a number of Tags which may be customised by the user. The Grouping Area includes three tags, which are by default named: Tag, Tag2 and Tag3. The user may go to Utilities > Controls > Master defaults > Job Projects Page and rename the Tag headings as required. There is also a provision for the linking of a Parent Job Project to this Project.
- These same three tags are also displayed as part of the details displayed when the list of Clients is on screen. The tags are mainly used for reporting and reconciling Clients details.
- When a detailed query is executed they form part of the list of Fields.
- When a Quick Report is executed they are listed as part of the Master Table and all SapphireOne report writers have these fields accessible.
- All tags can be used within the Custom Inquiry screen.
- Note that a tag of HOLD is hardwired into SapphireOne. When it is selected the transaction may not be posted until the tag status of HOLD is removed or altered to something other than HOLD.
- Most of the Tag Headings are user configurable.
- The Tag Headings may be re-named by going to:
Utilities \ Controls \ Master Defaults \ then select the appropriate functions Page
- The Tag Headings may be re-named by going to:
- All of the items in the Tag drop down lists may be created by the user.
- The drop-down menus are created by entering in an item not on the list, then (tab away). SapphireOne will ask if you want to add the new tag to the list.
- To remove a tag, hold the Control or Command key down and then select it. You will be asked if you want to remove it from the list.
You can use the Time and Date stamp to add the Time and date and make notes about your Parent Project. You can also highlight the text in the notes area and right mouse click to customise the Font, Style, Colour and Background Colour to your preference.
The user may enter any contacts that are associated with this Parent Project. The user has three options when adding or Deleting contacts for a Parent Project as follows.
- Add Button – Select the add button. SapphireOne will display the New Contact screen ready for the user to enter in the details for a new contact.
- Delete Button – Select the delete button. SapphireOne will display an alert asking for confirmation of the deletion of the selected contact.
- Import Button – Select the import button. SapphireOne will display an alert asking the user what existing contact is to be imported or linked to this Parent Project.
- These contacts may be selected from the following Items in a drop down list with the following items on it. Clients, Vendors, Job Projects,Employees,Assets, Contacts or Client and Vendor Addresses.
- Once a selection is from the drop-down list and the ‘@’ or ‘?’ symbol is entered into the data entry field SapphireOne will display a list of Contacts to choose from.
Child Project Page
Project Parent Area
This area contains the Parents Project ID and Description of the Parent Project.
Overview Costings and Billing Areas
This area displays all Costings and Billings that have been auctioned against all Child Projects that are linked to this Parent Project. SapphireOne will consolidate all Costings and Billings into the fields for ALL Child Projects in the list below this area. There are no active data entry fields in this area as all data is entered through the Child Projects that are linked to this Parent Project.
Task Costing area values are consolidated at the task header level. Task header costings are consolidated at the Child Project level, and Child Project Costings are consolidated here at the Parent Project level once it has been setup.
- Estimate Column – The Estimate column is for tweaking budget values.
- Note that the values entered here do not update the budgeted values.
- To do this the user must update the amounts allocated within the Inventory and Activities assigned to the task.
- Budget Column – The values displayed here are derived from the amounts allocated to Activities and Inventory items assigned to the task.
- Actual Column – The amounts displayed here are the actual costs incurred by the task.
- These are derived from posted time sheets, posted purchase vendor invoices (PVI) or posted stock allocations (JGJ).
As with costs, billing values for project resources are entered at the task level as Activities or Inventory in the Costing & Planning page. These values are summarised in the Billing area of the Task window. Task Billing area values are consolidated at the Task Header level, Task Header billing values are consolidated at the Child Project level, Child Project billing values are consolidated in the Parent Project.
- Estimate Column – The Estimate column is for tweaking budgeted values
- The values entered here do not update the budgeted values. To do this the user must update the amounts allocated within the Inventory and Activities assigned to the task.
- Budget Column – The values displayed here are derived from the amounts allocated to Activities and Inventory items assigned to the task.
- Actual Column – The amounts displayed here are the actual billed amounts assigned to the task. These values are assigned when a sales client invoice (SCI) or a Job Project Invoice (JCI) is posted.
Child List Area
Any Child Projects linked to the Parent Project will be displayed in the list in this area. To display or modify this information the user can select a Child Project for modification and proceed to the Planning and Quote Page. Depending on the level of consolidation the user may do any of the following:
- Highlight the Child Project, then either double click or right click and select Modify. SapphireOne will do a query for the selected Job Project and display it in a list containing the selected Job Project only.
- Double click on the Child Project and SapphireOne will open it as normal ready for viewing or modification.
- Go down to the Planning / Quote page for the Child Project selected.
- Highlight a Task Header right click and select Modify Task. SapphireOne will display costing and billing for all tasks under the selected task header.
- Highlight a Task right click and select Modify Task and the costing and billing will only be displayed for the task as selected.
Gantt Chart Page
The Gantt chart provides users with a visual representation of the project schedule and how the project is performing against budget. To display this page go to Job Projects > Job Projects > Job Project Inquiry > Gantt Chart.
- Each Header Task consolidates the duration’s and status of all tasks assigned to it.
- Milestones are displayed in red for easy identification.
- The user can rearrange columns to suit their purpose and edit each task as required.
The Risk page allows the user to capture all identified threats and opportunities relating to the Parent Project for consideration.
This page of a Parent Project does not have the ability to create any risk documents. Any risks are entered through the Individual Child Projects and will then be displayed on the Risks Page on the Parent Project. Once displayed in the list it may then be double clicked on to View or Modify as normal. It can be found by going to Job Projects > Job Projects > Parent Project Inquiry > Risk.
- The user can not add or remove Risk entries from a Parent Project Inquiry so the Plus and Delete buttons are not displayed.
- Each Risk record registers the type, category, proximity, date registered and description of the risk.
- Additionally, it allows the user to assign an appropriate response, a risk owner and risk actionees.
- An event history can be maintained and actions assigned to track status and manage risks.
Actions may also be stored in the Parent Project. Actions stored here in the Parent are separate to actions stored in any of the Children.
- Delete Action button – To delete an action select an action then select the delete button. An alert will be displayed asking for confirmation of the deletion.
- Add Action button – To add an action select the add button. The new action screen will be displayed as seen below ready for data entry.
- Query Button – If there are a number of actions selecting the Query Button will tell SapphireOne to display the advanced find function which allows the user to entry in criteria to search for a specific action.
The Action Page is a seperate table that can be added to the major record and transaction tables. This includes actionable items such as Calendar Reminders, Meeting Invites, Alarms, Emails, To-Do Lists, General Notes, Private Notes, Meeting Notes with Date and Time, Start and Finish stamps plus All Day Notifications. The Action Page can be viewed as the equivalent to CRM functionality for every major Table within SapphireOne Accounting Software.
You can Add or Delete Actions . If you double click on an existing Action it will zoom in ready to modify.
- Diary Area
- Sequence – SapphireOne will automatically enter in a unique sequence number.
- Title – Enter in a title for this action.
- Type – Use the user customisable drop down menu to enter in a type. This will then form a permanent type within the drop-down.
- Action – Use the user customisable drop down menu to enter in an Action. This will then form a permanent action within the drop-down.
- User – SapphireOne will enter in the user who is creating this action although this may be altered if required.
- Private – If this check box is selected SapphireOne will only allow the User as entered to view or modify this action.
- Status – The user has three options.
- Open – Action is open and active.
- Hold – Action is active but no alarms will be active.
- Completed – Action is now Inactive and will not be displayed in any list of actions.
- Tag – A tag may be attached to an action. This will then form a permanent tag within the drop-down.
- Link – When created from a function a link to the function is automatically created by SapphireOne.
- Check List area – A user created check list for creating actions. A check box is provided so that a user can selected them off as they progress.
- Dates and Times Area:
- Start/Finish – You can set an action to have a Start and a Finish time, or select the check box for an all Day option.
- Completed – Once an action has a completed date entered it will no longer be active and displayed in any lists of actions.
- Alarm Area – An alarm can be set to email someone at a certain date and time, or send your user a reminder and/or email if the email has been entered.
- Recurring Area – If necessary the alarm may be set to at set periods established by the Type drop down menu. The recurring period may also be set by date if required.
- Notes Area – You can select the Green clock icon to add Time and Date stamps to your notes. You can also highlight the text in the Notes area and right mouse click to customise the Font, Style, Colour and Background Colour to your preference.
- Invite Attendees Area – You can invite multiple attendees to your event and keep track of if they have accepted or rejected your invite. These attendees can be notified by email if the email has been entered.