Synergy product update — 10 December 2018

December 9th, 2018

Our product update for December includes enhancements to the forecasting and resourcing features, updates to the work breakdown and budget functions, and an update to the accounting add-on connections.

NEW — Planning board (where we group project planning, revenue forecasting, resource planning)

Introducing the planning board (formerly labelled ‘forecasting’ in the navigation menu). This change brings enhancements to the project planning, resource planning and revenue forecasting trio. These three functions are intrinsically — and now literally — linked. This update gives you improved insight into your budgets, resources and revenue and adds filters to show project manager and project number as search parameters.

A big change to the user experience is the locking. We now deliberately allow the budget and work breakdown structure to be edited in planning mode, and read-only (locked) in delivery mode.

This update also brings significant performance improvements.

Project planning

The project planning function is all about streamlining your work to help you be more effective.  We looked carefully at how our customers work — the resulting design update binds a project to its stages and links the project fee, budget and resourcing.

When you change any of the fee, budget or resourcing in planning mode, the other two will change automatically.

In delivery mode, we lock the budget and work breakdown structure to prevent accidental changes which would cause your budget vs actuals report to be incorrect.

If the budget and/or work breakdown must be edited, you can still do that in the respective sections of Synergy. Editing access can be managed in the security matrix.

What else is new in the planning board:

  • Overallocation signal — the resource allocation ‘donut’ shows red at 105 percent
  • Team builder — a new menu to manage the teams working on specific projects (Enterprise only)
  • Elastic planning — the duration of a project and its stages can be extended or reduced depending on your clients’ requirements (Enterprise only)

Revenue forecasting (Enterprise only)

In this release, we’ve refined the role of forecasting and given it more clarity in forecasting revenue. This feature enables you to make highly educated, data-informed ‘guesses’ about your future revenue and cash flow.

You can now also see forecast totals per month and how your business is stacking up against targets.

Resource planning (Enterprise only)

Enhancing resource planning further, you can also visualise your employees’ capacity easily with the newly designed rows that show when an employee is under or over allocated or optimally utilised. The totals row at the foot of the resource planning screen shows the number of hours a specific resource (aka person) is allocated to projects per week, and up to one year into the future.

UPDATED — Work breakdown

The work breakdown has changed to be in a read-only state when a project is in delivery mode. This prevents accidental changes being made to your project when it is underway. The filters have been simplified to show the stages that are in the active or proposal status.

UPDATED — Budget

  • Apply negative values to a lump sum — useful if you need to discount.
  • A new budget line – ‘contingency’. This is used to ensure the budget matches the fee and ensures you can’t set a negative overall budget.
  • Edit the budget screen in planning mode and see the changes apply to your fee and resources. This feature is not applied when you switch to delivery mode.
  • When in delivery mode, the budget is also set to read-only to make sure you don’t accidentally change it (you can still edit it in the budget screen).
  • Now you can update your resources to be calculated from the budget — even in delivery mode.
  • When a rate is updated, you will see these changes in the budget in planning mode. The budget is not updated with the new rates when in delivery mode.

UPDATED — Xero, QuickBooks Online, MYOB add-ons

Keep track of your clients’ payments more closely. When payments are imported into Xero, QuickBooks Online or MYOB, the export date now looks at the payment date and not the invoice date.

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