In our first product update for 2019, we have a large update to project templates, a new feature — multi office — and a series of other enhancements.
New — Multi office (Synergy Enterprise only)
Does your architecture, engineering or construction design business have more than one office? Do you run projects at a local office level? Does your business encounter peaks and troughs of work and suffer capacity issues? Can your staff only account for their time to their local office? Do you want your staff to be able to easily work on projects from different offices or have other staff work on your projects? Do you need to see local office reports as well as rolled-up reports for the whole company? Do you wish you could simply see resource availability in other offices? Is it a nightmare trying to manage all of that separately?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you need Synergy multi office.
If your organisation is lucky enough to have more than one office, then it has a huge opportunity — an opportunity that’s probably been masquerading as a headache. Managing multiple offices is not simply an accounting challenge, it’s an opportunity to do what could be looked at as outsourcing, but within your own business. It’s also sometimes called workshare, resource sharing, or, simply, collaborating. When one office has capacity to work on more projects and another is under-resourced, it benefits the customer and the business to share the workload.
Synergy multi office shows you capacity at a local office and organisation-wide level so you can solve this problem. What’s more, with project portals and cloud document sharing, Synergy provides the platform and collaboration tools to manage the critical long-distance communications challenges by keeping communication open, threaded and transparent.
Synergy multi office is also the CFO and accountant’s friend — it lets staff assign their time to the right project, regardless of the office they work in, and has financial reporting to show what time and resources were utilised from each office, and on which projects, so the organisation can manage inter-office cross-charging and reporting.
Directors, project managers and CFOs are all happy. At the same time.
How it works
Each office created in Synergy has staff assigned to it. Each office creates its own projects.
Companies with offices in different locations may have different budgets to work with. Synergy multi office streamlines this. When resources are shared between offices, one business unit is, in effect, outsourcing work to another— Synergy ensures this is accounted for and that the right business unit is recognised for the income generated for the time worked.
Project managers can filter projects by office location on the planning board or show staff by office location on the staff list. This lets project managers see resource availability on a company-wide basis, not just locally.
Click here to find out more about Synergy multi office and see an intro video.
Update — project templates (Synergy Business and Enterprise)
This release contains a major enhancement to project templates. The reason to use project templates is to very quickly set up new projects that are populated with preconfigured budget, work breakdown structure and required roles.
The reward in project templates comes from investing the time to set them up. Project templates save you time setting up new projects, sending more accurate fee proposals, and in quickly understanding your capacity to deliver a project at a given time.
With this update, applying a project template adds the project to the planning board and immediately shows capacity of the roles assigned (or, in Enterprise, the specific staff you’ve assigned to that template).
Project templates are applied to the planning board differently for Synergy Business and Synergy Enterprise as follows:
The project template contains a predefined budget, work breakdown structure, and required role types. Once you’ve applied a project template, it adds the project to the planning board, which shows the capacity of the role types you’ve assigned.
From here, it’s simply a case of dragging the project to the time when it best fits capacity and revenue, and you can adjust the start and end dates to lengthen or shorten the project — capacity and revenue forecasts are updated automatically.
In Synergy Enterprise, in addition to the functionality described for Synergy Business, the project template automatically sets the duration of your stages according to the budget and work breakdown structure. From here you can quickly adjust each stage timeline individually and assign staff according to their capacity.
The enhanced project templates offer significant time savings if you invest the time in creating project templates. Here’s a video of project templates in action:
Project template configuration
When configuring project templates, you can assign staff or role types in the work breakdown structure, in effect creating templated project teams that are ‘booked’ for each project where this template is applied. You also create a templated budget, helpful for repeatable projects.
Once applied, you can visually see capacity (by role or staff member depending on the product level and how you set up your work breakdown structure) to deliver that project on the planning board.
The benefits of using project templates are to make it faster to create projects with staff assigned, to standardise budgets and work breakdown structures across all your projects, create project Gantt charts showing capacity and revenue forecast (Business) and resource plan and revenue forecast (Enterprise). Finally, it allows you to send more accurate and consistent project fee proposals to customers and prospects.
Update — subscription payment grace period
This update means you won’t be cut off from Synergy if you forget to update your credit card details. Well, not straight away!
We now give you a 15-day grace period to solve the issue, like updating an expiry date or putting in a replacement card number. We will email you quite a few times during this period and, if not resolved by day 15, access is restricted.
To see the other updates in this release, login to Synergy, go to the help files and click ‘what’s new’.