As promised, upgrades and improvements to our Projects Module are a big part of our Q4 Priorities. Given the importance of Projects to our clients, our team has been working on improving usability and enriching the planning and reporting features of the Project module. Today we're excited to be releasing the first small piece of what we're working on - an enhancement to the Project List screen.
When you've created a Project Plan in Accelo, it is common to have Milestones which have a budgeted allocation of hours - these act as an "envelope" of budget and time in which work is done, either directly, or by carving out that time into Tasks. The time that hasn't been used or carved out into Tasks yet is known as "Unallocated" time - and managing projects successfully is a lot easier if this envelope or bucket of time is carved out into Tasks.
In the Project View screen it is shown (for now) as a grey bar in the top right of the Project Overview, but we wanted to make it easier to see the time that needed allocation from the List screen too.
As Tasks are created for Milestones, the grey Unallocated block becomes smaller and the purple "task time remaining" will grow. This Unallocated figure can also be represented as a percentage of the overall budgeted time, and it's this "Percent Unallocated" that we've added to the Project List screen to help you identify Projects which might require a closer look in terms of creating and allocating tasks.
In concert with making the Unallocated percentage more obvious, we've also made it easier to go through and create Tasks directly from the List screen now. This way, as you scan down your list of projects you can quickly create a new Task without leaving the Project List screen.
This new option is bundled into the little menu arrow on the right-hand-side of the list.
When creating the Task, you're able to choose the Milestone to associate the Task with, and if there is a rate linked to that Milestone, the task will inherit the same billable rate. If there's no Milestones yet, no worries, the Task will sit at the Project level - which could be pretty handy if you're setting up some initial planning & scoping tasks for your internal crew.
This little improvement was mostly driven from customer feedback, and it makes a lot of sense to be able to compare the value of work done on a project (Budget usage) with the value of budget that has been invoiced. Since the budget floodbar here is just the Service budget, the percentage invoiced figure is also limited to the invoiced services. However, it's worth noting that future enhancements to the Project module will allow for more flexible budgeting options - such a setting a Fixed Price that covers services, materials and expenses - so we'll adjust these list screen elements too in future.
On the right-hand-side of each project row you'll find the Log Time and Add Activity buttons given prominence as a strong encouragement for tracking your time - whether as a quick work log or when composing an email, meeting or recording a phone call in the Create Activity window.
Additional shortcuts are available under the little arrow menu - which we've updated to include the new Add Task option, plus links to the Create Invoice and Assign Works screens.