Creating (and Managing) Workback Schedule Templates
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CREATING (AND MANAGING) WORKBACK SCHEDULE TEMPLATES
Every job that enters your agency breaks down into manageable Tasks. Each Task has a Responsible person and Due date. Together, they form a Workback Schedule. Your Traffic Manager (or System Administrator) carefully monitors a job’s Schedule as it moves along a Critical Path.
It’s often possible to predict the Tasks involved in the production of a specific Type of job (e.g. a brochure). CurrentTrack® contains a Workback Schedule Template interface. Through this Permission-based feature, you can create an unlimited number of Templates that may be applied when a job is opened.
TIP: Make sure the applicable Employee name(s) is listed beside Manage Workback Templates in the Permissions list (Admin — System Administration — Manage Permissions).
CREATING A TEMPLATE
To create a Workback Schedule Template, go to Admin — System Administration — Manage Workback Templates.
Click on Create New Workback Template and then, on the next screen, you’ll see a series of empty fields. First, assign your Template a Name (e.g. Brochure).
TIP: If you have a specific Job Type for which timing varies by Client, create a separate Template for each (e.g. Newspaper Production: Acme, Newspaper Production: Beta). Each time you open a new job, you can then apply the respective Clients’ Template.
Next, determine the Tasks to be included in your Template. A brochure project, for example, might include the following:
Once you’ve entered Tasks in your Template, based on your agency’s Project Scheduling Guidelines, determine their average Turnaround times. For example, from the project Start Date (e.g. today) to the Kickoff meeting = (1) day; from Materials to Printer until Proof Review = (2) days after that. Enter the numbers in the corresponding Turnaround fields.
Next, assign a Status to each of the Tasks listed in your Template. For example:
TIP: Always give at least one Task in the Template a Status of Working.
Filling in the Responsible column of your Template is optional. However, we recommend entering an Employee name(s) whenever possible. If you’re creating a Template for “Acme Brochure Production,” for example, and you know your copywriter, Laura, is the only one that works on their copy, enter her name in the Responsible field. Another example is the Billout Task — your Accounting Manager will always handle their invoicing.
TIP: When listing an Account Coordinator as Responsible, list the Account Executive as well. That way, s(he) can serve as a third checkpoint for the Task, in addition to the Account Coordinator and the Traffic Manager.
If Employee Task assignments vary too widely in your agency, consider leaving the Responsible fields blank. When you open a new job and choose the Template, CurrentTrack will enter the name of the Template’s original creator (i.e. the System Administrator) into any blank Responsible fields, by default. At that point, you can edit the job’s Workback Schedule and assign a Responsible Employee(s). A good rule of thumb is, the more information you enter in the Template, the less information you’ll have to manage when you add a job!
Lastly, enter an Allotted Time for each of the listed Tasks, if desired. Again, this information can be overwritten on a job-by-job basis; click Submit.
EDITING A TEMPLATE
To Edit a Workback Schedule Template, go to Admin — System Administration — Manage Workback Templates.
Click Edit beside the Name of the desired Template (e.g. Brochure). To insert a Task in the timeline, simply enter its details on the next available line, at the bottom of the Template. Determine its order within the overall schedule and enter the number in its corresponding Order field. CurrentTrack will automatically insert the Task in its proper position and re-order subsequent Tasks, chronologically.
To delete a Task from the Template, click its corresponding trashcan icon, on the right of the screen. A pop-up box asking, “Are you sure you want to delete this line item?” will appear; click OK. When you’re done editing the Template, click Submit.
In order to maintain jobs’ historical accuracy, any changes made to an existing Template won’t be reflected in jobs previously created. They’ll only be reflected in future jobs.
COPYING PORTIONS OF A TEMPLATE
To copy a Task(s) to another Workback Schedule Template, go to Admin — System Administration — Manage Workback Templates.
Click Edit beside the Name of the desired Template (e.g. Brochure). Next, check the box(es) to the left of the Task(s) to be copied. Select Copy Marked Tasks from the drop-down menu in Application Options, at the bottom of the page, and indicate which Template should also contain the Tasks; click Submit.
Navigate to the Template that now contains the Task(s). Determine the order in which the newly copied Task(s) should appear by editing their corresponding Order field(s); click Submit.
ARCHIVING A TEMPLATE
To archive a Workback Schedule Template that’s no longer needed, go to Admin — System Administration — Manage Workback Templates.
Click Archive beside the Name of the Template (e.g. Brochure) and it’ll automatically move to the Archived Templates area. In order to maintain jobs’ historical accuracy, Archived Templates won’t be removed from existing jobs. They simply won’t be available for use on a go-forward basis.
To reactivate an Archived Template, go to Admin — System Administration — Manage Workback Templates — Archived Templates — Activate. The Template will then re-appear within the Workback Template drop-down menu of the Add (and Edit This) Job screen.