Once Project Templates, Plans, and Employee Plan Roles have been created, users can launch Projects against their Plans. There are various ways to create projects for Plans in PensionPro. This article explains how to create a project for a Plan, accessing that project, navigating that project, and what items can and cannot be edited once a project is created.
Tier Availability: Essential, Premium, Business
Add-On Availability: PlanSponsorLink, Distributions
- Launching a Project
- Accessing a Launched Project
- Navigating Project Levels
- Working with Projects
Once a Project Template has been created, users can launch the Project Template for their Plans. There are multiple ways to launch a project.
Launching a Project
Projects can be launched from the Navigation Panel
- From the Navigation Panel, click Add Data > Project. An Add Project pop-up will be displayed.
- Enter the Plan the Project is being launched against.
- Users can type out the first few characters of the Plan Name. Users can select the correct Plan name from the results that appear.
- Depending on the Project Type and Frequency of the template being used, users will need to select the Start and/or End date of the Project Period.
- Users can click Save and Open to go to the first Task of the project.
Plan > Projects Menu
- Navigate to the Plan in PensionPro and select Projects from the Views panel on the left.
- Any previously launched projects will appear in the grid.
- Depending on the Project Type and Frequency of the template being used, users will need to select the Start and/or End date of the Project Period.
- Users can click Save and Open to go to the first Task of the project.
- When launching an Annual Administration with Web Collection project, if the Period Start Date is not 1 day after the prior year Period End Date, users will receive a "No Prior Year data was found to roll forward" message. Any Client Address and Phone Number data will pull forward into the Data Collection portion of the project, however, no other data will be able to be pulled forward. This ensures data collection information will be clean and accurate when plan sponsors complete data collection on PlanSponsorLink.
Note: When launching a Project, if a Task is assigned to an Employee Plan Role, the Plan must have an employee assigned to this role before the Project can be launched against the Plan. If the Plan does not have the role referenced in the Project Template assigned, users will get an error message that the Plan has not been assigned the role referenced by the Template. Users must add the Employee Plan Role before attempting to relaunch the Project.
Accessing a Launched Project
There are multiple ways to access launched Projects. The main way is to search for the project in the search bar in PensionPro. The Search bar is in the upper left corner of any screen in PensionPro.
Search for Project
To access a launched Project, search for the Project by using at least the first 3 characters of the plan name the project was launched for. The dropdown menus in the Search Results will populate with available Plans and Projects based on the search text entered. Applicable Projects will appear in the Projects dropdown of the search results. The user can click a project to open it. When clicking the project, the user will be brought into the Task Grouping tab where the user can then double-click to drill down to the Task level.
Note: The Gear icon in the top right of the grid gives the user the ability to include inactive Plans as well as Deactivated/Closed Clients, Contacts, Distributions, Employees, Plans, and Projects. By selecting these sliders, Plans marked as inactive, as well as Deactivated/Closed plans, will populate in the column.
To access Projects through the Plan > Projects menu, search for a Plan and double-click it. When the Plan opens, select the Projects menu. The user will be brought to the Plan Projects grid. Once in the Plan Projects grid, the user will see all active projects added to this Plan. In this grid, there are fields such as the Project Name and Project Type, who the Project Manager is, the date the Project is due, and the date it was completed if it was.
Users can also access launched Projects through The My Tasks Dashboard. To access the My Tasks Dashboard, select Dashboard from the Navigation Panel and select My Tasks. Active Tasks within the Project will appear on the assigned employee's dashboard and/or the assigned Worktray for the active Task. Tasks must be active to appear on these dashboards. Secondly, if the Project Start Date of the Project is set in the future, the active Tasks will not appear on the assigned Dashboard until the Project Start Date is current. Users with the Add/Edit Projects security right can open the Project Summary tab and edit the Project Start field if the Tasks should immediately appear on users' dashboards.
Project Summary/Task Grouping
When a Project is opened, the user will see the Task Groupings for the Project. At this level, there are multiple menus. First, is the Summary menu. When a Project is launched, basic information is stored in the Summary menu of the Project in PensionPro. The Project Name, Description (Depending on the Frequency and availability), Frequency, Priority, Period Start, Period End, External Deadline, Project Start, Web status, if the project is extendible, and if it is marked for deletion.
Users can update the Period Start and Period End dates of a launched project. Doing so will result in a message stating that the linked Plan Cycle and Employer Data will be updated to reflect the Period change. The Plan End field in Plan Details will remain unchanged.
If the project is an Annual Administration project that is extendible, users can click the Create Extension button to extend the project and launch a 5558 Extension project template for the plan. If a Project is going to be marked for deletion, this tab is where it can be done. Below the Summary tab is a Project Fields tab. When clicking into this tab, all Project fields for the Project are listed here with any values entered for these Project Fields.
Note: The Extend Project button is intended only for 5558 extensions for Annual Administration Data Collection Projects.
The Files menu (on the project level) is important because it stores the Project Documents related to the Project. Here the user can add, edit, delete, and download documents. There is also the option to mark the file as Show on PSL if the user has PlanSponsorLink and needs to have a specific Project file available for the Plan Sponsor to access on PlanSponsorLink. This menu appears on each level of the project.
Users can find more information on how to use Project Files in Using Project Files.
If the Project has an Annual Administration Type, Annual Frequency, and is marked Yes to Require Web Collection or a General Web Collection Type, and is marked Yes to Require Web Collection, then there is a Data Collection menu available that has each sub-menu representing each step in the Data Collection process on PlanSponsorLink for plan sponsors to complete. As the Plan Sponsor completes things on their end, the information is populated in each sub tab in PensionPro. This tab appears on each level of the Project.
Users can find more information on the Data Collection tab in Viewing and Maintaining Data Collection in PensionPro.
Census Data Population for Annual Administration Data Collection Projects
If census data was entered for the previous plan year, that data will roll forward to the current plan year when the Data Collection is launched. Compensation, Deferral entries, and Employees with a Date of Separation entered are not rolled forward to the current year.
- Web Collection Annual Administration Projects: The Annual Administration project with web data collection will create a linked plan cycle and employer data records. If any date in either of these linked records is changed then the change will update the project, plan cycle, and employer data respectively.
- Non-Web Collection Annual Administration Projects: The Annual Administration project without web data collection will no longer create linked plan cycle and employer data records. However, matching plan cycle and employer data records can be created manually, if needed.
- Non-consecutive Web Collection Annual Administration Projects: If a Web Collection Annual Administration Project is created but the period start date is more than one day past the prior period end date then the data collection information will not rollover.
- Note: When launching an Annual Administration with Data Collection project, if the Project's Period Start Date is not 1 day after the prior year Project's Period End Date, users will receive a "No Prior Year data was found to roll forward" message. Any Client Address and Phone Number data will pull forward into the Data Collection portion of the project, however, no other data will be able to be pulled forward. This ensures data collection information will be clean and accurate when plan sponsors complete data collection on PlanSponsorLink.
- Note: When launching an Annual Administration Project with Data Collection, if the Project's Period Start Date is 1 day after the prior year Project's Period End Date, any prior year census data from the prior plan year Project will roll forward to the current plan year Project. If no prior census data was available, users will get a "No Prior Year data was found to roll forward" message. This is only an alert and will not interfere with launching the project.
The To-dos menu notates all to-dos linked to the Project. The grid will list who the To-Dos are assigned to, what they are, when they’re due, who created them, the status of the To-Do as well as the progress of it indicated by a status bar. In this menu, To-Dos can be added, edited and deleted. This tab appears in each of the project levels.
Users can find more information on To-Dos in Using To-Dos.
The Time menu will list all the time tracked against this Project. The fields in this grid will show which time code was used, the description, which employee tracked the time, how long the time is allotted for, the date and whether it is billable time or not. This menu appears in each of the project levels.
Users can find more information on using time in Using Time Tracking.
Any Project notes for the Project is listed in the Notes menu. In the title of the menu, a number is notated to show how many notes are actually in the grid. Notes can be added, edited and deleted here by selecting the buttons at the top right of the screen. This tab appears in each of the project levels.
Users can find more information on Notes in Using and Maintaining Notes.
The Assoc. Projects menu is filled with any 5558 Extension Projects that are associated with that Project. For example, if an extension Project is launched for an existing Annual Administration Data Collection Project, then the 5558 extension Project would be listed here. It would have the period start and end fields as well as a date completed option for when it is finally completed.
Users can find more information on 5558 Extension projects in Changing and Extending Project Due Dates.
If this was an Annual Administration Data Collection Project, a Plan Cycle menu will appear. The Plan Cycle menu lists the general Plan Cycle information for the same period start and end of the project. There are also sub-menus along the side for participant information, filings, milestones and more. The Plan Cycle information can be edited in this menu by simply clicking the Edit icon.
Users can update the Period Begin and Period End dates of a Plan Cycle record by clicking the Edit icon on the Plan Cycle > General menu. Upon editing the Period of the Plan Cycle, users will receive a message stating that linked Employer Data and Project Period Begin and Period End dates will also be updated to reflect the change. The Plan End field in Plan Details will remain unchanged.
Navigating Project Levels
There are three levels within projects: Task Groupings, Tasks, and Task Items. When double-clicking into a Task Grouping, the user is brought to the Tasks screen. This screen displays each of the Tasks that fall under the Task Grouping and the date these Project Tasks were completed if they were in fact completed. Users can also navigate to higher levels of a project by clicking the Tasks or Task Groupings breadcrumb located above the grid.
The Task Level displays a list of all Tasks within the selected Task Grouping. The menus found at the Project level are also accessible from the Task level.
Override Project Tasks
Users can override Tasks to move projects forward if necessary. With the Task Override security right, the user can click the Override button. This can be important if a Project was abandoned or if a Task needs to be overridden to move forward in the Project.
To override a Task from the My Tasks Dashboard:
- Double-click a Task from the My Tasks Dashboard to open the Project Task.
- Click Tasks above the Task Item grid.
- In the Project Tasks grid, click the Override button next to the desired Task.
- This will complete the Task overridden and activate the next Task.
If the user were to double-click on one of the Tasks, they are brought to the Task Items level for this Task. The Task Item level is similar to a checklist, where items will need to be completed in order to complete a Task.
If the Task was completed by an employee and the user has the Manager security right, the user would need to open the task and can click the More icon > Remove Completion to remove the completion of a Task. Users with the Manager right can click this button to re-open the Task if changes need to be made by the assigned employee.
Edit Task Summary information
The user also has the option to update the Task Due Date, Task Follow-Up Date, Task Category and Task Status to further track Task information for reporting and workflow needs. These fields can be added to the My Tasks Dashboard view. The Task Category and Task Status fields are List Values that can be customized to fit the firm’s needs. There is also the option to edit this information by clicking the Edit icon to the right of Task Summary grid. Users can find more information on updating Task Summary information in Edit Task Summary Information.
The Files, To-dos, Time, and Notes tabs are all consistent throughout the Project level in what they store and what information they can provide.
The Task Summary tab also has fields notating specific information for the Task that might be necessary to know. Things such as the time code for when time is tracked for the Task, when the Task was active, the due date for the Task, if it’s returned and the number of times it’s been returned. This is all specific information related to the Task Item that is available if needed.
Within the Project, the user will see a Clock icon to the right of the screen which is the Time Tracking button. After clicking this, a pre-populated window will appear that notates the Plan, Project, Task Group, Task, Plan Cycle, Time Code the date it was completed etc. for the time slip. The system knows to do this based on the Project Template that was launched where the time code for these Tasks was already notated. Users can find more information on tracking time in Using Time Tracking.
With the Manager or Reassign Tasks Security Right, a user can reassign Tasks to others as well as to specific Worktrays if necessary. Within the Task Item level, the user will see an icon with the assigned employee's initials. Clicking this icon will allow the user to reassign the task to another employee or worktray. Of course, without the security right, this functionality will not be available to the user. With the appropriate rights, the user can click Reassign and select the target employee or Worktray from the appropriate dropdown menus to reassign the Task.
Complete a Task
Once required Task Items have answers entered, the Complete button has a dropdown with additional options. Users should Save their answers prior to leaving the task. The Save icon appears as a floppy disk icon. Completed task items will appear in green after the user saves. Once the information has been saved, users can choose how to Complete the Project and move forward.
The user can elect to click Complete, Complete & Next, or Complete & Stay. Just clicking the Complete button will record the Task as completed on the notated date and time and the user will be returned to the My Tasks Dashboard. As long as all required task items have been answered, selecting the Complete button will Save and Complete the task.
Complete and Next
If the user chooses Complete & Next, the Task will be recorded as completed on the notated date and time and the user will be brought directly to the next Task in the Project.
Complete and Stay
The final option, Complete & Stay will record the Task as completed as well based on the notated date and time, and the user will remain on the current screen.
To learn more about the necessary security rights mentioned in this section, click here.
Working with Projects
Once a Project is launched in PensionPro, the first Task will become active based on the Project Start Date. Projects are linear, so as a Task is completed, the following Task will become active and can be completed.
If wanting to activate another task, users can click the More icon > Activate to activate Tasks out of sync. However, these Tasks cannot be completed until all previous Tasks are completed. Once a Project is launched, possible changes are minimal. Therefore, we urge our users to ensure that everything in their Project Template is exactly how it is intended, prior to launching. However, there are a few things that can be updated on a launched Project.
What Can be Edited Once the Project is Launched
Tasks, as well as the Project Manager, can be reassigned. Also, given that the user has the Alter Due Dates security right, Due Dates for the Project can be updated. The Project Start Date can also be changed if necessary. However, they cannot be due after an external Project Due Date.
If the Project is an Annual Administration Data Collection needs a 5558 Extension, the user can click the Create Extension button in the Summary tab of the Project details to create and link a 5558 Extension Project Template. Another Project detail that can be updated post-launch is the Project priority. If the Project needs to be changed from normal to critical, or vice versa, the user can update this field in the Project Summary tab.
What Cannot be Edited Once the Project is Launched
Task Groupings, Tasks, and Task Item names and order cannot be updated or altered once the Project is launched. The user can change the Project Template directly, however, this will only change the Template but not the existing launched Project. The user also cannot update the Period Start or End for the Project. Again, we urge our users to make sure that all information on their Project Templates is correct and accurate prior to launching.
If there is a mistake in a launched Project that does need to be addressed, the only way to make necessary changes would be to delete the existing launched Project, update the Project Template, and launch the updated Project template.
Note: This will wipe out any progress made or Project Documents added to the Project. Therefore, this method should be the last resort due to the progress of the Project being removed.
Deleting a Launched Project
If for any reason, a launched Project needs deleted, the user can go into the Summary tab of the Project to make this update. Users must have the Add/Edit Project and Maintenance right to delete projects.
To Delete a Project:
- From the Projects menu, double click the project that needs deleted.
- Click on the Summary menu.
- On the right-hand side of the screen, click on the Edit icon.
- A pop-up for Edit Project Details will appear.
- At the bottom of the pop-up, check the Marked for Deletion checkbox.
- Click Save.
- Click on Maintenance in the Navigation panel.
- Click on Data Deletion.
- The Data Deletion Manager will appear.
- Choose Projects from the Views panel.
- Click to highlight the Project and click the Delete icon on the top right hand side.
- Multiple projects can be selected at once by holding the shift or CTRL keys down while making selections.
- A project can also be deleted by hovering over it, and clicking the Delete icon on the right hand side of the project.
- A pop-up warning will appear asking “Are you sure you want to delete this project PERMANENTLY?”
- Click on Yes.
- The Project has been deleted.
Note: To mark a project for deletion, the project cannot be completed. A simple workaround to this would be to get to the Task Item level of the project, click the More icon, and click Remove Completion for one of the last Task Items. This will then remove completion for the project which allows the user to mark it for deletion. It’s also important to note that if an extension project has been created on the launched project, the user will need to delete the extension project first, then mark the main project for deletion.
Users can find directions on how to mark multiple projects for deletion in Deleting Projects, Distributions, Contacts, Plans and Clients.
Again, we urge our users to make sure the Project Template is exactly how it is intended to be and that no future changes will arise. Otherwise, one of the main ways to make changes is to delete the Project, along with its progress, and then relaunch the Project with your changes.
Reporting on Launched Projects
Reporting on launched Projects is simple. From the Navigation Panel, users can click Reporting > Projects to access project reports. There are many options for Project Reports. Our PensionPro reports make it easy to consolidate the data done day to day in Projects and see it all gathered in one report. Each report’s name will indicate what its specific function is.
For example, the Dashboard Tasks by Plan Role report shows a list of dashboard Tasks assigned to employees by Employee Plan Role. Another item that can be reported on is the status by Task. The Status by Task cross-tab report displays the status of various selected Tasks for multiple Plans. There are many Project reports designed to generate the specific results for what each team member does in their system. Further descriptions and field lists of these reports can be found here.
Within each Project report are filters users can utilize to further streamline results. These filters help set parameters on the data being extracted from the system. The user can use these filters to limit results.
Frequently Asked Questions:
My project has been abandoned, how can I remove the project from my dashboard? The project can either be deleted or the remaining project Tasks can be overridden. For information on deleting the project please review Deleting Projects, Distributions, Contacts, Plans And Clients.
I accidentally completed a Task. Can it be reopened? Yes, a project Task can have completion removed if the user has the Manager security right. To remove completion of a Task, follow the steps below:
- Search for the Project.
- Double-click the project name from the Search results.
- Double-click the Task Grouping that contains the Task that is to be reopened.
- Double-click the Task that needs to have completion removed.
- Select the More icon in the upper right-hand corner of the Task Items grid.
- Click the Remove Completion button. This will reopen the Task which should reappear on the assigned employee's My Tasks Dashboard.
- They may need to click the Refresh button on the Dashboard if it does not appear right away.
Once I launch a project, can I have multiple Project Tasks active simultaneously so employees can work on those tasks at the same time? Users can manually activate a Project Tasks so employees can begin work on those Tasks. However, a Task cannot be completed until all prior Tasks have been completed. To manually activate a Task, double-click on an inactive Project Task. Select the More icon in the upper-right hand corner of the grid. An Activate button will appear in the dropdown. Click the Activate button to activate the task.
Can I launch two different Annual Administration Projects for the same period against the same plan? Users cannot launch two Annual Administration Projects for the same period against the same plan.
How can I update the Project Description field for a launched project? Users can update the Project Description field for launched projects that have a Non-Recurring frequency only. The user can click the Summary menu of the launched project, click the Edit icon, update the Description field, and click Save. Projects with other frequencies cannot have the Project Description updated once launched.
Why are my Project Tasks not appearing on a Dashboard after I launched my project? If a Project Start Date is after the current date, the Tasks will not appear on the Dashboard or Worktray until the Project Start Date is current or before the current date.
If I edit a recurring project's template and click to launch the next instance of the project, will the project that is created be based on the former version of the template or the updated template? As long as the changes were made to the original recurring template, when launching the next instance of the project, it will use the updated project template.
I keep getting an error message stating "[Plan Name] - [Project Name] overlaps an existing annual project with a period end of [Period End]" when I attempt to launch a Project. What am I doing wrong? A recurring Project for a plan cannot overlap Period Ends with another project with the same name and frequency for that same plan. Change the Project Frequency to Non-Recurring if the project template could be launched multiple times in a period for the same plan.