Understanding Projects is central to using PensionPro to its full potential. However, Projects are a vast topic with many moving pieces; as such, they can be challenging for new PensionPro users to come to grips with. The aim of this article is to provide a high-level overview of Projects: how they work, why they’re useful, and where a user might expect them to show up.
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Table of Contents
- What are Projects?
- Where are Projects Found?
- Creating a Project
- Project Tasks
- Data Collection
- Associated Articles
What are Projects?
In their simplest form, Projects allow a user or team to track work. Most of the time, this work involves multiple steps, and each step may need to be completed by a different team member. It is easy to imagine pieces of this workflow “falling through the cracks”, where a step of the process is unintentionally missed or forgotten. Thanks to the Projects feature of PensionPro, every step of the workflow is tracked and easily reviewed, resulting in fewer mistakes and fewer missed deadlines.
Where are Projects Found?
PensionPro’s objective is to simplify Plan management. As Plans are the central focus, Projects are created in service of Plans. A Plan must be specified when creating a Project, and Projects are most easily viewed and accessed from the Projects tab of their corresponding Plan.
Creating a Project
Upon creation, a new Project requires three pieces of information:
- The name of the Plan the Project is servicing
- The Project Type (for categorization)
- The Project Template
The Project Template is solely responsible for what the Project looks like, what Tasks it tracks, and who the Tasks are assigned to. More often than not, the same Project will be run repeatedly on a regular basis, or will be run the same way for multiple Plans. This is why well-thought-out Project Templates are essential: they are created once, and can then be applied to many Projects. This article will not cover building Project Templates; for now, it is enough to understand that a Project’s behavior is really determined by the Template it is based on.
A Project is little more than a series of Tasks, which are intended to be completed in order. This is called the Project Workflow.
The Project Template usually dictates who is responsible for completing Tasks. Often, this is determined by the Employee Roles that have been set for a Plan. For example, if the next Task of a Project needs to be completed by somebody in the Billing department, the system will determine which Employee has been designated as the Billing agent for that Plan, and assign the Task to them. The Task then appears in that user’s My Tasks tab upon logging in to PensionPro. Assignments may also be handled directly by the Project Manager, or the Task may appear in a team’s Worktray. Following our earlier example, a Task may be sent to the Billing Worktray, where anybody in the Billing department with access to that Worktray can accept the Task.
A Task is broken up into a series of Task Items. Each Task Item must be completed before the Task is considered complete. A Task Item can be an instruction or directive, but it may also be a field or selection option which collects data for later use.
Multiple Tasks can be organized into Task Groupings. A Task Grouping can contain Review steps, where completed Tasks within that Grouping can be reviewed for quality purposes.
When all Tasks are completed, the Project is considered complete.
The Tasks Hierarchy
|Task Grouping||Task||Task Item|
Some common project types, such as Annual Administration and General Web Collection, require information be collected from the Plan Sponsor. To simplify this process, Data Collection Tasks can be added to a Project. During the Data Collection process, the Plan Sponsor will access PlanSponsorLink, a customized webpage which makes it easy for the Sponsor to provide the requested information. This information can then be reviewed within PensionPro for accuracy and completeness.
- Project Template Overview
- Project Templates
- Launching & Managing Projects
- Using Project Fields
- General Web Collection Projects
- Annual Administration Projects
- Projects: Web Collection through PlanSponsorLink.com