Using Projects

Projects are used to manage task lists and budgets for one or more Goals. To create a new Project, go to the Home page and click the "Create Something New" button on the left. Choose "Project" from the drop-down list and press OK.






The Project wizard will open and guide you through creating your Project.  Give your Project a name where it says 'Name your project:'. Choose the type of project that you'd like to track where it says 'What's the purpose of this project?'.  This article will use an acquisition as an example, but note that there are other types of Projects you can create.

Click 'Next'.




Now enter a few more details related to the Project. Enter the name of the property where it says 'Do you want to give your property a different name?'.  If you want to add a new contact or choose an existing contact to associate with the property, you can do so.  Below, I've added a new contact, entered in some basic details, and defined their association with the property by adding a 'Landowner' tag.  For more about how contacts work, click here.

Click 'Next'.




Finally, you'll be able to apply customized or default budget and task templates to the Project.  In other words, for any given type of Project (restoration, acquisition, disposition, etc.), you can apply a customized budget and/or task checklist to apply when needed.  Of course, these templates can be tailored to suit the specific Project once they're applied.  These are built in Settings --> Work --> Budget Lists / Checklists.  If your template doesn't exist yet but you'd like to build one, don't worry, just click 'Finish' and you can build it and apply it later.  Choose the appropriate template and click 'Finish'. 

In this case, I've chosen to use the 'Purchased Conservation Easement' budget and the 'Purchased Conservation Easement' task template.




You're then taken into your new Project, where you can begin adding additional details.  Next, I'll break down the various parts of a Project and how they apply to our example of a Property Acquisition Project.




Project Details


Projects have a Status and a Type, here, 'Active' and 'Acquisition'.  Status can help you filter out active vs. inactive projects, and type can assist you in grouping and reporting on the various types of Projects your organization is tracking.  

Team Lead defaults to the Project creator, but can be changed. Team Members can also be added. These are not only useful fields for keeping track of who is working on what, but can also be used for managing edit/delete privileges.

Started On and Completed On simply track those respective dates.  Description is a description of the overall Project.  What is the aim of the Project? Who is involved? Why is it being undertaken? Use this field to fill out a narrative of the Project itself.  

The Budget and Tasks wheels display automatic summaries of where you stand with your Budget vs. Expenses, and how many of your Tasks you've completed throughout all of your Goals.  In this case, the 'Purchased Conservation Easement' budget was applied, so I started with a total budget amount already displayed.

Once set, the items in Project Details are not often changed through the course of a Project.


Latest Activity & Upcoming Tasks


Latest Activity displays the latest activity within the Project. Upcoming Tasks scans your task list for a goal and displays the ones due in the next week or month, depending on which option you've chosen.


Goals are the units of a Project. A Goal is a particular set of tasks and budgets related to something you are trying to accomplish.  For the most part, projects will have simply one Goal: 'Accomplish X' or 'Protect Property Y'.  However, you may wish to divide a project into multiple Goals, for example if you have a large initiative occurring in a certain region across multiple parcels and landowners, you could have a Goal each for 'Acquire Property X', 'Acquire Property Y', and 'Acquire Property Z'.

A Goal is directly connected to a Target RecordA Target Record can be either a Property or a Stewardship Site.  The Target Record enables Landscape to tie completed work you're doing in your Project to an actual item in the Property or Stewardship Site record, eliminating the need for duplicative efforts after a Project has been completed.  If you created an Acquisition project, a target Property record was created automatically.

If you have only one Goal, all of the Goal details will be displayed on the main Project page. However, if you have multiple goals, you'll need to click on the 'edit' button in order to view that Goal's data.




Name is the name of the Goal. Type lets you define the type of Goal (you can add Goal types via Settings --> List Items --> Projects). Status will be the main field that you reference to see the status of a particular Goal.  Status Comment is a place to elaborate on the status.  Scope lets you enter a narrative description of the scope of the Goal.  Target Record, as described above, allows Landscape to tie the completion of Work in a Project to the creation of an item in a Property or Stewardship Site record.  Geographic Unit looks inside the Target Record Geography (Property or Stewardship Site Area, for example) to let you tie the Goal to a particular area within a record.  This is particularly useful for restoration projects which you want to apply to clearly defined zones within Stewardship Sites.  Timeline is your expected start and end date for the goal.   


Budgets, Tasks, and Work can be used independently (you can just track completed Work in a Project, for instance) or synchronously (in completing a Task, you record the completed Work item and the associated expense, which is recorded in the Budget).



The Goal editor is where you add your Budget for the Goal. A Budget is a list of items with costs and a particular cost category. The cost category is what Landscape uses to match your future expenses to your budget lines. Click on the mceclip9.png button to expand the Budget window.



The Category column shows the items in your Budget. Add new categories by clicking on the (+) button.  You can build additional categories via Settings --> Work --> Cost Categories. You can be as specific or as general as you want to be in building these settings.  Quant. (Quantity) is the quantity of the category anticipated. Unit is the appropriate unit for the category (Count/Miles/Hours, etc.), and Unit Cost is the cost per unit. Amount is the cost calculated by multiplying the Quant. Unit Cost. Actual is the Actual cost of the item as captured in the accompanying completed Work item.

Add a new budget line item by clicking the + button on the Budget header. Select the correct Category, and make edits to the Quantity and Unit Cost as needed.




The categories in this list are defined in Settings. You can be as specific or as general as you want with the organization of the categories. 

With Funding Expectations, you can build the funding expectations for a particular Goal.  Click the (+) button to add a new Source & Agreement (if relevant) as well as how much is expected.  Click on the edit button to add a new Source or Agreement.





Tasks are a great way of tracking what needs to be done, by whom, and by when. You can use a Project without tasks if you want, but if you need the ability to track checklists, then you'll want to add tasks.  Tasks can also be viewed and edited via the timeline feature.

Individual tasks live in Task Groups that help you organize your tasks into logical bunches. Each group has an editable name. 

You can add tasks one-by-one by clicking the + button on the Task Group header.


However, you can save yourself time and ensure that all Projects of the same type are done in the same manner by creating pre-defined checklists, which can be applied to the Goal all at once. In this example, the Purchased Conservation Easement checklist was applied when I created this Project.  The Apply Checklist button opens a menu with a list of all the available checklists. You can build a checklist that can be applied to different projects by choosing 'Create A Task Checklist'




Work items can be added directly through a task if the work item is the "deliverable" of a particular task. For example, if you have a task to order an appraisal, the person completing the task can add the appraisal record to the Completed Work section inside the Task editor instead of adding it directly to the main Completed Work section in the Goal. The end result is the same, but you'll be able to see that the appraisal record is associated with that task.  For tying work requirements to task completion (ie., telling a user 'you must create a survey record in order to mark this survey task as complete'), check out this article.  Or, see this article for an overview of Tasks in Landscape. 

You can add edit a task and add work to it by clicking the task's edit button.


Completed Work & Purchase Expenses

As you work on acquiring your new Property, you'll likely accumulate documents and due diligence items that you want to keep in the permanent Property record as Assets. Because your Goal is directly tied to the Property via the Target Record field, you can add these assets directly from the Project. So, if you want to record an appraisal you commissioned, you can click the + button on the Completed Work header, choose "Appraisal" from the list and enter all the details of your appraisal.


You'll see the appraisal record in your Completed Work section of the Goal and it will be in the Assets page of the Property.


Most work items have a list of Expenses that you can modify. If we add the cost of our appraisal to its list of expenses and set the cost category to "Appraisal," we'll see how that affects the Actual section of the Goal Budget.




Alternatively, you may wish to record hours worked on a project.  The best way to do so is to use the 'Personnel' field within a 'General' work item category to record hours.  The cost of the hours will then appear as an item in your budget calculated against the budgeted 'General' expense.  If you wish to have multiple hourly rates, you can always add more categories from Settings --> Work --> Cost Categories.


View from within the work item -- adding hours.


How hours appear in your work summary



How hours are then tracked in your budget


Purchase Price is the anticipated price of the Property.  The Expense Category that you choose to tie it to should reflect that anticipated transaction. Purchase Price Funding Disbursals should reflect monies disbursed by funding sources directly towards that expense category.  You can add the disbursal source, agreement, and amount by clicking on the (+) button.



Mapping your Project's Parcel Boundary or Goal Geography

If your Project Goal is using an existing mapped Property or Stewardship Site as a target record, the boundary will automatically appear on the map.  However, if you're working on a new acquisition, you may wish to add boundary information.  To do so, click on the layers button (1), then click on the three dots next to the named parcel boundary layer (2) and click 'edit layer' (3)



Using the toolbar that opens at the top of the map, you can then import a shapefile, .kmz, or .gpx file.  You can also draw the rough boundary using the pencil icon. 


Remember to click on the thumbs up to save your edits when you're done. For more on mapping, click here.  

You can also add custom geography to your Project Goal (for example, a specific area of a Stewardship Site you're targeting for restoration) by using the same method, only applied to the 'Goal' layers.



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