We have made AchieveIt as intuitive as possible for our administrators to easily create, maintain and report on your strategic and operational plans. This Quick Start Guide will walk you through the basics of how to get started in your account.
Section 1: FundamentalsThis section of the User Guide walks through the basic skills you will need in order to begin receiving value from AchieveIt. We recommend you master these skills before moving on to the Advanced section.
If you are designated as one of your organization’s User Managers, adding users is the first crucial step on the path to execution. This will allow you to assign items to appropriate parties, seamlessly collect updates for items in your plan, and monitor each individual’s progress.
To begin adding users, click into the Admin drop-down menu within your top navigation bar and select 'Users'.
On the Users page, you will see the Add User and Upload Users from File options directly above your Licenses bank, which shows how many licenses you're currently using and how many are available.
To add a handful of users individually, chose the Add User option. Enter the user’s email address and click Next.
Enter the user’s first and last name, create an initial password, designate their account type, and select the appropriate time zone.
To upload users in bulk instead, click 'Upload Users from File'. Download the User Template, and complete the required fields. Save your copy of the file, then upload it by double-clicking the box below the file link.
Create a New Plan
It's very easy to create a new plan in AchieveIt to monitor your strategic and operational plans. To get started, click the Plans drop-down menu in your top navigation bar. Then click Create a New Plan.
Once you have clicked on the 'Create New Plan' option, the 'Create Plan' page will appear. You can choose to build your plan within AchieveIt, or import via our standard plan template.
To Build a Plan, click the blue 'Build Plan' button to get started. You'll be guided through the basic required fields to create your plan in four sections: 1) Enter Plan Details, 2) Create Levels, 3) Assign Access, and 4) Set Schedule. (Required Fields denoted are in Bold).
Plan Title – the name you'd like your plan to have, which will be displayed throughout the system and on reports. You can also provide a description of the Plan below.
Plan Levels - the custom terms you'd like to use to organize the different units of work within your plan (i.e. Goal, Objective, Strategy, etc).
NOTE: Goal, Milestone, and Assignment are the default level names that will always appear on the Create page. You can customize the existing names by overwriting them with your own unique terms, add more levels by clicking the 'Add Level' button or delete levels by clicking the 'X' icon next to each level
Assign Access - from the onset of creating a plan, you can set up additional users to have admin or member access to the full plan. Admin access allows a user to create new items within the plan and edit existing content just like the creator of a plan can. Plan Members can view the plan once Activated by an Admin. To grant a user either Member or Admin access to a plan, check the appropriate box next to the list of available users in the Access section.
Start Date – select a start date for your plan by typing the date or by clicking the calendar icon to the right and using the date selector.
Due Date – select an end date for your plan by typing the date or by clicking the calendar icon to the right. Note: if you select a start date, a due date will be required in order to continue.
Progress Update and Due Date Schedule - if desired, you can create an update schedule from the onset of creating your plan. See the Set the Progress Update Email Schedule article or Section 2: Notification Settings of this Guide for additional details.
Click the “Create Plan” button in the bottom right hand corner, and you will be redirected to the Tree View.
Manage Levels in the Item Library
The Item Library allows users to understand the hierarchy of the plan. Every plan can be structured with as many or as few levels as needed and terminology can be customized to fit your organization.
To add a new level to your plan, locate the Item Library and click the '+' button.
After you have clicked the '+' or pencil button, the 'Add Level' pop-up window will appear. Enter your custom level name and click Save.
After saving your 'Level Name' the new level will appear at the bottom of your 'Item Library' list.
You can edit any level name by clicking the pencil icon to the right of each name. If you need to change the order of your plan levels, hold down on the level you'd like to move with your mouse, then drag and drop the level into the order of your choosing.
Create Plan Items
There are two ways that you can begin to build out your plan on the Tree View:
1) Click and hold a Level from the Item Library, then drag it onto an existing item (such as the top plan card). The plan item's card will highlight in blue. Release your mouse and the 'Add Plan Item' menu will appear, allowing you to create the item.
2) Click the '+' in the bottom right-hand corner of any existing plan item, such as the top plan card.
Once you have created a new item by either method the 'Add Plan Item' menu will appear.
Required Fields will be listed to the left, such as:
- Plan Item Name – Title of the plan item
- Initial Status - will be Not Started by default, but a status can be selected from the creation page
- Aligns To – this will be automatically populated with the name of the item that you are building under, but can be edited by clicking into the drop-down menu.
- Level - this will be automatically populated based on the plan levels you have created, but can be edited by clicking into the drop-down menu
If you have additional information about your item, you can go ahead and fill in the additional information fields to the right. For the highest rates of success and execution, AchieveIt always recommends completing the following information:
- Assigned To ‐ click into the drop-down menu to select the person you wish to assign to the item. The Assigned User will receive progress update requests once your plan is Active.
- 'Start' and 'Due' Dates - type or click the calendar icon to select appropriate dates for when this work will take place.
- Update Frequency - click into the drop-down menu to select the appropriate reporting frequency for this item. You can select from: Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly or Quarterly
See the Plan Item Card Overview article for details about all of the additional information that can be tracked for any plan item in AchieveIt.
The below diagram describes all of the icons and the areas of a plan card:
Section 2: Notification Settings
To customize settings for your account's progress update email notifications, grace period, and due date notifications, click into the Admin drop-down menu within your top navigation bar and select 'Notification Settings'.
Progress Update Frequency Settings
Now you can begin customizing your options for each of the following reporting frequencies: Daily, Weekly, Bi-Weekly, Monthly, and Quarterly. The Summary section at the top will display any current settings you have:
Items with a Daily Frequency will request a progress update from Assigned Users every day:
Items with a Weekly Frequency will request a progress update from Assigned Users every week. The checkboxes in this section allow you to choose which day(s) of the week you want users to receive the update requests:
Items with a Bi-Weekly Frequency will request a progress update from Assigned Users every two weeks. The checkboxes in this section allow you to choose which day(s) of the week you want users to receive the update requests:
Items with a Monthly Frequency will request a progress update from Assigned Users every month. There are a range of possible settings for this frequency, including: every week on the day(s) of your choosing, a specific day during the month, a specific day after the month has ended, or multiple updates throughout the month.
Items with a Quarterly Frequency will request a progress update from Assigned Users every quarter. There are a range of possible settings for this frequency, including: every week on the day(s) of your choosing, a specific day during the quarter, a specific day before or after the quarter has ended, or multiple updates throughout the quarter.
Additional Notification Settings
Utilize the Grace Period setting to give your Assigned Users a window of opportunity to respond to progress update requests before a deadline, after which they will be considered 'late' in the system.
You can also activate notifications to remind users to complete their updates after the Grace Period has passed and they are late.
You can also set the time of day you would like Assigned Users to receive notification emails from AchieveIt.
Important! After making any changes to these Notification settings, make sure to click 'Save Settings' in order for your new settings to be saved.
Section 3: Activate Your Plan
Once you have completed building out your plan and done a thorough review to ensure all items requiring updates have 1) assigned users, 2) the correct update frequency, and 3) appropriate start and due dates, you can activate your plan if you are ready for update requests to begin going out.
To activate your plan, open the top plan item that houses your plan's name from any view.
To the right of your plan's name at the top of the menu, you will see the plan state toggle switch. Click 'Active'. An alert will appear asking you to confirm this change. Click the white 'Confirm' button in the bottom right-hand corner.
Your plan is now Active, and the new state will be reflected in the Toggle switch.
Section 4: Advanced Features
This section of the Admin Guide walks through some of the advanced features of the platform. We recommend you master the Fundamentals section before venturing into this section.
Create a Metric
You can track a quantifiable outcome as a metric for any item within your plan. To activate a metric on a plan item, locate the plan item from any view and bring up the plan item's details. Click the blue 'Create Metric' button.
Complete a few fields of information to begin tracking a metric for your plan:
- Metric Unit: a dollar amount, a percentage, or a number
- Tracking Success: how you would like to track and visualize success for this metric. You can track: maintain between a baseline and target, stay above or below a baseline, or move from a baseline to a target value. Once selected, make sure to input your custom baseline and target values.
- Metric Calculation: select whether the metric will be provided by the Assigned User with regular progress updates, or calculated automatically based upon other items' metric values.
- Initial Value: Make sure to provide an initial starting value for your metric.
See the Creating a Simple Metric and Creating an Advanced Metric articles for additional details about setting up metrics for plan items in AchieveIt.
Creating Custom Dashboards
Full Access users have the ability to create their own custom dashboards and display relevant content from plans they have access to, such as: progress update information, metric data, custom content, and more. Users can export the dashboard to PDF, as well as schedule a PDF rendering of custom dashboards to be emailed to anyone with an AchieveIt license.
Click the Dashboard drop-down menu from the top navigation bar, then 'Create a Dashboard'.
After selecting this option, the "Create New Dashboard" menu will appear. In this window, you can choose your dashboard's name, select the PDF page orientation, and give other users access. Click 'Save Dashboard' to create your new dashboard.
You'll be redirected to the Editing Page of your dashboard. You can now begin to adding widgets to display custom visualizations of your plan data using the 'Add Widget' menu at the top of the page:
Make sure to click 'Save' regularly as you build out your dashboard to ensure no changes are lost when you leave the page.
Now that you have created great plans to help your organization achieve amazing results, you'll want to make sure your plan information is regularly reviewed and discussed. Scheduled reports are a key feature to automate the sharing of your plan's data regularly. Anyone with an AchieveIt license can receive a scheduled report from the system.
To set up a scheduled report, click the 'Reports' tab in your top navigation bar.
Once you are on the 'Reports' page, click on the report you would like to schedule. One of our most popular options is scheduling a PDF copy of a Custom Dashboard by selecting the 'Custom Dashboard Report' option at the bottom of the list.
Once you have selected your report type, select the report's criteria. For a Custom Dashboard Report, you'll need to select which Dashboard you would like emailed in the Dashboard drop-down:
Next, select the 'Schedule a Report Email' button to configure your email delivery options, which include:
- The users you wish to send the report to on a scheduled basis
- A customizable subject line
- A custom message to be included in the email body(optional)
- The time of day you would like the report to be delivered
- The frequency you would like the report to be sent out on (Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Quarterly)
- Options to designate which day(s) the report should be sent, based upon your selected Frequency
Once you have completed the required fields, make sure to click 'Submit' to save your changes and schedule your report.
Teams in AchieveIt serve a variety of functions:
- Teams serve an as easy way to gain visibility into the current performance of a group, when Teams are attached as Members to relevant plan items
- Teams allow for easy sorting within AchieveIt's filtering menus
- Teams create alignment around organizational goals
Click into the Admin drop-down menu within your top navigation bar and select 'Teams'.
Once you are redirected to the Teams page, click 'Add Teams'.
C. Fill out the menu with the team's information. Enter the Team's name, a Supervising Team (if relevant), add in the appropriate Team Members, and finally, select a Team Leader (required).
NOTE: If you ever need to edit your teams, then you can click the pencil icon to access the members list. To switch the team leader, click the star next to the team member you would like to become the leader.
Teams can be assigned as Members to a Plan Item.