What is the Plan Item Card?
The Plan Item Card is the central place to view and update all plan item information. The Plan Item Card may seem daunting at first glance, after all a Plan Item has a ton of information tied to it. Let's take a deeper look at the Plan Item Card and walk through some of the more important features and pieces of information within it.
Name and Status
Every plan item has a name and a status. The name can be changed simply by clicking on the name in the Plan Item Card header and editing it.
The Plan Item Name and Status
Changing a plan item's status is a bit more involved. The first thing to note is that there are 7 different types of statuses* that a Plan Item can have:
- Not Started
- On Track
- Off Track
- At Risk
- Not Achieved
Secondly, in order to change the status of a plan item a user must submit a Progress Update. We will take a look at Progress Updates and how to submit one in a later section.
* Note that these may be different if your organization uses the Custom Statuses feature.
Before we dive into the different features within the Plan Item Card, we should briefly talk about the different access types for a plan item. There are 3 levels types of access for a plan item: Members, Administrators, and the Assigned To. Each of these access types has differing levels of access throughout the Plan Item Card with Administrators having the most level of access and Members have a lesser amount of access.
The Access section
There can only be a single Assigned To for each plan item; this is by design. Having a single user reporting on a plan item forces ownership and accountability, ultimately leading your organization to succeed when executing your plans. The Assigned To user has a unique set of permissions that mostly center around providing Progress Updates on their assigned plan items. Note, you can set the Assigned To user in the Schedule and Assignment section of the Plan Item Card.
The Assigned To in the Schedule and Assignment section
The timeline sits to the left side of the Plan Item Card and shows the history of all updates, update requests, comments, metric changes, and file uploads for a plan item. If you ever have a question about what, when, or why changes were made to a plan item the timeline should be your first stop!
The most important types of timeline entries are the updates and update requests because they keep your plan items updated with their current status. These entries will show up in the timeline sorted by their update period. If there are multiple updates for the same period, the entries will then be sorted by their "As Of" date. All other entries are sorted using their submission date.
There is also a helpful info panel for each timeline entry that gives more details about it. You can click on the little 'i' icon in the top right of the timeline entry to open the panel.
The Info Panel
If you are ever unhappy with a specific update, you can revert the update to the uncompleted state by clicking on the revert arrow in the top right of the update.
Undoing a Progress Update
Progress Updates, Update Requests, and Comments
There are 3 different actions that users can take to ensure updates are provided for a plan item: Update Progress, Request an Update, and Comment.
A Progress Update
Progress Updates are updates made for a plan item that specify the current status of the plan item at the time of the update.
There are a few different ways you can make updates to a plan item. The easiest way is to click on the "Update Progress" button at the top of the timeline. When you submit a Progress Update you must specify the type of update, the new status, the new metric (if applicable), and a comment if necessary. Any user that is an Administrator, Member, or Assigned To on a Plan Item can submit a Progress Update for it.
Adding a Progress Update
You can also choose to set the "As Of" date: the date "as of" which the update is accurate. This "As Of" date is important for many reasons, though for most use cases you can leave this as the default value.
One important note: If there is an update request that exists for a specific period, you almost always will want to answer the request directly instead of submitting your own update for that period. To do this, find the update request entry in the timeline and fill out the form within the entry.
Requesting an Update
A Progress Update Request
If you are an Administrator or Member on a plan item you will have the ability to request a progress update. Usually these requests are intended for the Assigned To user on the plan item, however they can be answered by any user that is a Member, Assigned To, or Admin. When requesting an update, you must specify the time range for which you would like the update and can optionally include a reason for the request.
Requesting a Progress Update
Progress Update Requests can also be generated automatically with a specific frequency! We'll talk more about this when we get to the Schedule and Assignment section.
Commenting is the simplest of the 3 ways to provide information on a plan item. To provide a comment, click on the comment button above the timeline (the chat bubble with the plus sign), type your comment, and press Submit.
Submitting a comment
A metric gauge chart
Tracking metrics on your plan items is a great way to ensure that you are meeting your organization's goals for a plan. Setting up a metric for a plan item is relatively straightforward: Just click on the "Create Metric" in the Metric Details section to start the process.
There are two different types of metrics: Simple and Advanced. Simple metrics allow you to track a metric in four different ways using a baseline and/or a target value. Advanced metrics go one step further, allowing you to specify the metric goals for specific periods over time, making advanced metrics incredibly handy for those who are tracking complex KPIs. Let's take a deeper look at each of these types of metrics.
Simple metrics are the simplest of the two types of metrics (hence the name). They give you pre-baked tracking options allowing you to create a metric quickly. If you are tracking a metric with linear growth (or decline) or one that needs to stay above or below a certain value, simple metrics will do the trick.
Simple Metric setup
Advanced metrics give you more flexibility when creating your metrics. Advanced metrics are comprised of goals. Each goal has several different pieces of information: a name, an associated color and line type (for reference when charting the metric), a tracking period, and the goal values for each of the time divisions within the tracking period. All of these fields come together to form a goal that is variable in both value and time, giving you tons of control over your metric goals.
Advanced Metric goal setup
Details and Dependencies
The Details and Dependencies section shows the plan item's Level, Description, and Dependent On Item.
The Details and Dependencies Section
Levels are defined at the plan level and every plan item is assigned a level. Keep in mind that usually these levels are set when the plan is first created and do not need to be changed after the plan is in motion. With that said, if you need to change a plan item's level, you can do so in this section.
The plan item's description field gives you a place to describe the plan item. You can put whatever information you desire in a plan item's description.
The Dependent On Item field allows you to select another plan item that the current plan item "depends on"... hence the name. This field is helpful when you are setting up dependencies in the Gantt View.
Schedule and Assignment
The Schedule and Assignment section allows you to set the Start and Due date, set the Assigned To user, and choose a Progress Update Frequency for a plan item.
The Schedule and Assignment section
Choosing the Assigned To user is an important step in setting up your plan item. The Assigned To user who is primarily responsible for providing Progress Updates for a plan item. For this reason, they will received updates via email whenever requests are generated (via the scheduling system or when requests are manually created).
Selecting the Progress Update Frequency is also important. Doing so will ensure that the automatically scheduled progress update requests are created with the correct cadence. Both the Assigned To user and Progress Update Frequency must be set in order for scheduled progress updates to be generated.
You can attach files to a plan item from within the Plan Item Card. There are two different places you can attach a file: The button at the top of the timeline and the add button in the Files section.
The Files section
When a file is attached to a plan item, you will see a timeline item showing the name of the file and the date and time it was uploaded. You can also see this inside of the Files section, along with a history of the file.
The File section gives you more control over all of the actions that can be done with files.
Tags and Checklists
The Tag section allows you to apply tags to your plan item. Each plan item can have an unlimited
number of tags associated with it. These tags can be used to filter down your reports, organize and report on plan items across multiple plans within the MultiPlan view, and can be used in a variety of other ways.
The Tags Section
The Checklists section gives you the ability to create checklists. Like tags, checklists can be used in a number of ways. We are always curious to find new ways to utilize Tags and Checklists... if your organization has a unique way to use these features, don't hesitate to let us know!
The Checklists section
All other options for a plan item can be found in the top right hand corner of the Plan Item Card.
For a Plan level card, you may see a Plan Activity toggle (you must be a Plan Administrator to see this toggle). The Plan Activity toggle can be used to Activate / Deactivate your plan. There are a few things to keep in mind regarding plan activity, namely:
- For a plan to generate scheduled progress update requests, it must be Active.
- Inactive plans are hidden from view (throughout AchieveIt) for all users except Plan Administrators.
- Inactive plans are excluded from schedule reports
The Plan Activity toggle
Last, but certainly not least, there is a button with an ellipsis (...) in the top right hand corner of the Plan Item Card. Clicking this button will reveal a menu with a variety of options. The list of options that is shown depends on a user's access level for that Plan Item, but some of these options include:
- Delete Plan Item
- Delete Plan (on the Plan Level Item)
- Archive Plan
- Copy Plan Structure
- Copy Plan Item ID