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Title: Project Notes

Brief description:

Project Notes are a powerful way to track and store documentation and collaboration by your team members. This page outlines the benefits of Project Notes, how to set up and use Project Notes (including instructions for configuring User Defined Fields (UDFs) specific to your company's notation needs), and several examples of business case usage.

What’s covered in this document:

Benefits of Project Notes

There are several benefits of using Project Notes:

  • Fully indexed
  • Statuses & Types
  • User Defined Fields (UDFs)
  • Assignees/Completion
  • View limited by role
  • Multiple attachments
  • Email notifications
  • Audit trail
  • Available in reporting

How to Set Up Project Notes

Step 1: Define Note Statuses

Click on Admin > Setup > Project > Note Statuses. Here you can see a number of valid statuses have been defined by an Administrator to represent the typical lifecycle of risks, action items, issues, or other elements. These are completely configurable to your needs and you can add as many as necessary.

Step 2: Define Note Types

Click on Admin > Setup > Project > Note Types. These are also completely configurable to your needs and you can add as many as necessary. Note that these Types would be defined by your organization’s planned usage of Project Notes.

Step 3: Define UDFs for Project Notes (optional)

Click on Admin > Setup > User Defined Fields > Project Note. As with other UDFs, you can specify a field type (with values for pick lists if necessary), whether it is required with default values, enabled/disabled, etc. UDFs can be created up to a total of 20 items.

Sample UDFs and values are shown in the images below.

  • The UDF 1 "Areas Affected" (shown in the screenshot below) could be used to capture the business area, product functionality, or some other category to which the note (specifically an issue or risk) might apply.

  • UDF 2 "Priority" is also defined as a pick list. In this example, three values for Priority have been defined: High, Medium, and Low.

  • Risks usually have a probability assigned to them. In this example, the UDF 3 "Probability" pick list includes five values representing different ranges of likelihood.
    Note: A risk with 100% probability should be classified as an issue. Please see the example business case below regarding issue tracking.

Step 4: Create Project Note

Edit a project (edit pencil icon) and navigate to Notes (left menu), or navigate to Project > Notes > List tab, and select the +Project Note link. Each note has a unique number identifier, allocated sequentially when the note is created.

When a new note is created, a number of fields are available, including the Statuses, Types, and UDFs defined by an Administrator (and described above). You can also assign a person to the note, restrict access to the note based on user roles, add attachments to the note, and send email notifications to certain users upon saving.

Step 5: Add Note Comments (optional)

Once a note has been created, comments can be added by the original author and other users. This is available by clicking the icon at the top left of the note title for which you want to add a comment.

Existing comments can be edited or deleted using the appropriate icon.

Comments can be viewed by clicking the blue arrow as shown in the example below. This area is expandable and collapsible to show or hide detail.

Step 6: Save Criteria (optional)

The Search tab is the default view under Project > Notes and has many options to search for notes. Search procedures work the same throughout Unanet.

 A Save Criteria link is available on the top right of both the Search and List tabs. This operates similarly to a Saved Report and allows you to save multiple search criteria for notes on any of your dashboards.

These saved searches appear in the My Lists area on the dashboard of your choice.

In the example above, two Saved Criteria for Note Types have been added to the My Lists area of this dashboard.

  • My Action Items includes Note Types classified as Action Items where the user is a creator or assignee.
  • The Important Risks list includes those Notes classified as Risks, which are of Medium or High Priority.

The My Lists feature provides direct access to Project Notes, People, and Projects lists according to the criteria you save. Data can be edited directly from the list without the need to navigate from a report to this data presented.

Audit Trail

An Audit Trail link is available for each note in the Project > Notes > List. This allows significant changes to the content of a note to be tracked. The audited fields are:

  • All the Note UDFs

Where to Find/Query Project Notes

Navigate to Project > Notes to search for or list Project Notes.

You can also query Project Notes in the following reports:

  • Organization Activity
  • Project Status

Organization Activity Report

The Organization Activity Report selection criteria has a check box to Include Project Notes.

Any Project Notes will then be listed under Activities, with a link to open the note.

Project Status Report

To further aid the new project management and collaboration enhancements available via Project Notes, selected Notes can be included on the Project Status eport.
The Project Status report selection criteria has a check box to Show Project Notes.

Checking this box presents an additional set of criteria to appear exactly as on a Project Notes Search tab. This allows you to run a Project Status report and include information on relevant risks, action items, issues, or other items associated with the project. As with other reports, these criteria can be saved and run from a dashboard. Again note that you have access to the UDFs you created on the Search tab to select exactly the data you want.

In the example above, a single note meets the selection criteria for the report. Comments associated with the note can be expanded or collapsed directly from the report.

Sample Business Case Usage of Project Notes

Issue Tracking

You can track issues using Project Notes. Take the following steps:

  • In Admin > Setup > Project > Note Statuses and Note Types:
    • Create a Note Type of "ISSUE"
    • Create Note Statuses of Assigned, Deferred, Closed, Open and any others you would like
  • Create Project Notes in the project profile by going to Project > Notes (left menu) > +Project Note
    • Specify the following:
      • Person assigned to the note, dates, status, type, description
  • Upload the attached Adhoc report definition: Reports > Ad Hoc > +Ad Hoc Report > Import
  • Save the report

The resulting report will look something like this:

Risk Tracking

Project Notes can be used to manage, escalate, and de-escalate risks. A Project Note Type may be created as "Risk," to differentiate from other types of notes. Risk "Probability" and "Areas Affected" may be set up as a Project Note User Defined Field as outlined above. Saved Lists may be created that pull only notes which have the criteria of the Risk Note Type and just "Medium" and "High" priority.

Milestone/Deliverable Tracking

Milestones and deliverables can be managed in Project Notes.

Pipeline Management

KC - Webinar - Pipeline Management in Unanet

Resumes for Proposal Efforts

Resumes for staffing may be stored in Project Notes with the appropriate permissions.

Project Requesting

KC - Quick Topic - Project Requesting

Weekly Status Meetings and Action Items

Status meetings and action items may be stored and assigned in Project Notes. 

Store Contract Documents and Workforce Authorizations

Contract documents and workforce authorizations may be uploaded. 

Track Personnel Objectives

Staff objectives may be managed in Project Notes. 

You would set up one project per person and restrict access appropriately. You may or may not want to allow the person access to that project, and instead only allow HR and/or the manager to access that project. Documents specific to that person may then be uploaded to that person-specific project. 

Additional Information

Help Docs - Project Notes

Risk Management section of the CMMI for Software

KC - Quick Topic - Organization Activity Report

KC - FAQ - What is the difference between Shared Documents vs Project Notes?

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