Build Your First Project

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Project managers and project creators


Creating a project from scratch is easy once you know how to use Project Insight’s inline editing. This training is designed for project managers and project schedulers, but team members are welcome too. We cover how to create a project, how to select the columns you prefer and how to save quick selections and tips of using inline editing.


  • Be able to create your first project using inline editing
  • Learn how to create customized task lists and Gantt charts
  • Gain an understanding of basic project scheduling terminology

Key Points


Where to Add a Project

The first topic that covered in today’s session is where to add a project.

Project Insight has the unique ability for you to set up a folder structure so that you can organize your information in a way that best suits your business process and your business requirements.

Your System Administrator will have folders set up for you. Projects can then be added into those folders.

To see that, click on the Projects folder.

You can see all the projects that are in this folder.

To add a project, hover on the Add icon.

You can see one of the items you can add is a project.

Not every user can add a Project.

First, you must have a system role assigned to you that allows you to add a project.

Second, you must have add permissions on the folder.

Third, projects must be an entity type that is allowed to be added to this folder.

Setting those permissions and roles up is covered in the Secure Your Project Insight Data with Permissions webinar.

To add a project, click on the Add Project icon.

Fill out the Project Add/Edit Form

The project add/edit form appears.

Click on the Collapse Left Navigation icon so that you have more space on the screen to display and work with the project add/edit form.

The first thing you must enter is the name of the project.

Type in Financial Management System.

You’ll see that next to the label for the project name, there is a red asterisk. This red asterisk indicates that this is a required field. You can see that the Project Name is a required field.

If you scroll down on the add/edit form, you can see that the

Scheduled Start Date,

the Time Zone and

the State are also required fields.

However, they have default settings already entered, so you could just leave those as they are set and click Save.

That’s it. That’s how simple it is to add a project in Project Insight.

Click the add project icon, enter the project name and click the Save icon.

However, in some circumstances, and again depending on your business process and requirements, you may need to enter or change the other information.

In this training session, since you are building your first project, you are just going to see information about the required fields. In other training sessions, the other information on the add/edit form is reviewed in detail.

Scheduled Start Date

The Scheduled Start Date is a required field and it designates when you think the project will begin.

It defaults to the current date during the add. You may save the project with that or you can enter a different date.

To change the date, click in the date field.

You can just type the date in.

If you hover the cursor in the date field, you will see help text that tells you what date format to enter and also tells you keyboard shortcuts to enter in different dates automatically. Such as clicking T while you are in the date field, will insert today’s date.

Instead of typing in the date, you can also click on the Calendar icon and choose the scheduled start date from a calendar layer. Click on a date to select it.

This Scheduled Start Date is used when determining start dates of tasks on the project.

For example, if you have no dependencies for a task and no constraint dates for a task, then the task will default to start on the same date as the Project Scheduled Date.

The Scheduled Start Date can be a date in the future or it can even be in the past.

You can change the Scheduled Start Date during the add process or you can change this date later on, after the project is saved, if required.

Work Calendar Inherits From

The next required option that you set is the Work Calendar Inherits From.

You can see that it is set automatically to System Default.

Click on the drop down to see other work calendars.

There are other calendars set up for different country’s holidays.

Your System Administrator will have created the work calendars for your organization. You may only have one work calendar or you may have several depending on your situation. Typically, a work calendar will identify the holidays and standard work days for different regions or countries.

Calendars are used to determine the start and end date for tasks.

Each user that is set up in Project Insight is assigned a default work calendar from this list. When you add a project, it will set the work calendar for the project to be the same as what is set in your user profile, but it can be changed as required.

Click anywhere on the white space to exit out of the drop down and leave it as the system default.

Time Zone

The Time Zone is the next option. When you setup a user in the system, you can set the default time zone for that user.

The Time Zone on the project will then default to that. You can change it.

Click on the drop down for the time zone.

Select the time zone that is most appropriate for this project.

For example, select Eastern Time.

Project State

The last required field is the State.

The State has to be set for a project.

Your System Administrator will have set a default State for new projects but you can change it if required.

There are five states and your project must be set to only one of those states.


The Planning state is a project that is not active yet. Typically, the project manager is still mapping out the tasks and the schedule. Any team members assigned to a task that belongs to a project in the planning state, won’t see those tasks on their work lists.


The Active state indicates that the project is now ready to be worked on. Team members will see tasks from an active project in their work list.


The Archive state indicates that the project is completed.

You don’t want to delete completed projects from Project Insight because you want to retain that historical data in the system and you want to be able to report and search on them.

However, you don’t want it always included with your active projects on project reports.

By setting a completed project to the Archive state, you can still report on it, search and see the information but you separate it out from your active projects.


The Template state is not part of the project life cycle.

A project set as a template, is not an actual project that is ever going to be worked on. Rather, it is a framework that you can use to create new projects. This reduces the amount of data entry you need to do for each new project and also to enforce standards and incorporate lessons learned from previous projects.

A template project looks exactly like any other project with all the same project header information and tas

ks etc. When you create a new project based on that template, all that information will be copied over into the new project.

Then you can modify it as required for the new project so you’re not starting from scratch.

Any project templates that have been created will appear in the Copy from Template on the add/edit form.

To see them click on the Copy from Template drop down.

You can select a template to use to base this project on.

To do that, click on the Template to select it.

However, for this session for building your first project, you don’t want to select a template.

Click on the Copy from Template drop down and set it to No Selection.

This will give you a blank task list to work with.

To Be Deleted

The last state, To Be Deleted, is the only way you can delete a project from the system.

Remember, if you have a project that is completed, you want to set it to an archive state not delete it. This retains the historical information for reporting purposes.

Normally, you would only ever delete a project if it was a data entry error.

The delete process is a two-step process. You have to set the state to To Be Deleted as the first step. Then you have to click the delete icon.

You can only do that, if you have delete permissions on the project.

So for now, click on Active, because you want to add this new project and make it active so any resources you assign to tasks on it, will see those tasks on their work list.

Hover on the save icon and click Save and Display project.

That saves the project in the system and takes you to the task list form so that you can now start to enter tasks.

When you created this project, you didn’t select a template, so you have a blank task list.

If you selected a template, then you would have a pre-defined list of tasks already setup and then you could just edit them, add new ones or delete ones as appropriate for this specific project work.

How to Use the Inline Editing

To start adding tasks in the blank task list, you are going to use inline editing.

Inline editing lets you enter data right on the form without having to go to another layer or another form.

This lets you easily and quickly setup your project.

What you’re seeing here is a standard task list view, with some standard fields that you need to enter when creating a task.

Add a New Task

To add a new task, click in the name field in the gray blank line.

Type the task name, such as Define Requirements.

To navigate to the other task fields, you can click tab to tab through them.

You can also click shift tab to go backwards.

You can also just click in a field to go to it.

The Difference between Duration and Work

Now, you’re going to learn the difference between duration and work.

Hover on the duration column label to expand it bigger to see the whole label.

Hover on the work hours column label to expand it bigger to see the definition.

Work is the actual effort or actual time that it takes to complete the task. Duration is the length of time it is going to take you to do that work.

Work and Duration can be the same if you are working 100% of your time on a task. But if you are not working 100% of your time on one task, then work and duration will be different.

To enter work and duration, click in the Duration field and enter 5.

This 5 in the duration column specifies days.

Now tab out of the duration.

The Work Hours got automatically set to 40.

Settings in Project Insight told it to assume that the work hours were going to equal the duration.

So it took the number of average work hours per day from the work calendar and multiplied it by the duration to get the total work hours.

If you left this task like this, it means that it is going to take you 5 days to complete this task and you are going to be working on it 100% of your time, or 40 hours.

However, in reality, you are often splitting your time between tasks on this project, other project or even other non-project activities.

To see that, let’s assume this task is really only going to take you 20 hours not 40.

Click in the Work hours.

Change the 40 to 20.

Tab out of the Work hours field.

The Duration is still set to 5 days

but during that time, you are only spending 20 hours or 50% of your time on this task.

You are spending the other 50% of your time on something else.

That’s the definition of duration and work.

Start and End Dates

The next fields you enter for a task are the Start and End Dates.

You can enter in specific dates start and end dates, which are often referred to as constraint dates, or you can let the system apply intelligent scheduling rules to calculate the start and end dates for you.

To hard code in specific dates, click in the date field and enter a date or click the calendar icon and choose a date from the calendar.

One you enter in a constraint date, that will be used to schedule the task.

But alternatively, to let the system automatically determine the dates for you, click anywhere on the white space to exit the calendar without hard-coding in a date.

Leave the start and end dates blank and click the save icon.

You can see that the Start Date of the task got set to the Scheduled Start Date of the project.

The End Date of the task got set to the start date plus the five days duration, or five days after the start date.

To see further how the intelligent scheduling works, hover on the Edit icon and select Edit Project.

Click on the Calendar icon to change the Scheduled Start Date of the project.

Hover on Save and click Save & Display Project.

You can see that the Start Date of the task got changed as well

and the End Date got pushed out to reflect the new Start Date.

Any task that doesn’t have a hard coded constraint date and isn’t dependent on other tasks, will automatically have the start date set to the Scheduled Start Date of the project.

The End Date will be set to the Start Date plus the Duration.

Any other tasks dependent on this task will also be shifted automatically.

This makes it very easy when doing planning to shift projects and optimize your portfolio of active projects.

Customize Your Own Task List

You’ve seen how the inline editing works.

With inline editing, you can very easily add a new task or edit an existing task right on the task list form that’s displaying the information.

However, there is a lot more information that can be entered about a task than what is usually showing on the task list.

To see all those details for a task, right click on the task.

From the menu option, hover on Edit Task (inline).

Click on Edit Task (full) from the sub-menu.

On this task add/edit form, you can see all the data you can enter for task. This includes the name, duration and Work Hours, but you can see there is a lot more data that can be entered.

For example, you can select the type of resource that is required to complete the work on this task.

To do that, click on the drop down for the Resource Type/Role.

Click on the role required for this task.

Click Save.

That Resource Type/Role field is not currently displayed on the task list form.

But you can add it to the form by clicking the Display Options icon.

The Display Options let you apply filters to the information that is displayed on the task list, so you see only certain tasks.

It also lets you set the columns that appear on the task list.

You do that in the Column Selection Options.

Right now, the Column Selection Options section is expanded out.

Click on the Column Selection Options bar to collapse or expand that section if it was not showing.

In here, you have all the Available Columns that you can put on the task list.

If you scroll down in the list you can see all the available data elements.

You also have the currently Selected Columns.

In this list, you can see the data fields that were showing on your task list.

You can add any columns of data that you need to the task list, so you can see it on the task list view and also use the inline editing.

Scroll down to the R section. You could also just type in R to go directly to columns that start with R.

Click on the Column, Resource Type/Role.

Remember, you set the Resource Type/Role for this task on the add/edit form, but you couldn’t see that field on the task list.

To move it to the Selected Columns and see it, with it highlighted you could click the move icon.

Or you can just double click on the column to move it.

Now you can see that the Resource Type/Role has been moved to the Selected Columns.

You can see that it put it at the end of the list.

You can change the order.

Click on the Resource Type/Role.

Click the Up arrow to move it up to position it next to the Resources column.

Click the Update Display icon.

You can see the Resource Type/Role column is now displayed on the task list.

It is showing the role that you entered for the Requirements task.

To see how you set the Resource Type/Role with inline editing, add a new task, by typing in the gray blank line.

For example, enter Documentation as the name of this next task.

Enter 2 days for duration.

Leave the work set as 16 hours.

Now click in the drop down for the Resource Type/Role.

You can see you can now use inline editing to enter that role instead of having to go to the full task add/edit form.

Click the Save icon to save the task.

Save Quick Selections

You have changed the task list view by adding additional columns of data.

If this was a view that you wanted to re-use again, not only on this project but other projects as well, you can save this view.

To do that, click on the Display Options icon again.

In the Column Selection Options, there is a Quick Selection.

Click in the drop down for the Quick Selection.

You can see that there are different views available.

Some of the Views are predefined system views and you are not able to change them or delete them.

Click on the Planning View.

This is a default system view that is setup and the view that you were using when you first displayed the task list.

You can see when you selected that view, the Selected Columns change and the Resource Type/Role is no longer showing.

Since you are going to be entering the Resource Type/Role for every task, you want that Column Selected, so you are going to add it back in.

This time though, before you select it, you want to click on the column, Predecessors in the Selected Columns.

If you have a column highlighted in the Selected Column before you add a column, it will put the new column in front of the selected one instead of putting it at the end of the list, like it did before.

Click anywhere in the Available Columns.

Enter R to go directly to the Rs.

Double click on the Resource Type/Role.

It gets automatically put to display before the Predecessors column.

You can still move it by clicking on the up and down icons.

Since we’ve changed the information on the view, the Quick Selection drop down has changed from the Planning View to a Custom Selection.

Click on the drop down for the Quick Selection.

The Planning View is still here and you haven’t changed that. You are now just creating your own custom selection.

You can save this new view.

Click on the Save icon.

Type in a name for your new view.

Enter New Projects.

If this is a view that you are normally going to use, then click on My Default View.

This will then become your default view.

Since this is a system administrator that is logged in, there are some additional options available such as setting this view as a Global View and setting it as a Global Default View.

If you’re a system administrator, you can create a view and then make it available to all other users so it appears in their drop down list of views.

You can also create a view and set it as the default for everyone in the system. This only works though, if a user hasn’t set his or her own individual default view.

But again, only a system administrator won’t have those options. Regular users will only be able to set their own default view.

Click the Save icon.

If you click in the drop down for Quick Selection, you can now see that view in the list.

Click anywhere on the white space to exit out of the selection drop down.

Click the Update Display icon.

The task list is now displayed with that new view.

Even though you’ve set a default view, that default is only used to display new projects.

The reason that it is only used for new projects is because Project Insight remembers the last view that was used on each project.

For example, for one specific project, you changed the view to include a % percent complete.

Click on the Display Options icon.

Click on the Name column to insert it before the name.

Double click on the % Comp column.

Click the Update Display icon.

The software will remember that for this specific project, this was the view that was set and it will use this view the next time the task list is displayed.

This is part of the usability of the system. It knows that you changed the view for the current project for a business reason, so it remembers that view and keeps displaying the project with that view so you don’t have to go in each time and re-set it.

Once you’ve created views, it is very easy to click on the Display Options icon.

Click on the drop down for the Quick Selection.

Click on a view.

For example, click the Financial Summary view, which is one of the default system views.

Click the Update Display icon.

Now you can see financial information about the project. This might be a view you switch to while the project is in progress and you’re managing the financial data.

Full Task Add/Edit Form

On these views, you usually only have snapshot of the information that you need for whatever process you are currently doing.

Let’s have a look again at the full task details.

This time though to access the full task details, hover on the Add icon and select Add Task.

This is the task add/edit form that you saw before. In some circumstances you may want to use this form to add or edit the task information instead of doing inline editing.

Normally you would use the task list and the inline editing for adding and editing information because it is quicker and simpler. That way you also have a focussed view of just the data that you need instead of seeing all the data for the task every time.

On the General tab, you can see the general task data.

Click on Predecessors.

This is where you set up task predecessors. You can also do this through the task list view.

Click on Description.

This is where you can enter a more detailed description of the task or other information such as instructions. This is also available on the task list view.

Click on Resources.

This is where you assign resources to a task. Again, this is also available on the task list view. Assigning resources is covered in detail in other sessions.

Click on Advanced.

Some of the options in the Advanced tab are not available on the task list and using inline editing because they are just that, advanced. Some of these options are inherited from system default settings so you usually would only change this information if there are exceptions.

Click Cancel to cancel out of this add.

Using Drag and Drop and other Shortcuts

Now you’re going to see some other functions you can do on the task list.

Click on the Display Options icon.

Click on the drop down for the Quick Selection.

Click on your new Project’s View.

Click the Update Display icon.

You are once again back in the mode of creating your project.

Add in another task.

Type in Design in the gray blank line.

Enter 4 days for duration.

Leave the rest of the fields as their defaults.

Click the Save icon to save the task.

Now you have three tasks, but say for example, those tasks are in the wrong order and you want Design to come before Documentation.

To move it, hover your cursor anywhere on the task line that you want to move.

Drag and drop it on the task that you want it come after.

You can see it has moved the task.

In some circumstances, you may get additional prompts when you move a task. Just ensure you read the text to understand the options you have so that you can select the appropriate one.

Edit Inline

You have seen how to add a new task using inline editing.

You can also edit an existing task with inline editing.

To edit a task, you can click on the Edit icon on the same line as the task.

Or alternatively, you can double click anywhere on the white space on the line to go into edit mode.

This is quick way to enter edit mode, just ensure that when you double click you’re not clicking on an existing field such as the name or the predecessor name because that would instead link you to other forms, because the fields are hyperlinks.

Click Cancel or hit enter to exit edit mode.

The last way you can enter edit mode is by hovering on the task and right clicking.

This brings up menu items for the task.

Click on Edit Task (inline).

Right click to bring up a menu item is context sensitive.

Click Cancel to exit edit mode.

If you’re on a task when you right click, it brings up options for the task.

If you’re on white space on the task list form, and you right click it brings up menu options related to the form, not the task.

If you’re on the column headers and you right click, it brings up menu options that are specific to those headers.

So right clicking is a quick way to get to different options, just ensure you are hovering on a task, if you want task specific menu options.

Summary Tasks

The last function you need to understand when building your first project is being able to set a summary task.

To do that, double click on the white space to edit a task.

Click on the Action Options header to drag it wider to see the entire label.

You can see that when you’re in edit mode, there is an Advanced Options icon for this task.

Click on the Advanced Options icon.

The Advanced Options layer appears.

Click on the Is Summary option.

Click Save.

The Task name changes to have an arrow next to it. This arrow indicates that this is a summary task.

If you’re adding a new task, the Advanced Options icon is available also during the add so you can click on it.

To see that, click in the gray blank line and type in the new task, Test

You can see the Advanced Options icon is showing on the line.

Click on the Advanced Options icon on that line for the new task.

Click on Is Summary.

Click Save.

That sets this task to a summary task during the add mode.

If you want to change a task to a summary task after it was added, hover on the task and right click to bring up the task menu options.

Hover on Edit Task (line) and select the Edit Advanced Options icon.

Click on Is Summary.

Click OK.

You should now be able to build your first project.

Online 4/23/2015
Denise Arterberry
Updated on: