Chapter 5: Create New Project
BluePrince activities are organized around “Projects” to support coordinating processes across departments and to make workflow more efficient. We created the project model as an umbrella to help manage the workflow through departments and provide a central control panel for these efforts. All permits and city departmental approvals require an associated project. The sections in this chapter will provide specific details on how to use projects in BluePrince.
Starting a Project
To begin a new project, click on the New Project button found on the BluePrince Main Tool Bar. A New Project window will open and you will be prompted to enter Project Summary information (see Figure 40).
Figure 40 - New Project Form
The first action is to select the project type you want to create, by reviewing the dropdown menu to the right of the word "Type" and selecting the type of project you need to create (see Figure 41). Project Types as well as their associated attributes are defined in BlueConfig. The New Project form allows you to enter information necessary to start a new project. Because BluePrince is project based, all permits must belong to a project, and projects often have multiple permits, although they don’t need to have any.
Figure 41 - Project Type Drop-down Menu on New Project Form
Next, select how the project will be uniquely identified within BluePrince, via the drop-down box with default value shown as “Address” (see Figure 42). If the project will be identified by an address, you must enter both the number and the street name. If it will be identified by the PIN number, only the PIN number is required; if by GIS ID, only the GIS ID is required; if by location, enter in the location in the text box to the right of the word “Location”.
Figure 42 - Drop-down Menu to Select Data for Unique Project Identification
Hint: The Project ID and Project Name will be generated automatically, based on the data you have selected for unique project identification. You may change the Project Name if you choose, but you cannot change the Project ID.
Next, Assign a contractor and enter a description of the project (see Figure 43).
Figure 43 - New Project with Summary Information - Ready to Save
Hint: If the contractor submitted a Project Request on-line, the Project Name that the Contractor chose will appear in the Contractor ID (Cid) field. You cannot edit this field using BluePrince.
Upon saving the New Project form, if your project has optional project steps a Select Project Steps in Use window will open (see Figure 44).
Figure 44 – Form used to Select Optional Project Steps to be used for Project
In this window you will be prompted to check off any optional steps that you would like to use for this project. You can Select All or Select None of the optional steps. Click Save when you are finished. At this time the Project form expands for you to manage various project details. Remember that you can add additional steps later, as long as they are in use for this project.
The Project Steps tab (see Figure 45) allows you to see a snapshot of all steps that exist on a project. Some projects may contain only one step. There are typically several steps on many projects. The large window on this tab displays the current step of the project as well as all previous and future steps. Above the table you will see the text "Current Step:" with a number to the right of it that represents the sequence number of the current step.
Figure 45 - Project Form: Project Steps Tab
Project Steps Table Details
Table 5 provides an explanation of columns within the Project Steps table. Note that the description of Project Steps as defined in BlueConfig also defines how the project step is described on-line for contractors (see “On-Line Desc” row).
Table 5 – Project Steps Table Description
Describes the sequence of the project steps. If a sequence is set, a lower sequence number must be completed before a higher sequence can begin.
Name given to the current project step.
Has 3 possible values that describe the status of a project step: “Done”, which describes a completed step, “Current” which describes the current step, and “Pending” which describes any step that has not yet been completed.
Step Completes when
Defines the finish criteria for a project step. All of the items listed in this box must be complete before the step is allowed to continue. The actual criteria are defined in BlueConfig.
Description of the text that the contractors see on their online project pages. This is defined in BlueConfig.
Project Steps Operations
Some Project Types may be configured with optional project steps that vary according to circumstances. This reduces the number of Project Types needed. For example, New Residential Construction may have a city sewer hookup when built within city limits or have a septic system when built outside of city limits. Your jurisdiction may choose to make project step Sewer Review optional and only use that Project Step when the construction is within city limits. Once a project has been created, you may add or delete optional Project Steps as necessary. Using Figure 46 as an example, you might click the Add button on the Project Steps tab to add the optional step of Zoning Review shown in Figure 44. If you determined that the Addressing Project step was not needed (again, using Figure 46), you could select that row in the table and click the Remove button to remove it.
While permits can be created directly from the BluePrince Main Tool Bar, they can also be created and accessed from the Permits tab of a project. To create a new permit make sure that the Permits tab is highlighted on the Project form and select a project step from the drop down at the top of the tab (see Figure 46). Permits are only supported for Building or Zoning Project Steps.
Figure 46 - Project Form: Permits Tab
A new Permit cannot be started until all previous steps (and their approvals) are complete. If this is not the case you will get an error message from BluePrince indicating that you are out of sequence. Once you have selected the appropriate Project Step, click the New button in the upper right of the Permits tab to create a permit.
If you have already created a permit and want to view the details on it, simply select the appropriate project step, select the desired permit and click the Details button in the upper right of the Permits tab.
If your project includes the Building or Zoning Project steps, but does not require a permit you can click the No Permit Needed button. This will allow your project to move to the next step without creating a permit.
The Inspections tab allows you to manage all of the inspections on all of the permits associated with your project. To manage an inspection, select the appropriate Project Step (Building or Zoning) in the drop down at the top of the Tab (see Figure 47). All related inspections will then be listed in the table below the drop down. To request an inspection simply select the inspection you would like to request and press the Request button on the tab. To cancel a requested or scheduled inspection, select the appropriate inspection and click the Cancel button on the tab. To view details on an inspection select the inspection and click the Details button on the tab.
Hint: Several types of pop up windows will appear when you press the buttons mentioned above. For details on how to administer inspections see the inspections chapter of this guide.
Figure 47 - Project Form: Inspections Tab
Approvals provide the means whereby the staff in different departments can sign off on their part of a project. Approvals on a particular Project Step must be Approved or Canceled before the project can move on to the next step.
The Approvals tab on the Project form displays all the approvals for the completed and current Project Steps (see Figure 48). Approvals for the next pending Project Step are not created until the previous step completes. If there are optional approvals for the project that you want to add click Change Optional and you can check off the needed approvals. An approval may include a fee that needs to be paid, or simply an 'ok' by someone in a particular department. In either case you may create fees and invoices or Approve an approval by selecting an approval on the project tab and clicking the appropriate button.
Figure 48 - Project Form: Approval Tab
If an approval consists of a fee that needs to be paid, select that approval and you will see two buttons that say "Calculate Fees", one in the table and the other above the table. Clicking either button will allow you to select the fees and save them. At that time an invoice is also automatically created. Once an invoice has been created, selecting the row again changes the buttons to Invoice Details. Click either button; the Contractor's Account form opens. In this form you can post the invoice as paid, issue a refund, or print an invoice. See Chapter 14: Accounts and Payments with BluePrince Accounting for more details.
If an approval consists of an "ok" from a department, select the approval and click the Change Status button. This opens the Approval Entry form in which you will see a Status dropdown menu. Select the appropriate approval status and enter any comments or notes in the large white boxes below. Once an approval has been completed you can click Approval Details to view details about the selected approval. If you find it necessary to communicate with the contractor at this time and have an email address saved in BluePrince you can click Send Message which will open your email client with the email already addressed to the contractor.
Hint: A Project Step may only complete if all the approvals have been given a status of Approved or Canceled. Also, all text entered into the Public Comments box is publicly viewable by contractors online. The Private Comments and Notes section is private and only visible to those using BluePrince in your jurisdiction.
When a project is first started, you are asked to assign a Property to the project. This property becomes the 'Primary Property' for identification purposes. There is only one primary property associated with a project, but you may assign as many other properties to the project as you would like. This may be useful when a project is used to manage construction of a new development or sub-division.
The Properties Tab on the Project form (see Figure 50) allows you to add and remove properties and to swap the 'Primary Property' indicator with another property. To assign another property to the project, enter “Edit Mode” and then enter the address in the boxes at the top of the tab and click the Assign button. Select the property from the Assign Results form and click the Use button.
Figure 49 - Project Form: Properties Tab
To view property details, select a property in the table and click the Details button. The Property Form opens showing the details of the selected property. To swap the 'Primary Property' on a project, enter “Edit Mode” and then select the 'Primary Property' in the table and click the Swap button. A pop up window warns you that the Project ID will change if the 'Primary Property' changes. Click Yes and a Select Property to Swap window opens. Check the new 'Primary Property' and click the Save button.
To remove a property, enter “Edit Mode” and then select any row in the table except the 'Primary Property' and the Swap button changes into a Remove button. Click the Remove button to remove the selected property.
Hint: You cannot remove the 'Primary Property' from the project. If you wish to do so, you must first swap it with another property.