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AlchemyWorks Project Guide

Handling recurring tasks and projects

Most projects have some element of recurring activity, whether that be a regular report to stakeholders, review meetings or audits of some form.

As an example let's take a security audit on an IT infrastructure project. We want to review on a weekly basis the nature of our assets, threats, actors and mitigating action plans to verify they are still current and appropriate.

The mechanism we will use in AlchemyWorks for recurring tasks and recurring projects is the respawn function.

Navigate to the infrastructure project we require to audit and somewhere within it's project tree create a new container project for these audits, call it "Security Audits". Now within that project create a new project called "Weekly Security Audit". Set some appropriate parameters on this project such as priority and estimated duration, if we already have plans in place then perhaps thirty minutes for the review. Also attach related documents to this project so they are easily accessible for the process. For good measure create a couple of status codes for the audit, indicating completed or uncompleted status. We could use some standard status codes, but dedicating unique ones for this purpose will assist with navigation and reporting.

Now go to the scheduling tab of this project and we'll set some dependencies. We've just completed our security plan, so set a deferral date on this project for about a weeks time. The project will still be scheduled according to it's priority, but not until after the date we have just set. Also it won't show up on our dashboard until after the deferral date, although it will still be visible in our agenda and the calendar. We'll also set a deadline for two weeks time so that if it will not be scheduled to complete in a reasonable time, alerts will be generated.

Next, click the button that enables respawn for this project. Additional controls will be revealed that allow setting a deferral date and/or deadline for the respawned project. With this option selected, changing the project to a completed or archived status will cause a new identical project to be created in the same containing project, but with a clean event and activity log.

Set the deferral date for the respawned project to be one week beyond the point at which it is respawned (if we are late performing the audit, we still won't want to perform another for at least a week). Also set a deadline for beyond the deferral time for alert reporting.

Note that respawned projects inherit the documents, workers, risks, companies, products and skills from the original project. Documents are linked, so any version updates are current wherever the document is linked in the project tree.

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