Just signed up for a new trial account? Welcome!
In this guide, we walk you through the most important steps to set up your account, so you can thoroughly evaluate 10,000ft Plans and determine if it’s a good fit for your team.
In this article:
Let’s get started.
Step 1: Before You Get Started
If you’re planning to evaluate 10,000ft with your team, we recommend deciding who will be part of that group before you get started. You don’t have to create multiple trial accounts for everyone involved in testing.
Instead, designate one person to create the account as the Account Owner, and invite other participating team members (we’ll tell you how in step five). You’ll have a more realistic view of how 10,000ft works when multiple people on your team are using the software in the same instance.
We recommend that you input real information so you can more easily identify how well 10,000ft fits in with your existing process. Then you’ll have a head start if you decide to continue with a paid subscription.
We handle all your trial data with the same strict Privacy and Security policies that we follow to protect all of our customers’ data. If you ever want to close a trial account, just ask.
Step 2: Selecting Your Account Settings
Account Settings is where you’ll build out company defaults and add important business information like project dropdown lists, locations, and official holidays. The Account Settings are organized so you can go through each of the sections on the left menu and add information about your company.
When setting up the trial account, it’s important that you complete the following sections: Account Settings, Roles, Disciplines, Bill Rates, People, and Projects.
When you land on the main Account Settings page, the first thing to decide is whether you want to use 10,000ft for time tracking and what level of detail you want to track. Should you track time or not? Good question. If you’re not sure on how your organization should approach timesheets, we recommend reading this article before proceeding.
If you use another time tracking tool, ask us about integrating with 10,000ft to pull your time entry data into 10,000ft.
1. Select your Incurred Hours setting:
When you create an assignment on the Schedule, time entry suggestions are populated on the assigned person’s timesheet, and they can choose to confirm or change these hours.
If the hours are unchanged, they are considered “unconfirmed” in 10,000ft. If the hours are changed, they are considered “confirmed”. When looking at the burn against the project budget, you can choose to include or not include these types of hours.
If you’re tracking time in 10,000ft, select the option for “Confirmed hours only” or “Approved hours only”. This way, actual hours from timesheets show up on the Project Status as incurred time or fees.
When your organization isn’t tracking time, you can still keep track of incurred time by using what was originally scheduled. For passive tracking, select “Confirmed hours and unconfirmed past scheduled hours”.
During your trial, you may want to start with the “confirmed and unconfirmed” setting and change it once your team starts tracking time toward your projects.
2. Select your Time Tracking setting:
Option 1: 1/2 Days
This option is great for teams with little variation in their daily activities, typically because people are working on one or two projects at a time.
- Pro: Time is entered in 4-hour increments and the Confirm Suggestions button makes entering time a smooth, one-click process.
- Con: You won’t get the same kind of accuracy as you do with the other time entry settings.
Option 2: Hours and Minutes
This setting combines the efficiency of Half Day with the accuracy of Itemized. People can enter the exact amount of time spent on each project or phase, and can confirm the suggested hours for the days they work according to the plan. This design also introduces a timer (available in “Day” view), which enables more precision when entering time.
- Pro: Team members can track and report on actual time spent per project, without adding unnecessary steps to the workflow.
- Con: This option doesn’t include the ability to add categories or notes to timesheets, so you won’t get the same level of detail as the Itemized option.
Option 3: Itemized Hours and Minutes
This is the most detailed time entry setting in 10,000ft Plans. People can assign a category to each entry and add more detail in the notes field. The same categories can be used to assign sub-budgets per project, which offers an additional layer of reporting.
This is the best option if you want to understand how long work actually took to complete, compared against originally scheduled timeframes. Using this data over time, you can more accurately predict how long projects will take to complete, based on historical deltas of scheduled hours vs. actual hours spent.
- Pro: Itemized Time Tracking is the most accurate choice as it lets you break down time based on specific activities (like meetings, travel, etc.) and report on those details. These tasks can be customized in Account Settings > Time & Fee Categories.
- Con: Since this includes the most detail, time entries will inherently take team members a little longer than with the other options
Now you’re ready to set up roles and disciplines for team.
Step 3: Setting Up Roles + Disciplines
We recommend adding Roles and Disciplines in your Account Settings before adding team members. Disciplines are the departments in your organization (ex: Finance, Research, Visual Design) and Roles are the levels of expertise you use (ex: Director, Junior, Lead).
You’re almost ready to add people to your account. Before you do, however, we recommend setting up bill rates:
Step 4: Setting Up Bill Rates
If you charge clients for your time, we recommend specifying Bill Rates in your account.
Bill Rates can be assigned to each person based on their Discipline and Role, or they can be unique to the individual. For example, you could set up your account so that each Design Director bills at $200/hr (set this up in Account Settings > Bill Rates), or you could give Charlie a specific bill rate of $200/hr (set this up on the Edit screen of Charlie’s profile, or when you first add him as a team member).
Bill Rates in 10,000ft should be the external rate that’s used to charge a client for your services. It typically includes Cost + Overhead + Markup.
If you don’t want your team to view project financials or bill rates, hide this information by setting individual permission levels.
Step 5: Adding + Inviting People to Your Account
Add and invite other people on your team to join your account under Account Settings > People.
1. Add a roster of team members and placeholder resources.
Adding multiple people at once? Download and complete this spreadsheet, then copy and paste the values in Account Settings People Add Multiple People. To use this bulk upload feature, all columns in the spreadsheet must have values for each person. Make sure to use the same Roles and Disciplines you added in Step 3, and watch out for those sneaky extra spaces in the cells that can cause duplicate entries.
We recommend adding all the resources you plan to include in the software (you have unlimited seats during your trial), but only send invitations for your core evaluation group.
2. Only first and last names are required to add a person.
You can always add more properties later on to filter or group your team.
Some examples of additional properties you can add are locations (city, county, team, etc.), bill rates, utilization targets, and any other Custom Fields that your organization uses to group people, like skills, certifications, their manager, etc.
3. When all your people are added, you can immediately invite them to your account.
Or, you can always invite people later on. Once invited, they’ll receive an email to accept your invitation and create a login. Before providing access, check the permission levels for each person, to make sure they can view or make changes as desired.
When staffing a project, you don’t always know who will be needed for your projects. Setting up Placeholder Resources gives you the flexibility to hold a project assignment without having a specific person to assign it to.
Step 6: Defining Work Statuses
Create custom work status labels in Account Settings > Work Status. People can update status on work they’re assigned to on the Today View from their Personal Page, or from the Project Worklist.
To add a custom Work Status, simply click on Color, enter a label in the Name field (limited to 64 characters), and select which Stage the new status belongs to. You can define statuses under the three main areas of work:
- In Progress
Edit or delete existing status labels by clicking on a label. Reorder labels by clicking on a label and using the up and down arrows to place the label in the desired position.
Step 7: Adding Projects
After you establish your people settings and work statuses, you can start adding projects to your account.
Add new projects from the Project Portfolio page, or bulk upload your project list by downloading and completing this spreadsheet, then importing it via copy and paste in Account Settings > Project Import.
We recommend adding about 2-5 projects during your trial so you can focus your time on fully building them out to test and understand how your process maps to 10,000ft. As with the bulk people import, be sure to complete all columns and remove any pesky extra spaces that can show up before or after your values.
Build out your projects in more detail on the Project Portfolio page with phases, budgets, team members, and tasks.
Step 8: Using the Schedule
Now that you determined your Account Settings and added your people and projects, it’s time to look at the schedule to see who’s working on what, when people will become available, when projects are coming up, and more.
You can also collapse the Schedule to see a condensed view of your team’s availability. To do this, click on the drop down menu above your team on the People View of the Schedule, and select “View Allocation Heatmap”.
We designed 10,000ft with the understanding that today’s problems are much less cut and dry than they used to be. Projects rarely go according to plan. This can be disorienting if you don’t have a flexible tool that not only supports the inevitable (and often unforeseen) hurdles, but also actively keeps you up-to-date on what’s changed and what the best course of action will be going forward.
We recommend reading Flexible Project Management: What to Do When Nothing Goes According to Plan and then reviewing the Schedule Overview from our knowledge base to understand how to navigate the Schedule in 10,000ft.
Nice work! You’re ready to really start digging into your trial.
Choosing the right software for your team can be hard (and getting buy-in from stakeholders can be even harder), so we put together some tips for successfully evaluating and pitching new software to your team.
And as always, we’re here to help. Email us your questions anytime at email@example.com. We’re happy to set up a call or a demo with someone from our team to help walk through your unique business needs and see how 10,000ft can help support your process. You can also register to join one of our weekly webinars here.
- The 10,000ft Team