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Modules - how to use them?

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    Modules are an advanced feature in Intervals. If you don't use them they should not get in the way, but if you do use them they help create pretty powerful reports. Here is an example of how a software developer can use Modules:

    Security (Module)
    - login page (.5 hrs) - (task)
    - password change page (.5 hrs)- (task)
    - user initialize - (task)

    Then you can run a Project Activity report on a single module if needed, or use Projects >> Time Summary >> View By Module for grand totals.

    If you plan to use "Security" frequently with your projects it can be added as a default Module under Site Settings. That way you can compare that particular Module across projects as well as do aggregate reports. For example, show me all hours I have spent on "Security" this year.


    ## follow up ##

    The above post is detailed example within a project. To take one step back and look at things from a higher view, the general idea with Modules is that they can be a phase of your project OR a detailed feature/piece of a project.

    For example, we do web design and web development. For a fairly straightforward job we will likely use Modules as phases of the project: Discovery, Design, Production, Development, etc. If the project is more custom nature in nature, we will use Modules in the contract we sign with the customer. Then, we track against those Modules to keep project scope under control. For example, here is an example of Modules we recently used on a contract:

    Module 1 - Site Strategy
    Module 2 - Visual Design
    Module 3 - HTML Production
    Module 4 - Content Management
    Module 5 - Product Management
    Module 6 - Store Management
    Module 7 - Wholesaler Application & Queue Management
    Module 8 - Site Administrator Management
    Module 9 - Custom Metrics / Reporting
    Module 10 - Simple Site Search
    Module 11 - Email Marketing & List Management
    Module 12 - Training and Support
    Module 13 - Hosting Analysis, Recommendation, FTP Server
    Module 14 - Deployment, Launch and Debugging

    Each module above has an allotment of hours from the standard work types.

    • bee
    • Feb 3rd 2008

    This is a fairly general question, to be sure. I've heard the term Discovery kicked around and want to clearly define it in my process, before adding/keeping it as a default module. I do the sales and meeting with clients. In most cases, this involves "discovery", meaning that I spend an hour or two determining what the client wants and exploring, really, how much they know about web development. . . usually included is how they intend to use their site. (There are usually several functions they haven't yet "discovered".) Is this the Discovery module as you're using it?
    Or, does Discovery take place after the initial meeting, when I "discover" that their site was built by their neighbor's cousin's boyfriend (who disappeared) and try to find the most efficient way to wrest control of the files and/or retrieve their domain name from the abyss :) in order to create a site that works.
    Or, is Discovery defined as just meeting several times during the process to "discover" whether they're pleased/displeased with our progress. Or, perhaps it's research; for example, which keywords are most popular for their industry.
    Thanks. I really like what I see so far in Intervals.

    In our experience, Discovery is time we spend defining a project, before we start working on it. Many times, a client will come to us with just an idea, with no expectations of how to implement the idea online. We use Discovery to encompass the amount of time spent on defining a clients needs, which in turn, enables us to more accurately estimate how much time it will take to complete the project. This Discovery phase can be a few hours, or it can take several days. When this phase consumes more than a few hours of our time, we will charge the client for our time. Why? Because we are lending our expertise to the client, helping them refine their needs into a workable proposal; something they could not achieve without our web development insight. Hope this helps!
    • bee
    • Feb 4th 2008

    Yep! It helps. That's what I thought. And, you're right. Most clients wouldn't have the tools at hand to pull together their site's scope. I once clocked 17 hours of meetings for a small, static 7-page "business card" site!! Delightful people. . . They invited me to tea for two or three hours every few days, until their Discovery invoice became quite hefty. I kind of miss those leisurely Discovery tea parties.... :)

    Is there a way where the Module field can be included at all times when a task is updated and the email is sent? Right now, the module is only shown when the module is changed for the task. If another property of the task is changed, like assignee or adding a comment, the module field is not included in the email
    How do you change the order of the modules?
    How can you add or edit module names once you have set up your account.

    Regarding the order of modules, they currently display in alphabetical order and the sort order cannot be manually configured. You may be able to append numbers in front of modules as a workaround (1 - first module, 2 - second module, etc.) Regarding adding or editing modules, this forum discussion on managing default work types and modules might be worth a look. If that does not address the matter please feel free to click on the "Find a bug?" link from within your account and our support team will take a closer look.


    Once a module has been completed on a particular project, is there any way of making it inactive so that folks won't inadvertently post time to that module when using the ADD TIME function (i.e. from the CHOOSE A MODULE command)?

    FYI - for most of my current projects I'm just using three basic modules: Discovery (project planning), Active (doing the work on the project) and Analysis (post -roject reporting and analysis etc). Still, folks do sometimes pick the wrong one!

    This can indeed be done. At the project level if you navigate into modules and click on the lock icon it will set the module to inactive. This will prevent any new tasks or new time from being associated with that particular module. If you happen to need to do more work on that particular module down the road it can be reactivated in the same fashion.
    Thanks - most helpful...not sure how I missed that in the training but I did. Will definitely use this feature from now on.

    Hello, New to Intervals and loving it so far...

    I hope I am understanding the use of modules correectly: As in the example above I need to breakdown my project into distinct Phases. Against each Phase, I need to assigned hours from the standard work types, thus track tasks and cost associated with each Phase.

    From the discussion above, I can use modules to reflect phases in my project: How do I cost each Module(Phase). Above, you mentioned that hours can be allotted to the modules but I can't seem to find out how/where.

    Many thanks.


    Whenever time is added it must be associated with a module. Also all tasks are assigned to a module so any time that is tracked on tasks will automatically be associated with the module / phase that the task is assigned. When reporting just about every project has a module option. The project activity report is probably a good candidate.
    I've modified my default modules, but they're not showing up when I got to add time. What am I doing wrong?
    Have the new defaults been associated with the project in question by chance? The gist is that new default work types and modules are not automatically added to existing projects to maintain the integrity of the already created projects but they are added to any new projects created after adding the new default. This is true for work types and modules and for hourly rates as well. To add the new default to an existing project the existing project must be edited to have the new default added to it. Please give things a look and if that does not address it please click on the find a bug link from within your account to notify our support team.
    Excellent! Once I figured out how to edit the new project, it worked like a champ. Really appreciate your help!

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