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Create a proposal project
Create a proposal project
Updated over a week ago

Create a new project and enter the general information and break-up the project into stages. Learn the recommended next steps for setting up a new proposal project.


Setup required before use

Who can use it?

Where is it?


Assistant project manager*

Project manager

Director access

Assistant administrator

System administrator

*Can view projects only.

Project Manager level or higher required to add new projects.

Projects > Add

What is a project?

Projects are a central place to store and track all the details about a proposal or an active job. Save details like the project site address location, primary contact, invoice contacts, and the internal staff that make up the project team. Advanced project financials to let you set budgets targets and monitor the actual costs, and report on the profitability. Documents and images assets can be stored in the project folders. Synergy runs in a web browser which allows you to access your project information (including documents and image assets) from any device.

Project structure overview

Projects are created for each job that is proposed, or for each confirmed project that you have won. Projects allow you to enter general information like the project portfolio type, the project site address, the primary contact to call for project queries, the main contact(s) to post and email invoices to for the project, who internally is the project manager for this job. Two types of projects are available in Synergy:

Use a simple project to create a quick record that can be used to create a proposal to send out to the client, or invoice the client an agreed fee for the project works. Simple projects are normally used projects that are short in duration, and do not require a large amount of project management or planning.

Simple projects allow you to:

  • Nominate a project level fee for the project scope of works. (Also known as an agreed fee or fixed fee.)

  • Send out a quote or proposal document for the project fee.

  • Quickly invoice the full project fee to the client.

  • Create a task list for the work to be completed for the project fee.

  • Assign tasks to the staff that need to complete the work, and set due dates for the tasks.

  • Staff can check off the tasks as they are completed in the project work breakdown.

Tip: Simple projects do not have any phase or stages, only tasks can be added to a simple project.

Projects with a full work breakdown structure are projects that have multiple steps or sections of work that need to be completed. This type of project normally runs for a longer duration than a simple project, and requires more details about the parts of the project to be shown on the proposal or invoice documents that are send out the client.

The parts of the full work breakdown structure are:


Use phases when you are working on large projects to group together the project stages. *This feature is available with the Synergy Business or Enterprise products.*

Phases allows you to keep all the stages with common tasks in a phase group. Keeping all the stages in the same phase group makes it easier for your team to locate the parts of the job they are working on in the projects and reports. Phases also help your clients by showing the phase grouping of the stages on Synergy documents like proposals and invoices.


Within each project stages are created to describe the components of the job that you are going to complete. E.g. A project to design an apartment complex may need the stages like: fee proposal, concept design, schematic design, landscape design, and variations.

Stages allow you to track different information that is used for creating invoices to send to the client such as agreed fee values, tax rates to be used, budgets, and who internally is responsible for that stage of the project. The cost center and discipline details can also be tracked on each stage for reporting purposes and for mapping how your invoice data is transferred to your accounting system using Accounting add-ons.


Setup a task to describe each section of work for the stage. Assign each task to the staff member that will be completing the work, and set a due date for the task. Tasks are selected by staff when entering their timesheets, to track how much time they spend working on each project task.

Proposal project creation

Setup the project with as all the details that you know at this time. Creating a project is done in the project list view by clicking the add button (read the steps here). The main parts of the project details needed for a proposal are:

  1. Name - type a project name or title to be used internally or externally for the project.

  2. Status - set the status to 'proposal', or to 'active' if you have already won the job. Custom proposal status option as can be created to track the project proposal workflow steps in your organization. Learn more about project status options.

  3. Type - choose the project type to be used for reporting. Learn more about project types.

  4. Scope of work - description of the project that can be shown on a proposal quote document sent to the client.

  5. Project fee - used for the simple project structure to invoice an agreed fee or fixed fee to the client for the project.

  6. Manager - assign the project manager who is responsible for the work internally (yourself or another internal staff member).

  7. Primary contact - main point of contact at the external client site, to contact about project queries and send proposal documents.

  8. Site address - the location for the project work that you are quoting in this proposal.

  9. Optional extra project details Project numbering - A unique project number is automatically added to each new project created. Customize the project number if required using one of the pre-defined project prefix and numbering options setup by your System Administrator. Optional - add a suffix to the project number, to show that this project is a continuation of a previous project (e.g. part B for an additional extension). Work breakdown template - choose what will be used to create the default project structure of phases, stages and tasks . These can be updated at a later point in the work breakdown tab. Client reference number - a unique number or description of the project that your client has provided that needs to be referenced on project documents. Tags - add extra data about the project as tags. Used for searching and reporting. Start and end dates - helps you to plan when work for the proposal project will begin, or when decisions are expected to be made after a tender is submitted.

Tip: Learn more about the general project detailsshown when creating or editing a project.

Use the project contacts tab to build the a list of all people in the external project team, and add internal staff members involved in the project.

  • Add a record for all the companies that you deal with (call or email, etc). A default personnel record of 'The Manager' is available to select for cases that you don't know the personnel to call at the company contact yet.

  • Use the personnel or individual contact type for any people you deal with frequently to easily see their details in the project screens: phone numbers, email address etc.

  • Make sure to add all the contacts that will be displayed in invoices, proposals, project documents.

  • Add external parties that will help on the project like companies, suppliers, builders, trades people, local councils, and external consultants. This is the larger list of people or companies that make up your project team.

  • Setup the main project contacts: Primary contact – Main point of contact for the project who will default onto proposal documents. Invoice contact – Who all invoices will be sent to by default. C / O contact - Lets you set a care of address to be used for the invoice contact. Portal access - Which external contacts will need access to the project portal to view the documents and images that you select to share. Learn more about project portals.

  • Internal staff are added to the project contacts tab when they are listed as a project or stage manager. Add any other staff that are working on this project to show they are part of the project team in the project portal.

A simple project can have tasks attached, to build a checklist of the items to be completed. A project with a full work breakdown structure can have phases, stages, and tasks linked to the project to build a detailed project plan.

The initial items shown in the work breakdown tab can be automatically created from the work breakdown template selected during the proposal project creation. The template sets up a basic project phase and stage structure which you can then edit and add extra stages as required.

What are phases?

  • Phases are used to group stages together.

  • Step names or step numbers are often added to as phase names.

  • Grouping used for invoicing and revenue reporting.

  • Phases are optional.

What are stages?

  • Define the different sections of work required in a project.

  • Stages can also be known as sub projects.

  • Link cost centers to show which accounting region or team is completing the work.

  • Define the discipline to show the type of work or department.

  • Enter fee values and budget values for each stage.

  • Update the stage progress as the work has been completed to update the team.

What are tasks?

  • Tasks are linked to stages.

  • Default tasks shown in all stages are setup by your System Administrator in the project tasks settings.

  • Custom tasks can be added each stage to better describe the stage work.

  • Assign staff to each task that they are to completed, and set a due date for the task.

  • Staff can update the task progress as they complete the work to update the team.

  • Tasks are used by staff when entering their timesheets for the project.

  • Show the task level detail in reports, budget monitoring views, and on invoice templates.

Click above to how tasks are linked to stages and phases.

What is the agreed fee value?

  • The agreed fee value is entered for any stage setup with the fee type of: Fixed fee Percent of project Capped rates

  • The agreed fee is the maximum invoice value set for each project stage.

  • This agreed fee value is shown on the client proposal document for the stage.

  • Is used by the 'simple project' to invoice a fixed fee amount to the client for the project works.

What are the fee types?

Fee type can be applied to stages when using the full work breakdown method. Fee types are applied to each sub project stage to control the invoicing of the project, and how the transactions entered into timesheets and expenses are managed.

The fee types available in Synergy are

  1. Fixed fee Total fee to be invoiced. Transactions not required for invoicing. The fee can be pre-billed before any timesheets or expenses exist.

  2. Percent of project Fee is a % of total contract value. Transactions not required for invoicing. The fee can be pre-billed before any timesheets or expenses exist.

  3. Hourly rates Hours worked less expenses incurred. Invoiced at the rate value.

  4. Capped rates Hours worked less expenses incurred. Invoiced up to a defined value.

  5. No billing All transactions are written off. No invoice sent to the client.

Tip: Learn more about the fee type options that can be applied to stages in the full work breakdown.

What is a budget?

  • Budgets allow you to plan the staff work required for each stage, and plan for any expected expenses.

  • Budgets can be setup items like: Staff hours Staff expenses Site inspections Bills (Supplier expenses)

  • The 'lump sum' budget option allow you to plan a dollar value for a stage when the staff hour or expenses are not yet known.

  • Option is available to show the budget value on proposal document templates instead of the agreed fee. This is required for the stages with the fee type 'hourly rate' as there is no maximum fee value for invoicing.

  • Budgets are only available to be entered in the Synergy Business and Enterprise products.

Tip: Learn more about the project work breakdown tab and how it can be used to enter the budget for each stage.

Use the Synergy to create a proposal document to send to your client. Proposal document templates are setup by your System Administrator in word templates, and can be setup to be in either output as Word or PDF format. Document templates allow you to include default images into the proposal template, default text, and Synergy bookmarks to insert the information from your Synergy project into the document.

Create a fee proposal document by:

  1. Open the project.

  2. Go to: Documents tab.

  3. Select the actions button > Proposal document.

  4. Select which proposal template to use to create the file.

  5. Confirm the project folder that the file will be saved to.

  6. Confirm if the file will be saved as Word or PDF.

  7. The proposal document will be addressed to the 'primary project contact' by default. Change this to a different contact name and address if required.

  8. (For full work breakdown projects) Select which stages will be shown in the fee proposal tables.

  9. (For full work breakdown projects) Select if both fee and budgets details will be shown for each stage in the document tables for the proposal.

  10. Click 'finish' to create the word document.

  11. Open the proposal document and edit the output as required if in Word output.

  12. Save the updated copy of the Word document back to the project folder.

  13. Send the proposal to the client after any internal approvals required have been completed.


  • Document templates are configured by the System Administrator in word template settings.

  • Proposal documents are addressed to the primary project contact by default. Change who is setup as the primary contact on the project contacts tab.

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