Create Templates and Custom Fields
  • 18 May 2023
  • 7 Minutes to read
  • Contributors

Create Templates and Custom Fields

Article Summary

This feature is available only for "Enterprise" tiers, and is accessible only by the "Admins"!

The "flexible strategy model" allows you to customize the framework and the entities, and we just want to give you much more flexibility! What is flexibility without letting you to customize the way you want to strategize, so that there's more relevancy to what you're trying to achieve!

While we've provided you with a list of fields that're most common, we've now enabled "personalization" of your workspace where you can configure your own custom fields like Budget Spent, Budget Allocated, Hours worked, Weightage, Priority, MoSCoW, RACI, etc. Custom fields allow you to capture, track, and manipulate specific data points (qualitative or quantitative) of interest to your strategy and organization. These custom fields exist on templates, which are used to group one or more custom fields together. These templates can then be applied to your plans, thereby providing you with more scalability! In short, you'll need to

  1. Configure custom fields and save them as templates
  2. Apply these templates to the plans (Apply Templates with Custom Fields to Plans)
  3. Populate data against these custom fields to track, and build insights from Reports (Populate Data against Custom Fields)
You cannot build dashboards or reports that display data grouped by custom fields, nor do these custom fields contribute to the health or progress of your entities! These're created to give you flexibility to add more context!

Why should you use custom fields?

While it's not mandatory that you define custom fields, configuring these provides:

  • Flexibility - track qualitative or quantitative data that is relevant and is of interest to your organization, alongside the objectives, measures, and actions on your strategic plan.
  • Scalability - once configured, these custom fields and templates can be re-used across multiple plans.
  • Unlock strategic insights - the data points captured in these custom fields can then be visualized and reported on to assess performance (for example, funding allocations, operating cash flows, etc.) of your strategy and help in decision-making.

How to configure custom fields?

From the profile picture/initials, click Admin > Settings > Custom Fields tab. Click Create New Template - this is essentially a set of one or more custom fields that're organized into groups specific to each entity. You can search and view the list of any existing templates that're created!

  1. Give a name to your template. Remember that this needs to be unique as two templates cannot have the same name! Let's call it "Strategic Initiatives" in this example!
  2. Now, select an entity (Objective, Measure, Project or Action) for which you need to add the custom field, and click Add Group. This reveals the group configuration section as this'll be used to organize the related custom fields together. Click into the New Group text, and enter the name of the group. Let's name it "Effort" in this example. In the relevant entity's sidebar, you'll see only the group ("Effort" in this example) displayed and all the fields added to it will be seen only on expanding the group. Click the trash icon to delete a group!
  3. Click Add Field to proceed. Let's now get into the field configuration options for this "Effort" group by defining the Field Type (numerical, drop-down or Endorsements as these're the only options supported at this point of time) and Label (field name). The other fields are disabled until these values are defined.
  4. Choose Numerical or Dropdown or Endorsement from the Field type list, and give it a name.
    "Endorsement" field type can be added only for Objectives!
  5. Choose New numerical or dropdown or endorsement field from the Label list to add a new field. Replace New custom field text with the name of your choice. The remaining configuration fields are optional and can also be defined later. As and when you fill in the details, you can see a preview of it! If you choose Numerical field type (see Custom Fields: Numerical Valuesfor more information),
    • Minimum value - lowest possible value for the field
    • Maximum value - highest possible value for the field
    • Default value - Prefill the field with a specified value
    • Unit - In case of numerical data, specify the unit of measurement. If you do not find the unit of your choice, enter the text, and it'll prompt you to add it as a new option. Click on that and get that added to the list!
    • Decimal Places - Choose the number of decimal digits that you want the field to display - defines the level of precision for displaying the populated fields!
    • Required - Select this check-box to make this field mandatory, otherwise it'll be optional!
    If you choose Dropdown field type (see Custom Fields: Dropdown Listsfor more information),
    • Options - enter the values or options that you want the dropdown to list
    • Default value - Prefill the field with a specified option
    • Allow multi-select - this option on selection will allow you to choose multiple dropdown values against the field!
    If you choose Endorsement field type (see Custom Fields: Endorsements for more information),
    • Endorsement type - choose whether the change or update requires endorsements or just a review
    • Endorsement for - choose what change needs the endorsement. At this point, endorsement is supported only for progress change in objectives!

Each field is auto-saved once populated! Click Add Field to add additional custom fields within the same group, or Add Group to create a new group of custom fields. While you can drag and drop the fields to reorder them within the group or move between groups, you can also drag and drop the groups in any order so that they appear the way you want them in the Sidebar!

Add or edit existing custom fields

Now, if there're some fields that're already configured in your workspace, then entering a label name will return a list of existing fields with the same name. These will be grouped alphabetically, and the configuration for each field name (minimum value, maximum value, default value, unit, mandatory/optional) will be listed below the field name.

Selecting one of the existing field names from the drop-down list will automatically populate the remaining configuration fields with the corresponding values. To modify any of the values, click Edit values. But remember that once you edit this value, it'll be changed in all the templates that its a part of! For example, if you already have a group "Budget" with its unit specified as "$", and now you need to have it configured in "AUD" too, then its advisable to create a new field rather than editing it so that it'll not affect the entities that use the "Budget" group in $!

Repeat the above steps for any other entities (Measures or Actions) that require custom field data to be tracked. Once done, click Save Template on the top of the left pane. When you click save here, it'll ask you a confirmation o delete any groups that're empty, i.e., if you created a group and did not add any fields, then the modal prompts you with how to handle this!

How to apply these templates to plans?

Only Admins and those with "edit permissions" in the plan can apply the custom field templates!
  1. Go to the Plans and teams page, and select the plan that you wish to assign this template.
  2. Click the three dots against the "plan name", and select Plan settings.
  3. Choose the template from the dropdown list in the Custom field template!

See more details in Apply Templates with Custom Fields to Plans article!

Remember that the custom fields configured in a template, when applied to a plan, will be attached to all the entities in that plan, and cannot be restricted. i.e., if you've configured custom fields for objectives and measures in a template and then applied it to a plan, all the objectives and measures in that plan will display this field, and you cannot restrict this to a specific objective or measure!

How to populate data in these custom fields?

The custom fields applied to a plan will be available in the sidebar view of that relevant objective/measure/action/project! You can then enter data against them from the relevant Edit sidebar option!

Look at Populate Data against Custom Fields article for more details!

Can I get reports with this data?

Yes! The data populated against the custom fields in a plan can be pulled in the table column of your reports!

Remember that you'll not see the "Other fields" tab unless you've custom fields configured and applied to plans! However, Endorsements custom fields will be available in future!
  1. Choose an Objectives table in a report, and select a time range.
  2. Click Edit table settings, and click Table columns.
  3. Click the Other fields tab - this'll display the custom fields created in your workspace!
  4. Choose the relevant custom fields, and close the settings! You'll see the values against the configured custom fields.

In the above screenshot, you can see "Department" values against objectives, "MoSCoW" values against projects, "Effort Allocated and Spent" values only against measures! This is because data against the selected custom fields will only appear across the entities to which it was configured for! The custom field for measure will show up empty for objectives, actions and projects!

You can also filter the objective's table by the custom fields added to it. See "Objectives table" for reporting on Objectives for details on custom field table columns and custom field filters.

What happens once the free trial is over?

The custom fields that you created during the free trial period will continue to show up, but you'll not be able to edit them. However, you can continue to add or remove them from plans, and populate data against those fields!

Even if you're an Admin, once the free trial is over, you'll not be able to create new templates or edit the existing ones!

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