The Automatic Rules tab within the Departments tab in the Main System Setup governs rules that can notify particular people or roles, that add surveys, that activate other activities or departments, and more. Rules can either prevent actions if conditions aren't met, or they can perform actions when conditions are met. Rules only govern activities that were added to the job by a template. Activity rules that are individually added to a job, will not react to rules.
Here is an example of how this might work. Before you activate a Cleaning activity, you’d typically want to all other activities be completed. Before activating a Painting activity, you’d typically want to make sure that all drywall finishing was done. If you create a requirement here and the required activity isn’t added to a particular job, Chronicle ignores the rule. For example, suppose you set up a rule that says that Painting must be completed before Cleaning is activated. If a job doesn’t have Painting, you can activate Cleaning even though Painting isn’t in the completed list because it isn’t part of the job at all; the rule is appropriately ignored if it doesn’t apply.
The rule screen looks like this. Note that you can see all rules for the department at once. All rules that prevent actions are listed first; all rules that perform actions are listed next. Rules are listed alphabetically by the activity or department that triggers the action.
To add a new rule: Click Add Automatic Action/Rule.
To change an existing rule: Double-click the rule in the list or select the rule and click the Edit button.
Rules that perform actions
To perform some action when certain conditions are met, at the top of the add/edit screen, Perform an Action when Conditions are Met must be selected. This is automatically selected when you add a new rule. The options at the bottom of the screen change to let you set the conditions for the action you want to perform. Details about the types of actions that can be performed are discussed below. The screen below illustrates a rule that would notify the Estimator when the activity Estimate, Initial was activated. Notice the Rule Summary below the conditions.
Activate the Activity:
- If the specified activity is in the list of pending activities on the job, then Chronicle will automatically activate that activity on the job. If the specified activity is not in the list, Chronicle will just ignore the rule since there's nothing to activate.
- An activity in the current department can activate an activity in the current department or in a different department provided that department is already added to the job.
Schedule the activity: Set up a rule that will force the scheduler/add event screen to open so you can schedule an activity upon its activation.
Activate the Dept: If the department you pick is already part of the job but pending, Chronicle will make it active. If it is not part of the job, it will be added to the job.
Add a Note to the file: This forces the user to enter a note into the job file. The user may not cancel.
Add/Edit the Survey: If the survey you pick is not currently part of the job, Chronicle adds the survey. If it is part of the job already, then Chronicle opens it for editing so the user can review the answers and make sure they are complete.
Notify Employee: This sends a notification to the specified employee.
Notify Employee in Role: This lets you pick a role like Project Manager, Estimator, or Subcontractor. This only notifies people within Chronicle: it doesn't send emails to external people. If no one is in the specified role on a particular job, this rule will force the user to identify the person in that role.
Associate Employee: When a department or an activity have satisfied one of the conditions set, Chronicle can automatically associate an employee to the job file.
Rules that prevent actions
To prevent some action when conditions aren't met, at the top of the add/edit screen, click Prevent an Action if Conditions aren't Met. The options at the bottom of the screen will change to let you set the conditions for the action you want to prevent. For example, the screen below illustrates a rule that would prevent someone from marking monitoring complete on a water job if the Monitoring Sheets document hadn't been added to the job file yet. Notice the Rule Summary below the conditions.
If Any Required Document is Missing: This prevents the action if any required documents for the department are missing.
If Selected Document is Missing & Required: This prevents the action if the specified document is required for the current job and isn't present. It has no effect if the document isn't in the list of required documents for the job. For example, suppose you indicate that a particular activity requires the Initial Estimate to not be missing. If the document set that you picked didn't require the Initial Estimate, or of someone went to the requirements list and deleted the requirement for the Initial Estimate, then this rule would have no effect because, since the document is not required, Chronicle doesn't regard it as missing.
If Selected Document is Missing: This prevents the action if the specified document is not in the file even if the document isn't required. This rule has the effect of making the document required if the activity is part of the job. For example suppose you must do asbestos testing on all houses built before a certain year. You wouldn't want to make the Asbestos Testing document required for all jobs, but you could use this rule to make sure it was in the file to complete the Asbestos Testing activity.
If Selected Activity is Still Pending: This prevents the action if the specified activity is still in the list of pending activities. It has no effect if the activity isn't part of this job.
If Selected Activity is Pending or Active: This prevents the action if the specified activity is still in the list of pending activities or in the list of active activities. It has no effect if the activity isn't part of this job.
For Any Reason: This option is only enabled if you pick delete, reactivate, or terminate. (It doesn't make sense to make it impossible for someone to complete something.) This lets you prevent reactivating activities once they are completed or prevent removing certain activities.