7. Raise an Activity Plan

7.1       Search for an activity plan
In order to search for activity plan, go to the unit in question -> in Navi Bar 2 click on the button “Search” -> click on “Activities” -> enter in the necessary search parameter – click on “Search”.
Figure 1: Search for an activity plan
You will be presented in the left panel with a list of activities that match your search criteria, as shown in the figure below.

Click on the activity plan of interest to have the detailed section displayed, as shown in the right panel above. In this case, we see Activity details for the distribution of 1,000 flyers in Eastern sub-country. 

7.2       Overview of a detailed activity plan
A detailed activity plan, a snap shot of which is displayed in the previous section contains the following information:
  • Activity: Information about the activity plan.
  • Target: This is information related to the target under which the activity plan has been raised. Information displayed includes the project, outcome, output, target, activity category, activity sub-category and the target budget and balance.
  • Budget: Information on requisition lines, booking details, accountability status and cash returns.
  • Indicators: Indicator(s) defined for the activity. Note that indicators are linked at output level, and therefore the definition of an indicator involves selected an indicator already linked to the target.
  • Attachments: Any attachments uploaded against the activity plan.
  • Comments: Any comments posted against the activity plan.
  • Implementers: Persons responsible for implementing the activity.
  • Approvals: Information regarding progress with the approval of the requisition.
  • Field report: Information on field reports related to an activity.
  • Activity change trail: Which maintains an audit trail of critical changes made to an activity plan in the course of documentation by any other person other than the one who raised the activity plan in the first place.
In the subsequent sections, we shall delve into the steps involved in documenting an activity plan.

7.3       Raise an activity plan
In order to raise an activity plan, log into AlSuite -> go to the button “Operations” in Navi Bar 1 -> select the unit you would like to work under -> in Navi Bar 3, select the work plan under which you would like to raise an activity -> click on the button “Manage” also under Navi Bar 3 -> click on the link “Create an Activity” as shown in Fig 3 below. 

Figure 3: Steps involved in creating an activity

After clicking on "Create An Activity", you will be redirected to the form that enables you to create an activity as shown in Figure 4 below:
Figure 4: Form field for creating an activity, a purchase or a bill
In order to create an activity, provide the target against which you are creating it, the tactic type, the title, detail, start date and end date of the activity.

  • The Tactic type can be either an Activity, a Bill or a Purchase. For purposes of purchases and bills, you will be expected to select a vendor / suppliers. 
  • The list of vendors is maintained in the unit "Accounts" under the section "Clients". If you do not see your supplier, liaise with the Account Department to create your supplier in the system.

After entering all necessary information, click on the button “Save”. The activity will be created and you will be redirected to a more detailed panel where you will be able to capture more information pertinent to the activity you just created.

7.3.1 Target
In the target section you are able to see the linkage of the activity plan you are raising the a target, which in turn links to M&E data. The target section specifies:
  • Project: The project under which the activity plan was raised
  • Outcome: The outcome towards which the activity plan is going to contribute
  • Output: The output towards which an activity plan is going to contribute
  • Target: The target against which an activity plan was raised
  • Budget / balance: The budget for the given target and balance against it
  • Work plan period: The period of implementation of the work plan against which the activity plan was raised.

7.3.2 Budget
The budget section captures expense-related information of an activity plan. In Fig 5 below, a requisition is being raised for Airtime and fuel to a workshop. When raising requisitions you can specify all applicable taxes. The assumption is that taxes will have been defined in the unit "Accounts" under the section "Finance settings".
Figure 5: Raising a requisition for an activity plan

After raising a requisition, we can see the overview of the budget section of an activity plan as shown in Fig 6 below:
Figure 6: Budget section of an activity plan

Information captured in the budget section include the requisition lines, booking details, accountability status and cash returns status.

  • Requisition Lines: This is the section where requisitions related to an activity are filed. Use the Add/Edit button to manage requisitions.
  • Booking details: In this section, all bookings are displayed. Booking is the process of posting requisition lines to a client, project and chart of account lines for cost tracking purposes.
  • Accountability Status: After funds have been released and an activity executed, staff are expected to file accountability. The Accountability status section shows the state of accountability for funds released against specific requisition lines. Accountability is managed by Accounts Department.
  • Cash Returns Status: Cash return settlement is the process of closing accountability. Sometimes it might turn out that after executing an activity, either staff owe the organization money or the organization owes staff money. This section would display that status and the settlement ensuing. Cash returns is managed by Accounts Department.

7.3.3      Indicators
Indicators are defined in the Data Sets unit of AlSuite under different project outputs. Outputs are then linked to targets in the work planning side, i.e. in the operations units. When raising an activity plan, you have to choose a target to use. If the target under which you are defining an activity plan already has indicators linked, this will automatically appear in the indicator section of the activity plan.

In order to define an indicator, go to the operations unit in question -> select the work plan in question -> assuming you have already defined the activity plan, select it for detailed display (most likely under “Activities Not Yet Filed”. You can also use the “Search” button in Navi Bar 2 to search for the activity plan of interest. You will be presented with the activity plan detail section, select the "Indicator" tab to select indicators you would like to contribute towards.

7.3.4       Attachments
You can upload any supporting documents associated with an activity plan, e.g. an  invoice, a bill, a pro forma, quotations, a contract etc. 

In order to upload a supporting document, go to the detailed section of the activity plan in question -> click on “Attachments” -> click on “Upload” and fill in the form field -> select the file you would like to upload -> click on “Save”.

After filing an activity plan, comments may be necessary, especially by the persons approving, incase there is need to make adjustments or take care of a particular aspect of the activity plan or requisition at the time of implementation.

In order to post a comment for an activity plan or requisition, go to the detailed section of the activity plan in question -> click on “Comments” -> click on “Create” -> fill in the comment form -> click on “Save”.

Note: You can choose more than one recipient for a comment. They would automatically receive the comment in their mailbox.

7.3.6       Implementers
You are also able to select the person(s) going to implement the activity in question.

In order to do this, go to the detailed section of the activity plan, click on “Activity” -> click on “Assign / Edit HR” -> populate the filed “Activity implementers” with the persons going to implement the activity -> click on “Assign”.

7.3.7       Approvals
In this section you are able to see the persons who approved an activity plan across the different levels of approval that have been defined for your organization. Typical approval levels include activity plan approvals and requisition approvals.

In order to see the approvals section of an activity plan, go to the detailed section of an activity and select the tab "Approvals".

7.3.8       Field Report
At the time of approving an activity plan, the approver has the option to request for a field report. If a field report was requested by the approver, upon filing an activity as executed, a field report request would be raised for the person who executed the activity. Use this section to document the field report and mark it as filed.
After filing a field report, it will be presented to field report approvers for approval.

In order to access the field report section of an activity plan, go to the detailed section of an activity plan and select the tab "Field report".

7.3.9        Activity Change Trail
The last tab in the detailed activity plan is the "Activity Change Trail" section, which is used to track all changes to an activity plan that are made by any other person other than the person who raised the activity plan.

After filing all pertinent information related to an activity plan, click "Save". You then have to change the status of the activity plan from "Open" to "Filed" before it can be presented for booking.

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