This mini-guide is designed to be part of our Getting Started for Planners Guide.

If you're getting your team set up in Aphex for the first time, an important decision to make is if you'll be building plans from scratch inside Aphex, or if you'll be importing work from your Master Schedule.

This guide will inform of the advantages of both Top Down and Bottom Up, and help you decide which approach will work best for your Project.

Importing work from your Master Schedule into Aphex on a regular basis is called running 'Top Down'. Most large scale Projects choose this approach.

Key advantages:

  • Easy program updates back to your Master Schedule

  • Drive consistency in plans

  • Each engineer builds plans from the same starting level

  • Reduces time an engineer takes to regularly build plans

  • Can pre-assign Locations, Owners and Subcontractors

Importing work also offers the chance to import your WBS tree. WBS codes assigned to imported Tasks will automatically form the tree in your Aphex project.

As the Planner, you'll be in charge of running the import of an XML file (usually on a monthly basis), then distributing the Tasks out to each Engineer to breakdown and detail.

Creating work from scratch inside Aphex is called running 'Bottom Up'.

Key advantages:

  • Engineers can have greater accountability and sense of ownership over their plans

  • Quick to get started

A fair proportion of Projects choose to run Bottom Up. This approach is most common in smaller teams, or if there is not an existing programme to import.


Still on the fence? You can run a dummy import to get feel for the process, or to figure out what level of information you may want to include in your regular imports.

Keep in mind that these approaches aren't mutually exclusive, nor are you bound by the approach you first choose. You can pivot at any time.

Some teams run a combo of both - initially running a one-off import, bringing in a decent amount of work and also creating the WBS tree. They use the imported Tasks to get started, then continue building new activities from scratch.

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