What is thedocyard?
A smarter way of doing deals!
thedocyard is a cloud-based platform that enables deal managers to run data rooms, negotiate documents, collect signatures, collaborate on files and to track tasks and issues in one, secure solution.
The following guide is an introduction to the platform for prospective clients, who may be looking for an all-in-one deal management solution, or new members, who may have been invited into advisory teams working on a deal hosted on thedocyard.
Our goal is to provide you with a broad understanding of the key features and functionality of the platform and best practice approach to setting up and managing new deals on thedocyard.
Why use thedocyard?
Have you been using spreadsheets to track tasks, word tables to track RFI's and responses, email and shared drives for sensitive files and data? Do you understand the issues around data security?
Your clients do. They're looking for advisors who can reliably deliver on transparency, productivity and security.
thedocyard is a technically advanced, secure enterprise application delivering task management, file sharing and collaboration tools including an integrated virtual data room (VDR)*.
On thedocyard, deal managers and teams have access to:
- real-time information on the progress of assigned tasks
- due diligence functionality and sophisticated Q&A tracking, and
- secure file sharing and collaboration 24x7x365 from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.
Registration & Accepting an invitation
In order to access a secure deal room, a new user must first register for the platform.
A registered member can participate in multiple concurrent deals being run on thedocyard.
Before gaining access to a secure deal room, members must accept an invitation and the Terms & Conditions of participating. That invitation is issued by the deal room's managing team.
For further information see: New User Registration
And, of course, a member can open their own deal room.
To open a new room, your business must have an account with thedocyard and your user ID listed on that account as a System Administrator or Room Administrator. (See Managing your Account)
For further information on accepting an invitation as a new account holder and opening a new deal room see:
Accessing your deal rooms
The platform has two levels of dashboard: The Global and the Deal Dashboard.
The Global Dashboard enables members to track the progress of their deals overall, as well as providing portals into individual deal rooms.
The Deal Dashboard is specific to each deal and will include the workflow tools (called "tabs"), that the Room Owner has utilised.
While members of the Room Owner's team have visibility across the deal room (i.e. they can 'see' everything), invited teams will only see those tabs that they've been given permission to access.
For further information on the Global and Deal Dashboards and how to log-out see: Accessing your deal rooms: the Global & Deal Dashboards, log-out
Managing your account
Only users who are System Administrators have access to the Account features from their User profile.
By accessing the Account details, a System Administrator can:
- change the details of their account, such as the description or address and billing details
- invite other users to their account and delegate roles (such as Room Administrator)
- invite themselves into a deal room
- delete a deal room
The "Add New Deal Room" functionality is activated for System Administrators and Room Administrators, enabling them to open new deal rooms against a business account.
Open a new deal room
Opening a new deal room only takes a couple of minutes. If you are a System Administrator or Room Administrator on the account, the Add New Deal Room feature is activated for your user ID.
Log into the platform. From the Global Dashboard click on the plus icon in the top left had corner of the screen to add a new deal room.
Fill in the required information to create a new deal room.
In the video below, we step through the process of opening a new deal room.
New room set-up: best practice
Our suggestion for the first step in setting up your new room is to create new teams for external parties.
Permissions are set by team (not individual user), so these teams can remain empty until you have a list of invitees.
By adding teams first, the Room Owner can set permissions while creating the workflow.
If you already know some of the participants for those teams, invitations to prospects can be added but left as pending. No external invitations should be sent until the room has been prepared.
The most efficient process for setting up a new room is:
Create new deal space > Add new teams > create workflow > upload files > review permissions > send invitations
Add new teams
The following instructions are specific to the role of Administrator of the Room Owner's team or a team that has been delegated with the Manage Team powers.
The Team Management option is located in the left hand side pop out menu:
To create a new team, click on the Add New Team tile:
To invite a user to a team, click Manage and then the Add New Member icon (highlighted):
Each team has four roles:
Administrators can move their own team members between roles.
The Room Owner's team:
- An Administrator of the Room Owner's team has complete deal management oversight. Only Administrators can create new teams and invite people to the secure deal room.
- A Publisher in the Room Owner's team has complete management oversight apart from being able to add teams and users to the deal room
- A Drafter in the Room Owner's team has complete oversight but everything remains in draft (and therefore invisible to other teams) until published.
- A user in the role of Read-only has view-only access to the deal space.
- By default, invitations to join the room owner's team are issued straight away. If you want to create an invitation without sending, leave as draft.
Invited teams (external parties):
This applies to any team that is NOT the Room Owner's team.
- By default, the first user invited into a team will be in the role of Administrator. This is because each team must have at least one Administrator.
- The Administrator of a team has the facility to move their own team members around between roles. (It is not assumed that the Room Owner will know how external teams want to organise themselves.)
Important: Advanced user permissions can be delegated to other teams by and gives them access to fulfill that role across the deal room.
For further information see: Understanding Team Roles and User Permissions
For further details and Team Management FAQs see: Add new teams & members
Troubleshooting invitations. Read: Why are my invitations not being received?
Create workflow - Add New Tabs
thedocyard's tab system enables Room Owners to tailor each space to the deal.
- Eliminate repetitive administrative work by utilising thedocyard's checklist tabs to manage tasks, set deadlines and take advantage of real-time reporting capability,
- Facilitate secure file sharing and seamless collaboration with document tabs,
- Run due-diligence in a fully featured virtual data room and Q&A tracker
- Template tabs & deal rooms to quickly re-deploy tasks and folder structures
Quick tip: Are you still in the Team Management view? Use the shortcut link to quickly return to the dashboard.
Below is an example of a workflow, from left to right:
Use checklists for task that can be delegated, have a time-dependency and need to be tracked in terms of status. Permissions for checklist tabs are set at tab-level.
Checklists can also be customised to store any other information that needs to be accessible to all parties in a deal room such as list of parties, tracking of team holiday dates.
Checklist tabs drive real-time information to the dashboard.
The document tab is useful as a file-sharing and collaboration tool - use it as secure storage for referral material or files that require editing but it is not necessary to track status. Permissions for the document tab are set at tab level.
The Data Room tab
The data room tab appears similar to the document tab at first glance, however, there are no collaboration tools. The data room tab is designed to be used for due diligence and therefore only final documents for review should be uploaded to this tab. Permissions for the data room tab are set at Tab, Folder and File level, enabling the deal managers to quarantine certain folders and hide files from particular teams.
In order to activate the "Ask a Question" feature, a Questions and Answers Tab must also be created.
The Questions & Answers tab works as a Q&A tracker, where the room owner can see and filter Q&A from all the external teams.
How to Add a Tab
Users in the role of Administrators, Publishers and Drafters of the Room Owner's team have access to the Add New Tab facility. (Actions taken by a user in the role of Drafter will remain as draft, and therefore not visible to any other team, until the actions have been reviewed and published by a user in the role of Publisher or Administrator.)
To add a tab, click on the Add Tab icon, on the right-hand side of the dashboard and select 'Add New Tab'.
Select the tab type required.
Once the tab is is created, users have the option to set the tab permissions straight away. This can be also be completed at a later stage in the workflow setup.
For further analysis of tab functionality, read: When to use a Checklist, Document or Data Room Tab
For further detail, read: Create a new tab and set team permissions
Task management & collaboration with checklists
For further detail on creating a checklist tab, task table and tasks see: Checklists : create, edit and update tasks
File sharing with document tabs
For further detail on file sharing & collaboration in document tab, see: version control & check-out, check-in
Setting up the Data Room & Managing Q&A
To set up the data room, users can add new folders or also bulk import folders and files from their computer.
Folders can only be uploaded in bulk whilst the data room is not active, ie. no teams have been given permission.
Once the data room is active, files can still be uploaded and permissions set on those files at the point of upload.
For more information regarding data security and uploading files to a data room see: Data Room Security & File Upload
To add a new folder to a data room, select 'New Folder' from the top menu within the data room.
To upload folders and files in bulk, select 'Upload' from the top menu.
Navigate to where the folders are saved on the local computer and highlight all to be uploaded, then drag and drop into the upload window within the data room.
Once the data room is ready, users can then finalise the team permissions for the folders and files before allowing access to the data room.
For more information regarding setting permissions see: Create a new tab & set team permissions
Once the data room is ready, Q&A can be opened up. To do this, add a new tab and select Questions & Answers as the type. Note, only one Q&A tab can be added within a deal space.
Questions cannot be asked until the Q&A tab has been created.
When adding the Q&A tab, add topics that relate to the data room and that can help for filtering of questions for the correct team to answer.
For more information on working within the Q&A tab please see:
Folder permissions & document download settings
Once the folder structure of the data room has been completed, and files have been uploaded, deal room owners can set specific download permissions on the data room folders depending on the type of files uploaded and how they want invited teams to access those files.
Within the permissions it is possible to allow invited teams to be able download a copy of the files in the same format it was uploaded in (source or native format).
Set the permissions so that files can only be downloaded in PDF format, regardless of the format that they were uploaded in.
Set the permissions so that the files are downloaded as PDF and with a watermark applied.
This also allows the invited teams to be able to download files, from within folders in the data room in a bulk download format but it also means that the download of those files are tracked individually. This allows the room owner team to be able to track which teams are downloading which files for review.
Here is a link to an article which explains how to set the specific folder permissions to allow the downloading of the files in certain formats:
Below is a link to an article that explains how the invited teams can download the documents from the folder within the data room, and also explains what to expect depending on the permissions that the deal room owner has set:
Notifications & Global User Settings
For further detail on how to amend user settings in the profile and set notification preferences see:
Edit deal room details
Once a deal room has been created, room administrators can edit the deal room settings by clicking on the cog icon in the top right hand corner.
Here they can amend the deal room name, upload a new logo, upload new terms and turn team invisibility on or off.
Reporting & the Audit Trail
Preparing to close the deal room
For further detail see: Closing a Deal - Delete Deal Room
Bulk Export & Build Deal Book
For further detail see: Closing a Deal - Deleting the Deal Room
If you have any questions about setting up your deal's workflow, contact the Help Desk team: firstname.lastname@example.org