Team Scheduling Nearing End of Test Phase

This evening we rolled out a few more TS enhancements.

  1. Assignment Response Notes are now visible on the TS page. If there is a note, there will be a little “note bubble” icon next to the role name for the assignment. Click this icon to see the response note(s).
  2. Assignments (within each team) can be sorted by Role Name or Person Name. Just use the little down-arrow icon to the right of the team name

We have a few more smaller enhancements, and then a larger “Team Role Templates” feature slated for the next couple of weeks. If those go well and minimal bugs are found, I think we’ll be ready to officially launch Team Scheduling for WP!

One other enhancement (fix) we made this evening is that the new File Browser search/selection window will now scroll properly with your browser. This was only an issue with netbooks, but one that we needed to fix anyway.

Team Scheduling Performance Improvements

We conquered a pretty big hurdle with the Team Scheduling (TS) page this evening. For those of you with many future services scheduled and/or many teams created, you probably noticed the TS page was a bit slow to load. I can confidently say “The wait is over!” Our lead developer for this TS project just released several enhancements for this page, one of which GREATLY improves the speed of the page. Kudos for Joel, the TS lead developer!

A few other really neat features that we just rolled out are:

– Assignment responses can be changed with the use of a new little down arrow under each status box – Empty teams can be hidden from view with the use of the appropriate Display Options checkbox in the upper left corner.

What’s next with TS, you might ask? Here are a couple things we are moving into the “active development” stage:

– Ability to delete an entire team assigned to a service (trickier than it sounds) – Sorting of people vs. roles within a team in a service – Showing assignment response notes – Use of Roles Templates on a per-team level

At some point, as we near the end of the beta (or “test”) phase, we plan to take some of this cool drag-n-drop technology and apply it to the team management page, role template page, and even the main edit role assignments page (the “old way” of scheduling people).

One last note regarding this whole “Team Scheduling” thing. I have spoken with a few people who like the new team-friendly features, but feel their church (or ministry) is too small to use it. As we add these team features, we are trying to maintain a level of “backward-compatibility” so that churches not wanting to organize people onto teams can still use the site as well as they always have. However, in keeping with the spirit of trying to stay organized, we are encouraging even the small churches/ministries to group their people on teams, even if it is just one team that is called “The Team”. Doing so makes it easier for you to use new WP features and for other ministries at your church to potentially use WP.

Update made to Team Scheduling

We just finished applying a couple of updates to the Team Scheduling feature. Here they are:

  1. You can now tell WP to send assignment notifications only to penciled in assignments. To do this, click the “Send Notification Email…” button as you normally do, and ensure the “Send notification emails for Penciled In assignments only” checkbox is checked.
  2. Performance should be a little better for churches that have many future services scheduled. We still have more work plan for even better performance.

In addition, we have made a few enhancements to the traditional page where roles are assigned to a service. This page should now be much easier to use, and here’s how:

  1. There is only one “Teams” field to mess with. Before, there were two: one to change which team of roles assigned to the service (on the left) and one to change which roles you could choose from. Now, one team field handles both of these
  2. Templates of roles can be added to teams. Just select the team, then double click on the template of roles from the list on the left (templates are near the bottom of the list).
  3. Templates of roles can be added at any time. Before, you could only add a template of roles if no other roles had been assigned. Now you can them any time, even add multiple templates, if you want.

Files Selection, Team Scheduling Updates

We applied a few updates to WP this evening. And with these updates, there is some good news, and some bad news. And, in case you don’t make it to the end of this blog, we tell you now that we’ve started using Twitter to provide mini-updates on WP happenings. So, be sure to follow us at http://twitter.com/wpUpdates.

Ok, so first the good news. We applied two smaller updates that I’m sure you’ll love.

1) The screen by which you can select files to attach to a song/service/team is vastly improved. It has a quick filter tool which allows you to easily find files by type, key word, or person that uploaded. And, search results can be sorted a variety of ways. Plus, you’ll see on the left side a list of your 10 most recent file uploads for easy pickins.

2) We’ve replaced the Time Selection tool on the pages where services are added and edited. The old tool was a little tough to see and navigate, and didn’t always work right for Chrome or Safari. We think this new tool looks and works significantly better.

The bad news is that we had planned on two more updates this evening, both of which would be applied to the new Team Scheduling beta. The first was an improvement in performance (page load times for churches with teams and/or people). The second was the ability to send email notifications to just people that are “penciled in”. A last minute bug forced us to remove these two updates, but we hope to have things fixed and ready to go later this week. I’ll be sure to let you know on this blog (and via our Twitter page!) when that update is applied. And, at that time, we’ll update you on how things are going, in general, with the Team Scheduling beta. To give you a hint, we are still very excited!!!

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