We just finished applying a couple of updates to the Team Scheduling feature. Here they are:
- 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.
- 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:
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
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!!!
We have received some great feedback during this first week of the new Team Scheduling page. And, in turn, we applied an update this evening that fixes a few small bugs, and adds a few minor enhancements.
Here are a things we are working on for one of our next beta updates:
- Ability for Planner to change the assignment response by clicking on the status color code of an assignment
- Ability to send an email notification to just one person
- Ability to send send notifications to just “Penciled In” assignments
- Ability to hide teams with no assignments
Of course, there are more features we have planned, but these seems to be next on the list (for now).
One other update we applied this evening is something Helpers should really love. We have made the assignment response page more intuitive to use. Helpers can respond to an assignment for master and linked services with ONE CLICK! To check it out, login to your MyWP account. We haven’t updated out tutorial video yet, but that will be happening soon.
One last note: I am going to leave this blog post open for comments. If you have any thoughts or feedback on features mentioned in this post, you are welcome to post them here.
Our new Team Scheduling feature is now ready for those of you wishing to help us test it out. Since it is a beta release, there could be few bugs and formatting issues. But we’ve done enough testing on it that these issues should be minimal. One thing is for sure, you should find this page much easier (and more fun) than the “old” way of scheduling your team members.
To start using it, login to WP and click on “People”, then the Teams tab. In the upper right corner there is a “Team Scheduling” link. This link is also on a few other pages (like the Roles tab when looking at a service’s worship flow).
We strongly encourage you to view the brief and/or detailed video tutorials before you get started. Links them can be found when you first access the page.
We value your feedback as we go through this beta phase. Feel free to use the “Feedback” link in the upper right corner of the Team Scheduling page to let us know any thoughts or issues you have.
Beta testing for the new Team Scheduling feature in WP should begin any day now. At this stage, we are just finishing our internal testing, which is a bit more thorough than usual given the nature of this enhancement. We’ve included a couple of sneak-peak screen shots to whet your appetite (click the “More” link on the right, below this post). Of course, these are subject to change, but I doubt they will change much, if any.
Just a couple of notes for you about these pages:
- Team members, roles, and even entire teams can be dragged and dropped on a service.
- Security levels will dictate which teams display on the left side.
- The gray box status is our new Penciled-In status, which turn to yellow once you send the notification.
- WP will alert you if you schedule someone for a service that they are already scheduled.
- The “Send Notification Emails…” is used to send both initial notification and follow up reminders. And, it sends only one email per person, with all of their assignments in that email (rather than multiple emails per person).
I know it is taking longer than we had expected. If we were coding it from scratch, I think it would have been done by now. But one of the things that takes so much time is ensuring backwards compatibility. This project is our number one priority right now, and we are making great progress. Let me give you a more specific idea how it is going:
All the click-and-drag stuff is done. The page shows teams that you lead on the left side, and all future services on the right (with the option to hide linked services). Planners can drag a person, role, or team to any future service. Upon dropping a person or team on a service, WP checks for schedule conflicts and days the person has blocked off as “unavailable”.
At this moment we are finalizing two things:
- We are making sure adding and deleting assignments are handled properly between master and linked services.
- We need to finish the email notification part. When people are dragged and dropped onto a service, WP will “pencil” them in for that role. But it isn’t until the email notification is sent that the person is officially scheduled. If you have someone penciled in for 6 assignments, sending an email notification will change their status to Pending, and send a single email with all their assignments.
Once these 2 items are completed, we think it will be ready to test. We’ll be looking for beta-test volunteers. Keep an eye out for future blogs about that. Thanks for your patience, everyone.
To assist you with planning a series of services and the location of services, we have made the following enhancements.
Location Field on the Create a Series page – You can now specify a location on the page where you normally build a series of services. The location field is a “free form” text field, but WP will also provide you a list of previously specified locations in a dropdown field just below it (if you have previously entered a location into a past service).
Edit a Series Title – If you need to change the title of a series, you can now make that change across all services in that series. To do so, go to the table of services (Admin –> Services), then look for the desired series title in the table of services (any one will do). You’ll notice the series title is a link. Click it, and you’ll see a list of all the services in that series. This view in-and-of itself is probably pretty helpful to you. But if you want to go further and change the series title, find the “Modify Series Title” link on the left side below the “Services” tab. Click it and you’ll be prompted to enter a new series title. Once you click the Save button, all of the services on that page are changed to have the new title.
Finally, we made a few small changes to the pages where general service info is added and edited. Specifically, we cleaned up the Quick Pick dropdown boxes for specifying a Series title and Location. Oh, and we fixed the “File Upload Disk Usage” indicator on the Church Settings page (Admin –> Church Info –> Church Settings tab…near the bottom of that page).
A long awaited feature of WorshipPlanning.com has finally arrived. Helpers can now view the details of every entry in your church’s Songs Library. For those not familiar with the issue, it used to be that Helpers could only access song details and files of those scheduled for services that the Helpers themselves were scheduled. This was done for multiple reasons, including a way for worship leaders to limit how song details and files were shared. But we feel the solution we rolled out last night is much better. Most worship leaders should have received an email last night with details on how this new feature works. If you didn’t, you can check out our support pages (http://support.worshipplanning.com) in the next day or so for the full rundown, or just send us an email.
The next big feature we roll out is one that many, many churches have asked us about. It is a tremendously improved “assignment” page….the page where people are schedule to serve. I won’t go into all the details, but let me mention just a few:
- Drag and Drop
- Assigning an entire team at once
- Schedule conflict alerts
- Schedule across multiple services on a single screen
Sound exciting? We can’t wait to roll it out….except that we first need to finish developing it. Hopefully it will be ready for beta testing in 2-3 weeks.
We realize two blog posts within just a few days of each other might blow you away, but we just rolled out a feature we know some of you have been really wanting to see. The “Schedule Grid” page (in its beta version) shows you a table of people down the left column, and services across the top. In the grid cells are data about the person’s schedule (roll, response, availability). You can also filter the view to show just a specific date range of services, just master services, and a specific team.
This page can be found on the “Schedule” tab of the “People” navigation link. Give it a shot and let us know your thoughts. Be warned that churches with tons of people and services might see slower load times of the page until we are able to tune the code a bit.
And, by the way, the ability to print and/or export this to a spreadsheet is coming very soon.
We hope this update finds you well and into the Christmas spirit. Seems like this time of the year really zips on by, as this is a busy time for both family and worship ministry lives.
In light of how critical it is for things to operate in a timely and consistent manner during the services leading up to Christmas, we are especially selective in the updates we apply to the WP site. At this point, we have two small updates we applied to My.WorshipPlanning.com.
1) Virtual Stage Access – Your Helpers now have access to the latest virtual stage arrangements you make. No changes to the Virtual Stage can be made in the MyWP site (regardless of security level), but the stage can be printed just like in the regular WP site.
2) Advanced Print-out Pages – Helpers now also have access to the various service-flow printout options that are available to Planners in the regular WP site.
We are planning to improve the layout of the My Schedule page in the MyWP site, including the ability to view past services (for the sake of allowing 360WP surveys to be filled out), and the ability for a Helper to respond to multiple services at once.