Below is a collection of feature descriptions, how-to’s and video tutorials so you can get the general idea on how to use the Project Manager feature of the website, as well as some general notes.
Here are a few notes about the way we’ve set it up and some bugs that have been found:
1) You don’t have the ability to create a new project. We want to keep projects here restricted to “official” station projects. If you have an idea for a project, use the “General Discussion” project to propose it, and notify one or two relevant people about your idea by using the “Notify users” feature (check off the station leader, and a relevant board member or two).
2) You don’t have the ability to delete projects, but you can delete pretty much everything else. Please be judicious and use delete VERY rarely.
3) To explain #2 above: Everyone has “Administrative” privileges (curtailed with some hacks) so that everyone in the Station can see ALL the projects the Station is involved with. We prefer this level of transparency, plus it enables anyone to add themselves to a project (careful, you can also remove someone by accident!) or assign a task to themselves. The system is based on trust and common sense, and encourages an organized way to take initiative. We hope to never have to reduce anyone’s privileges.
4) The system (can) generate a LOT of e-mail; do your best to use the notification features judiciously. E-mail notifications are sent to you automatically when you are assigned to a project and when you are assigned to a task; good management of these e-mails will help you maintain a “stake in the ground” to remind you what you are responsible for. I suggest setting up a folder system on your e-mail account and creating e-mail rules / smart folders in your e-mail client that will automatically route e-mail out of your inbox and into a project folder(s). You might want to try a Google searchfor how to do it. Alternatively, you my want to create an e-mail address specifically for Station projects and not mix with your work or other personal e-mail.
5) We are using a frontend plugin; most of the tutorials and video examples show the WordPress backend. Don’t worry about it; just about everything is the same.
6) When creating a Milestone date, the date ends up losing a day. So if you choose August 10, it will save as August 9. Perhaps a future update of the plugin will fix this. For now, pick the date one day higher and pay attention to how the Milestone is saved.
7) If you delete a Message, you get kicked back out to the Project Index. This is a bug in the frontend plugin that takes the user to the backend for some reason, but you don’t have access to the backend and get redirected to the Projects page. But you shouldn’t be deleting Messages very often (if ever) anyway (see #2 above).
Have something to contribute to this tutorial page? There’ll be a project for that!