Introduction

The rota management system helps organise volunteers across MCCs volunteer profile. Allowing a single location and distribution of all rotas. Rotas can be managed from the Rota admin home page

Managing volunteers can be boiled down to managing of the below core entities:

  • Rota
  • Role
  • Team Members
  • Scheduled Dates
  • Published Views

A rota is essentially made up of scheduled date / role combinations. A rota is completed when team members have been assigned to all schedule / role combinations. Before a rota can be filled in we need to create the background records that support the rota. the first if these is the Schedule records.

Schedule Dates

From the Admin page, click on the Schedule Management link to see the following form.

The cancel link at the bottom left of the form will return users to the admin page.

The Generate Schedule link at the bottom right of the form will create the schedule as defined in the form. The schedule generator only creates weekly occurences.

The Schedule Name field allows you to quickly identify which dates are for which Rota period. This should be generic enough to be used for all dates within a schedule, but give meaningful names for other users. i.e. Autumn 2015

The Event Group is a collection of scheduled dates, allows rotas to use different schedules. Therefore we can have a schedule for sunday meetings, and another schedule for mid-week meetings. A rota can only belong to 1 schedule.

The start date serves 2 puproses:

  1. Setting the day of the week the event will run on
  2. Setting the first date the shedule will begin.
So selected Wednesday 4th November 2015 will result in a series of events being created on a wednesday starting from the 4th November.

 

The End date sets the last date in the schedule. When the Generate Schedule button is clicked, a schedule will be generated on a weekly basis up until the end date.

 

If the end date is on a different day of the week to the start date then the schedule will end on the previous scheduled week day. To create a single date within a schedule set the start and end dates the same.

e.g: completing the form with the values:

  • Schedule Name = 'November Sunday Services'
  • start date = Wednesday 4th November 2015
  • end date = Tuesday 24th November 2015
The generated schedule dates will be: 4th Nov, 11 Nov, 18 Nov. Each record will have the Schedule Name as 'November Sunday Services'

 

N.B. the generate rota process checks to see if dates already exist within the requested rotaring period. This means that duplicate events are not created.

All current schedule dates will be listed in at the bottom of the page. You can edit an already created schedule by clicking on the schedule date.

Edit Schedule Dates

To edit a schedule date, click on the Date link within the Schedule Management screen, this will take you to the Edit Schedule Date screen as shown below.

The schedule ID and Sort Name cannot be amended

The Schedule Group allows a user to move the date to another group. This will transfer any attached members on roles for that date. It is not recomended that this is changed after it has been used.

The event date allows a user to alter the date of the event. This affects all rotas that use this schedule, and must be changed with caution. This should only be amended when creating a new schedule.

Schedule is a description of the schedule, this is only used to help group dates together under 1 schedule

The schedule note field adds text to the notes column for all rotas that using the schedule. This should therefore be generic notes useful for most rotas, but should help define any helpful details helpful for teams to be aware of.

This may include:

  • Baptisms
  • Breaking of Bread
  • Visiting Speakers
  • Joint Celebrations
  • etc

 

The Teaching subject field holds the Theme / subject of the event, this is usually the talk title. By default this is only shown on the leading and speaking rota, and is editable by managers of that rota.

The save button will update the scheduled date with the values entered by the user.

The cancel button will return the user to the Schedule Management Page.

Rota Details

Rotas by default are only available to users who have access to the rota system. So you may create new rotas without them being publically available. Rota Managers will need to request new rotas to be generated. Please email the Meeting Support Deacon detailing the rota name, Team, Rota Manager and reason for the rota.

Once a rota has been generated, Rota Managers are able to edit the rota by clicking on the manage link next to the rota on the Admin home page. Rota managers are set on a per rota basis, so you may be able to amend 1 rota but not another.

Manage Rota Form

The page includes the rota edit form at the top of the screen, and a list of attached roles at the bottom of the screen.

The Rota Name field is the name of the rota, and is how the rota will appear in any lists.

The Rota Code is a short name used within the system. This is used for underlying naming conventions and for providing short links to a rota.

The Default View is an optional field, that holds a link to a rota view. This attaches a view to the rota to aid navigation within the admin site.

The Rota Group defines which schedule to use for the rota. This defines which dates appear on the rota.

The save link will save the rota details entered by the user in the form.

The cancel link will forward the user to the Rota Admin home page

Adding Rota Roles

before a rota can be entered we need to create roles against a rota. All attached roles are shown in the list at the bottom of the page, but by default a rota has no roles.

Under the list is a series of text boxes, allowing a user to create a new role for the rota. clicking the Add Role button will create a role for the supplied values, all fields are required.

The Sort Name is the name of the role, however it is used to order the roles within the rota. Therefore it is a good idea to set the sort name in the format < Order> - <Role Name> eg. '1 name'

The Display Name is the text that is shown on the rota and in lists. This should be a user friendly name for the role.

The Code field is used for underlying naming conventions. Please keep this short, preferably to 2 or 3 characters.

Amending a Role

Clicking on a role name within the Rota Details page will take you to the role edit screen. This will allow a user to update role details at a later date.

As roles are specific to a rota, you should be able to amend these details without causing issues. However please note that the role may appear in a views used by another Rota Manager.

Role Edit Form

The Sort Name is the name of the role, however it is used to order the roles within the rota. Therefore it is a good idea to set the sort name in the format < Order> - <Role Name> eg. '1 name'

The Display Name is the text that is shown on the rota and in lists. This should be a user friendly name for the role.

The Role Description field allows a manager to attach information to a role. On a published rota view, a member can hover or click on the role header to get more information about the role. This is the extra details that user will be shown

The Code field is used for underlying naming conventions. Please keep this short, preferably to 2 or 3 characters.

The Rota field allows a user to define which rota this role will be attached to. You can therefore transfer a role between rotas, however if you transfer it to a rota that you do not manage, then you may not be able to amend the role to transfer it back or update the schedule for the role.

Clicking the Cancel link will return the user to the Rota Details page.

Clicking on the save link will update the role with the values entered by the user.

Adding Members to a Role

Users can be added to a role in 2 places, here within a role and also in the member mangement screen. If you want to add multiple members to a role, eg when you create a new role, it is easier to do that here. However if you want to add multiple roles to a single (maybe new) user then it will be easier to add these through the member page.

Adding members to a role through the Role Management page is as easy as selecting the user from the dropdown field and clicking on the Add Member button.

Member Management

Members are a shared resource across all rotas, as such care should be taken when amending the details to minimise the impact on other rotas and managers. To amend a member click on the members name within the Rota Admin home page

Member Edit Form

Clicking on the cancel link will return to the Rota Admin home page

Clicking on the save link will update the member with the details entered into the Member Details section.

The full name field is the full name of the member, this should comprise of first name and surname. This is used to identify users within the rota admin pages.

The Short name field is the name that is used within the generated rota. It is the text used within the rota tag, to display to the user. This should Comprise of the First Name and Surname Initial. However this must be unique, and as such may require more details to be entered.

The default style field is used to style the tag. This will nominally include the background and foreground colours is CSS format. (Background-Color: #<ColourCode>; Color: #<ColourCode>;) e.g. Background-Color: #FF0000; Colour: #FFFFFF;

The rota tag shows you how the members tag will be shown within a rota or view. This does a live update as you amend the default style / short name fields, and is used for display purposes only.

The Initials field is used for showing away dates for a members within a rota. This must be Unique and is normally the First name initial and the surname initial. But to keep uniqueness, multiple surname characters may be used. These should remain as short as possible while keeping the initials as obvious to other Rota Managers who may use the initials.

When creating a rota, the system stops a manager from putting a member on more than 1 role for a specified date. However depending on members circumstances you may want to consider a group of people being busy if only 1 person in that group are on a rota that day. This is useful for families with children, or if a pair would do 1 role together, but would do other roles by them self. This is managed through 'Busy Groups' within the rota system.

The Busy Group field allows a '; ' separated list of groups to be entered, allowing a user to be part of multiple busy groups. Leave this field blank if the member's availability is not dependant on other members.

Member Holidays

As well as making a user unavailable when they are rotad on another role for a schedule date, the system also allows managers to record members as being away. This process is managed through the Members Holiday section on the Member Management screen.

Member Holiday Form

To mark a member as being unavailable, then please select a schedule date from the list, and then click the Add Holiday link.

if the wrong holiday is given to a member, or a member decides that they wish to be available for a specified date, then click the X link next to the date to remove it from the user.

Adding Members to a Role

Users can be added to a role in 2 places, here within a role and also in the member management screen. If you want to add multiple members to a role, eg when you create a new role, it is easier to do that here. However if you want to add multiple roles to a single (maybe new) user then it will be easier to add these through the member page.

Adding members to a role through the member Management screen is done by completing the fields at the bottom of the Attached Roles list.

Select the rota that the role belong to from the Rota Dropdown list. This will update the role dropdown list with the roles attached to that rota.

Select the Role from the Role dropdown list.

Click the Add Role link. The role will be added to the user, and the list will be updated.

Populating the Rota

Once all the background data has been set up, we can start to populate the rota. Click on the Rota name in the Rota Admin home page and you will be taken to the Rota management page.

Rota Population Form

The rota population screen will look similar to that shown above. each event / role combination will show the tag for the member that is rotad on. White boxes with a blank border (the blank user tag) depict roles for an event where no members have been rotad. To rota a member click on the relevant tag, bringing up the Member selection dropdown:

Rota Member Selection Form

Click on a user to update the selected tag to the current user.

Clicking on None will remove the member from the selected role.

Greyed out tags represent members who are attached to the role, but are otherwise busy on this date. This could be due to other roles being assigned to the user (or busy group), or they may have requested a MCC Rota Holiday for this date. Rota Managers are prevented from from selecting multiple roles for a user.

To exit without making any changes, click on the greyed out background.

Clicking the cancel link at the bottom of the page returns to the Rota Admin home page.

Clicking on the Manage Rota link will load the Rota Management page

Publishing the Rota

By default rotas are not publicly available. In order for members to view a rota you will need to create a Published View.

Published Views are a read only version of a rota, created by adding 1 or more roles into the view. Therefore a view is independent of a rota, and can include columns from different rotas. This means that 1 role can appear in it's main rota, but then displayed for reference in another rota. All copies of the role are kept up to date and managed by the original rota manager.

To manage a published view, click on the Manage link for the view in the Rota Admin home page.

Rota Member Selection Form

The View Name field should include the name of the published view. This is included in the link to give the rota to members, so any changes can affect links already given to members.

item description field allows the user to enter text (HTML Formatting is required) that will appear at the bottom of the view. This could be general text like please contact ... if you swap, or details of what time to turn up. This should be general information required by all members on the rota, and not specific details.

The Current Period Start is the begin date when the earliest event should be published in the view. This allows a manager to publish a view that starts at a later date.

The Current Period End defines the last event which is published in the view. This allows a manager to populate a future schedule without members being aware. The Rota Manager can then publish the new rota Period within the view in bulk when required.

The Code allows a user to define a View code, which is used for underlying setup and also creates a Shorter URL to the view. members will be able to access the published view via the url http://www.middlesbroughcommunitychurch.org/rotas?rota=<PublishedViewCode>.

The Group assigns the published view to an Event Group (a set of scheduled dates)

The Hide Header When Printing flag allows a published view to hide the rota name / header details when the page is printed. This is only beneficial if a long rota period is published to keep the rota printed on 1 page.

The cancel link returns the user to the Rota Admin home page.

The Save button updates the published view with the details entered in the form.

Adding Roles to a Published View

Select the rota the role belongs to from the left most dropdown list. This will update the role dropdown list with all the roles for the selected rota.

Select a role from the Role dropdown list.

Enter a numeric value into the sort order field. This will position the roles within view, i.e. sort order 1 will appear on the left, and 99 will appear on the right of the published view.

Click the Add Role link, and the role will be added to the published view.