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LibrePlan the Open Source Web Based Project Management Tool – Part 2: Calendar and Team Configurations

May 1, 2013 10:34 pm Leave your thoughts
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Part 2

Welcome to the part 2 of LibrePlan open source project management tool exploration. If you haven’t yet, you’ll need to visit the first part of this series to look up the case study and install LibrePlan.

Configuring Global Preferences

One of the things that we need to configure is normally currency. The default currency of LibrePlan is Euro, it will have to be changed to suit your company. There are other things that can be modified too such as type of hours on timesheet, autocomplete, which code to auto generate, etc.

Defining our Calendar

calendarmenu

One of the most important aspects of LibrePlan or in any project management tool is the ability to define your own custom calendar. You will want to put holidays, planned company shut down, planned training, etc. This can be done via the Resource tab.

As you can see, there are two calendar options. The first one is calendars and the second calendar exception days. 

Calendar Exceptions Days

createexception1

Calendar exception days is basically the option that you want to define what kind of possible exceptions that you may want to have. The default ones are bank holiday, half day holiday, leave, resource holiday and … strike. For the sake of our example, let’s add training type because in our factitious company we want to do proper full day team training for our developers, hence the project will be affected as effectively the team stops working on those days.

So click on insert and fill in the details. For our example we’ll use orange colour and set the standard effort to 8 hours.

createxception2

Calendar Definition

Now let’s create the calendar definition. Click on the calendars item under Resources menu. Then click Create.

calendarworkhoursYou’ll be presented with full calendar definition. In this screen you’ll be able to define the name of the calendars and all the exceptions required. In addition to that, by creating your own calendar you can customise the hours of work in the calendar each day. The default is 8 hours Monday to Friday, however I like to put in 7 hours just in case because people does not work 100% all the time. Distractions occurs and this will take at least 1 hour out of the full working day.

calendarexceptionIn this example, I have defined 3 days for exceptions. The 8th of May 2013 for a training day and the 25th to 26th of December for Christmas day. Obviously in real project you’ll define much more exceptions, but this should be enough to illustrate what we can do with calendar definitions.

Once you are done with the exception, press save and we’ll use this calendar for our project.

Simply click on planning->projects. Then click on the projects list and click on our The Online Teddy Bear Emporium project.

Create the Project using this Calendar

Once selected, we can use the newly created calendar from General Data. There’s a calendar option from the planning configuration, all we need to do is click on the Web development calendar.

defineproject

Now let’s move on with our team configuration. I’m reluctant to use the word resource by the way because they are people and not material. Anyway, that’s more of a personal opinion.

Resource (team) Configuration

So far we have defined our currency, calendar working hours and calendar exceptions. The next thing that we have to define is our team members.

As mentioned in our case study, we have 4 team members to work on this project. Their names are John, Peter, Alice and Jasmine.

To start, hover over the resources menu and select workers.

resourcemenu

Click on the Create button to add a new team member.

As you can see from the picture below, you can assign various information such as name, type, calendars, etc.

createworker

Most importantly however is the “Bound user” option. If you select Existing user or Create new user, your team member will be able to login to the LibrePlan server and see their planned task. In doing so, they will be able to update their progress too when required. This is very good if you want to give each of your team members access to development and delivery schedule. Of course you can modify the user permissions to restrict them into viewing their own tasks only.

Also don’t forget to select the Web Development calendar for this purpose. This will ensure the team member having the correct holiday and training schedules.

After you are satisfied with the information click on Save and repeat for the rest of the team members.

You’ll end up with something similar to the picture below.

workerslist

Re-cap

So there, so far we have got a working LibrePlan installation, global configurations, calendar setup including exceptions and team configuration. We have just setup the basic foundations of our project. Hopefully you are starting to get some taste of the vast array of capabilities that LibrePlan can offer.

On our next post we will start working on creating the work breakdown structure and the complete project plan.

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