Linking people to plans
Plans are not just about what's happening and in what order; it's just as important to know who's doing what and when so that services, events and bookings run smoothly, with everyone in the loop. Adding people to plans is incredibly easy, but underneath that ease of use is a powerful breadth of functionality that brings your plans to life! People linked to items on plans become plan members, so when you later share a plan, those people are always recipients of your Send plan communications.
In addition to assigning people to plan items on an ad hoc basis, you can also dynamically link plan items to your rotas - once linked, if a rota changes, the plan remains up to date with the latest serving people.
Adding people to a plan
You can add or link people to any plan item where one or more people are responsible for doing something related to that item. In this section, we will show you how to add people 'ad hoc' (where there is no rota), and then see how to link plan items to your related rotas. If your rotas change, the linked people shown on the plan remain up to date.
Throughout this article, we describe adding and linking people to Plan items, but the same principles apply to adding and linking people to Plan Templates. Adding or linking people to a template has a distinct advantage in that you'll create the links just once against the template so that any future plans created from a template will inherit the plan-people-links to your active rotas.
From the plan item Actions, select Manage people. Note that this action is only available for future plans - it's not possible to manage people for past plans.
On the Linked People pop-up, choose between Fixed People (ad hoc people) or Criteria (linking to rotas). Let's look at each in turn...
Assigning fixed people to a plan item
You can assign one or more ad hoc people to a plan item using the People search. As you type a name in the search, the list filters to show matching results. Select each person from the search results as appropriate. Subject to your module permissions you can search and select contacts and children - children are distinguished by a "child" avatar icon in front of their name. Click Save to assign the selected people to the plan item. Remember, fixed people are specific to this one plan.
The Plan item is updated, showing people avatars representing the assigned people. Where more than three people are assigned, avatars for two people are shown followed by a counter to indicate how many others are assigned to that site. You can expand plan items to reveal a full list of assigned people. You can return and use the Manage people action at any time to make further ad hoc changes to the fixed people assigned to a plan item.
Assigning people using rota criteria
For those using the Rotas module, you can link plan items directly to a rota, which, once linked will mean the plan people remain up to date if your rotas later change. In this section, we'll see how linking people using rota Criteria like Service, Ministry or Roles - or any combination of those criteria - dynamically populates people to plan items. As before, select Manage people from the plan item Actions.
On the Linked people pop-up, click into the Criteria tab and search and select the appropriate combination of Service, Ministry or Role. In this example, the "Production team arrive" plan item is being linked to the rota for the Production ministry for the morning Service. ChurchSuite shows matching rota members from any rota linked to the Service for that Ministry.
Note: The rota serving times must overlap the plan item time people are being assigned to, otherwise no matching people will be found - see the Top Tip later in this article for further information.
How are the criteria used to match people from the correct rotas?
ChurchSuite matches from Draft and Published rotas of the same Site as the plan, matching rota members scheduled to serve at the same time as the plan item using the selected criteria, as follows:
- Service only - matches anyone serving on any rota linked to the selected Service for any Ministry with any Role
- Ministry only - matches anyone serving on any rota linked to the selected Ministry with any Role
- Role only - matches anyone serving on any rota with the selected Roles
- Service & Ministry - matches anyone serving on any rota linked to the selected Service for the specified Ministry with any Role
- Service & Role - matches anyone serving on any rota linked to the selected Service in the selected Roles
- Ministry & Role - matches anyone serving on any rota linked to the selected Ministry in the selected Roles
- Service, Ministry & Role - matches anyone serving on any rota linked to the selected Service, Ministry and selected Roles
Click Save to create the criteria link and assign the matching people to the plan item. The plan item is updated, showing people avatars representing the assigned people. Where more than three people are assigned, avatars for two people are shown followed by a counter to indicate how many others are assigned to that site. You can expand plan items to reveal a full list of assigned people. You can return and use the Manage people action at any time to make further changes to the criteria used to assign people to a plan item.
Should the underlying rota subsequently change - perhaps if rota swaps are processed, or unavailability is added - the plan item people remain up to date, always showing the people currently on the rota. Hovering your cursor over the rotating arrows icon displays a pop-up with a note of the criteria specified for the plan item.
Top tip! Why are there no matching rota members for my criteria?
A plan people count of zero happens when there are no rota members scheduled to serve at the time of the plan item. If this is unexpected, check the linked rota's serving times to ensure they cover the time of the plan item. If the plan item time is outside of the linked rota serving times, or if you're working on a Template (which doesn't have a date), no plan people will be matched.
In the example below from a plan for a 10.30 am morning service, the "Production team arrive" plan item is 8.00 am before the service starts. For the production team members to be shown correctly assigned, the underlying production rota should be set to serve from 8.00 am, not 10.30 am. In this regard, rota serving start and end times should accurately reflect the times that rota members are expected to serve, which may be before or after the service times.