As this year ends, it is time to plan for the upcoming year. Numerous appointments for 2020 are already on my agenda, including various internal meetings and several external workshops. It’s a lot to keep up with!
That’s why I use the calendar resource planning feature add-on in OTRS: I use it every day to organize all kinds of processes. For instance, I can get an overview of my colleagues’ appointments and find out who is available or on vacation in order to best plan my time. As a product manager, for example, it is particularly important for me to have insight into our consultants’ projects and customer appointments. Then, I can take part in a workshop to get to know the needs of our customers firsthand.
New OTRS Calendar Resource Planning Functionalities
In our constant exchange with customers, we have learned how important and popular calendar resource planning is in OTRS. That’s why we decided to develop it further and make it even better:
- If, for example, I open the appointment “Workshop with the Consultants” in my OTRS calendar, I not only see where and with which customer the appointment will take place, but I can also see a lot of other useful information in the additional fields. For instance, in my OTRS calendar, appointments also show which consulting service is involved, who the contact person is and how extensive the project is. For monthly evaluation purposes, additional data, such as the daily rate, cost center and order number from the linked ticket, are stored here.
- Dynamic fields also make it possible to display subcategories for a specific task. For a marketing team, for example, this means that not only can a general “marketing activity” be displayed, but the task can more specifically be categorized as a blog, social media post or press release. This is very convenient so that everyone has the same overview of all activities and the team can achieve its best results.
I can decide by a click-of-the-mouse whether I only want to view my own appointments, those of my team or those of other departments.
- It is also possible to customize the calendar views. I can decide by a click-of-the-mouse whether I only want to view my own appointments, those of my team or those of other departments. Accordingly, I can set meeting dates, even across departments, without having to spend a lot of time asking who is available and when. It’s also handy that I can limit my calendar view to a certain time window, for example 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Some of my colleagues work part-time, so I can better see when they’re available.
- Selected import options also help to keep staff who are in the field up-to-date, because customer and ticket data can be synchronized from the linked ticket to the appointment, making this data available to the mobile agent offline in a local calendar.
- New reporting features enable reports to be generated automatically, eliminating manual effort and minimizing error rates. Project management – especially across several departments – is simplified many times over. Quickly see which tasks are late, which took more time than expected, who has time available for new tasks and more.
And these are only a small portion of the newly-developed functions. These are already available in OTRS 7, but with OTRS 8 they take on a new dimension with personalized dashboards as well as reusable and configurable calendars.
Using calendar resource planning gives me a good feeling for 2020, because it allows me to keep an eye on my appointments and those of my colleagues in order to be able to plan resources and upcoming decisions optimally.
Do you share the new year’s resolution about better planning appointments and resources? I am happy to show you how you can take advantage of calendar resource planning.