Team managers that work with multiple projects and team members can recognize the value of having a noteworthy time management and project scheduling tool. In 2017, we did just that at PLUS QA. After searching for resource management software that addressed our needs, we developed our own tool–Syncit.
Since then, Syncit has continuously been developed and refined to meet the growing and changing needs of our teams. Check out our post below on how we made booking easier, added time off requests, room booking features, and more!
Syncit Version 1.0
In the beginning, Syncit assisted users to create and view past, present, and future schedules. Team managers could schedule the members of their team on consistent or varying projects. Managers could break down the schedules based on projects & hours and they had the ability to add notes to each booking.
These past 3 years, we have improved the core functionalities and pivoted the tool to serve our needs.
Team managers now have the ability to schedule members of their team on a recurring basis. For instance, if a member of the team works on Project A Tuesdays and Thursdays, our resource manager can schedule a recurring project and schedule when that repetition will end.
This feature can also be used for recurring days off (which becomes helpful with part-time team members). The recurring booking feature allows for managers to pick which days the event will repeat and how many hours of availability/unavailability are needed. This feature helps make schedules easy to book.
Team managers can also create team filters for the master schedule view. This allows the managers to sort employees that typically work together but not always on the same project. We created this feature to simplify the booking process.
Syncit’s copy and drag tools allow managers to quickly select the bookings they would like to copy or simply drag and drop bookings they would like to move.
Time Off Requests
Time off requests are linked to managers and HR who are notified via email. Requests that are approved will be immediately documented on the schedule.
In addition to PTO, team members can submit sick time requests.This feature is intended for scheduled sick time. In many states, paid sick time is required, so this feature covers those instances where sick time can be utilized.
My Projects Details
At a glance, team managers can now look at the home screen to see the weekly amount of hours spent on each of their projects. For viewing hours in the weeks ahead, managers can select the project and the future dates to illustrate projected hours.
User Profiles/User Options
We have expanded the customizable options available for user profiles making it easier for you to get in touch with the people you need. Team managers can view profiles to see employee availability for the next 30 days, without having to view the master schedule. Managers can also view current and past projects that the employee is familiar with.
The final addition to user profiles has been with user communication. Users can be notified via email when they have been confirmed for a project, but can now also receive text messages if they have opted into the service. This feature comes in handy when projects are confirmed at the last minute or there are changes made to the schedule after hours. Team managers no longer have to hope their team checked their schedule for last-minute changes. It can give managers peace of mind and confidence that the project will go on as scheduled.
If team managers would like to look at a complete view of the hours booked versus the hours available, they can access the Reports feature. This view shows the overall available time, booked time, unavailable time, and vacation time. Under the team view, the time is divided by the individual. Managers can see what each individual member has for availability.
One of our largest new features is the room booking tool. This new feature allows team managers to find available rooms and book them for various meetings. Team managers can use the “Find Me A Room” button to narrow their search. They simply include the date, time, number of attendees, and if the meeting is with a client. A new screen will display what rooms are available based on the qualifications provided.
All team members can also look at a daily view to see which rooms are available and book from that screen. Through this feature users can easily book a room for a meeting, a client call, or utilize the room for working. Adding this feature was a way to make sure team managers had the tools they needed to ensure our clients and team received the highest quality support along the way.
Over the years we have tried different tools to manage resources and planning, but never quite found the right one for us. The idea of jumping between different applications to request time off, reserve a space for a meeting, or to view teams schedules did not sound practical. That’s why investing time and effort into our own application has proven to be efficient and also provided the opportunity for our team to contribute to our own platform.
We are continuously working on the new features and expansion of Syncit. We are excited about the improvements from the past few years and look forward to the improvements to come!