Two-stage Approvals and Team Management
In larger projects it is often useful to be able to control how documents are delegated through to various design and construction team members.
An obvious example of this is the case of an as-built type project where many Sub-Contractors might report to a single Head Contractor. In this case it is useful for the Head Contractor to be able to have some control over the delegation and responsibilities assigned to his Sub-Contractors. Another example is in the case of large projects where several Project Managers or Engineering Managers will be assigned to manage various parts of the projects. In this case there might be various Engineering disciplines such as Mechanical and Electrical Engineers which report to a single Engineering Design Manager while others such as Civil and Hydraulics might report to a different Engineering Design Manager.
In all these cases the Head Contractor (or Engineering Manager) is a kind of "mini-administrator" and has some level of control over his sub-disciplines, these are called "Approvers" in ODS Track because documents that are uploaded by sub-disciplines require their Approval before moving on to a higher level. However, the top-level (ESD Consultant or other) still must have the power to veto and override the decisions made by these individuals. This level of control is handled in ODS Track by the "Approver" functionality.
What is an Approver?
An Approver is like a mini-administrator as mentioned above. An administrator can do the following operations:
- Create new sub-Disciplines which will require documents to be uploaded for his approval
- Modify the delegation of documents assigned to his lower-level sub-disciplines
- Set and change the due-dates for lower-level disciplines
How do I create an Approver?
Its easy to create an Approver. Simply:
- go to the Project Homepage;
- select a lowest-level Discipline which you would like to report to the Approver (such as Hydraulic Contractor) and click "edit" next to the Discipline name
- In the drop-down box labelled "Approver" select the Discipline which will manage this sub-discipline (such as Head Contractor) and click "Save"
You should now notice in the Project Homepage that the Head Contractor discipline is listed with its various sub-disciplines below. You can create and edit Disciplines as required to get the correct project structure.
What happens after an Approver is assigned?
Sticking with our example from above, the following will happen when an Approver is assigned to a discipline:
- For the lowest-level disciplines (Hydraulic Contractor):
- The interface for the Hydraulic Contractor will not change much, the only difference is that when he uploads a document then rather than the document status going to "Pending Review" (amber) it will go to "Pending Approval" (magenta).
- He will still get a very simplified list of what is required in his My Documents page and receive overdue reminders and other emails when comments are made as normal.
- For the mid-level discipline or "Approver" (Head Contractor):
- On the Project Homepage the Head Contractor will be able to see a "+" symbol next to the "Members" heading, by pressing this they can invite new members into the project for any of their sub-disciplines.
- On each Package (Credit) page the Approver is able to add new documents using the "Additional Documents" form at the bottom of the document list. When creating a new document he is able to assign it to any of his sub-disciplines. Thus an Approver is able to create new deliverable responsibilities for his sub-disciplines.
- On his "My Documents" page he will be able to see a list of his own documents as well as documents of his various sub-disciplines. He is able to filter the document list in the same way that a Project Administrator can, but it will be restricted to just the documents for himself and his sub-disciplines.
- On the "My Documents" page the Approver will only be able to set the status of the document to either "Requires Revision" (to push the document back to the original sub-discipline) or "Pending Review" (to approve the document and mark it for final review by the top-level Project Admin.
- On any of the Package (Credit) pages or on the Document page the Approver can copy or edit (change the discipline) of documents which are assigned to any of their sub-disciplines. They can edit the document to change the responsible-discipline to any sub-discipline or even themselves.
- Note: Ensure that you leave a comment on the document when you set the status to "Requires Revision" outlining what changes are required otherwise the sub-discipline will not know what changes to make.
- Note 2: Be careful if you are an editor and you change the discipline for a document back to your own discipline. In this case the document will be marked as being assigned to you with oversight and control given back to the Project Admin. Thus you will not be able to edit the due-dates or edit the document back to one of your sub-disciplines.
- For the highest-level "Project Administrators":
- A new column is created in the "Discipline Report" labelled "Pending Approval". This allows the Project Admin to see how many documents are at the stage of requiring approval from the Approver.
- The Project Admin still has the ability to edit the status of any document and override any document status or document due-date. Similarly, Project Admins can leave comments, edit and modify the requirements at any stage.
Can Approvers delete documents?
No. An approver is not able to delete documents, they can only create documents and/or re-shuffle responsibilities between existing documents. The reason for this is because they could then, in theory, delete documents that were originally set up by the Project Admin for a sub-consultant.
If an Approver would like to delete documents it is suggested that they leave a comment on the Document stating the reason why the document should be deleted. Project Admins receive email notification of all comments and thus are able to review and delete the document accordingly.
If there are a large number of documents to be deleted by the Approver then they can generate a CSV report in the "Document Report" page (button at the top-left of the page). This can then be opened up in Excel or another spreadsheet application and marked-up accordingly with documents to be deleted. This can then be emailed to a Project Admin for review and they can finalize the deletion.