When multiple employees work on multiple projects, even in a small company it can easily happen that you lose track of who is doing what and on which project. However, it is very important to have quick and easy access to this kind information: you want to know progress on a project to plan for the future release, or you want to see if employees have some spare capacity or are too overwhelmed by the workload.
Maybe you feel that all that information is being lost in a pile of spreadsheets and emails. They are all there, but to access them means to spend precious minutes or even hours on searching the documents, every time. You wish to have everything in one place, with every question about current status or capacity answered within seconds and with just a few clicks. You want to easily make changes that are smoothly and automatically propagated to relevant people in the company. In this article, we will show you how to achieve this with Lumeer.
After we login into Lumeer, we create new collections Tasks, People and Projects. You can think of collection as a set of similar records, or, if you come from spreadsheet world, as a set of rows in one table.
When we click on People collection, we see empty table, so we define name of the columns and add rows with details about three employees:
What is different from spreadsheets is that table is only one of perspectives for your data. You can switch between them to look at the records as on post-its or from search perspective:
Let’s move on to another collection. We are currently looking at the data from search perspective, and the search bar is set to show People collection. When we remove that search tag, we can see all collections and choose Projects.
Similarly to People collection, we type in attribute names and information about one project:
And now comes the interesting part! We want to add name of project manager to the project. We could just type it into another column, but there would be no connection to records in People collection. Instead, we create a link between those two collections – actually, when we start to type Name as the new column name, Lumeer suggest that we can create a new link to column Name from People collection. We name it Project manager:
Now, when we start typing into Name column, we get suggestions from People collection:
This way, ad campaign from row 1 in Projects collection is linked with Jane Jones from People collection via Project manager link. If we make a change in this linked row – e.g. Jane Jones is promoted to head of marketing position – the change affects the original People collection. We have successfully avoided inconsistency in data, because data about people exists only once, without duplicates.
As Jane Jones was promoted, HR department needs to find new copywriter. Let’s add this as a new project for HR department and assign it to Mary Brown from HR (plus delete one project that we decided to abandon):
We can assume that we will often want to look at projects and their respective project managers together. Although they are in different collections, we can save the current view and access it with just one query in search bar:
Now, let’s repeat similar procedure for projects and tasks that are contained in them. First, we set attributes for Tasks collection:
Then, we switch back to Projects and managers view and create a copy of it. We disconnect Project manager link (don’t be afraid, it will continue to exist, it just won’t be displayed), create Tasks in projects link and save it as a new view.
We can create a new task right now, without switching to Tasks collection.
When we assigned project managers to projects, there was 1:1 connection – one manager for one project, but clearly there are more tasks for one project. What should we do now? No worries, Lumeer’s got us covered! We right-click the task and add one more row:
We have created two links, but what should we do if there are more of them? How not to get lost in them? And how to see which records are linked to which? There is one place where we can see it all, and it’s the detail perspective.
And that’s it! We’ve managed to set up collections of records and links between them in such a way that they represent real-world situations, where projects, tasks and employees are linked and connected. Sign in to Lumeer and try it for yourself!