The Email System
The email system on ODS Track is designed to remove a lot of the "grunt work" in issuing emails regarding overdue and reminder notices while also trying to minimise the number of emails that each individual project member receives. Please note the following default rules which we follow when issuing email notifications for each Tracker, these settings can over-ridden at any time by going to the Email Settings for each Project:
- We have tried to make the system to minimise email traffic as much as possible. The system only sends emails to relevant project team members when either a comment is made against a Document or Package or when they have document that are overdue.
- When multiple documents are assigned to an individual which go over their due-date then they get just one overdue reminder email which lists the documents that are overdue and provides a link to the My Documents page to upload them. We do this as much as possible: whenever multiple emails are scheduled to be sent then the system will try to compress that information down into a single email. The only exception to this is if a single individual is a member of more than one Discipline in a project. Then that individual will get one email for each Discipline they are a member of.
- Overdue reminders are by default set to be issued daily (1-day). This can be adjusted to any number of days in the Email Settings page.
- When you add a new Project Member then a simple project-invite email is sent to them telling them that they have been invited into the project (otherwise they will have no idea they are invited).
- If the invite is not accepted (or declined) and the invite remains outstanding then the invitation email is re-issued every 7-days. This can be adjusted to any number of days (or turned off) in the Email Settings page.
- An email listing responsibilities is not sent out immediately when a new responsibility or Discipline is assigned in the Project Homepage. The reason for this is because a Project Admin generally would want to shuffle responsibilities around while the project is being set up and members are being invited. Once an Admin has locked-down the responsibilities for one (or all) Disciplines then they should go to "My Documents", filter the list to the relevant Disciplines and then select Admin -> Send Reminder Emails. This is similar to Overdue emails that it just sends one email to each individual (per Discipline) and gives them a summary of documents requirements for them.
- Reminder emails sent this way are sent only once. There are no periodic follow-up or reminder emails sent for comments.
- You control if particular individuals receive these reminder emails in the Email Settings page.
- When a Comment is made not every user is notified by email. This is important as it avoid irrelevant and "spammy" emails being sent out. The rules for email notifications for Comments are as follows:
- If the Comment is made against a Document then only individuals assigned to that documents' Discipline will be notified (and Project Admins and any Discipline that may exist in the Comment thread previously). Its more like a one-on-one with with the Discipline (or previously involved Disciplines).
- When a Comment is left against a Package then the same behaviour occurs but it only notifies and Disciplines that are listed on the Document requirements for that Package. Its like a group chat between people relevant to that Package.
- Comment emails are sent out only once. There are no periodic follow-up or reminder emails sent for comments. You control if particular individuals receive these comment-notification emails in the Email Settings page.
- Unpublished Comments are emailed to Project Administrators only and the comment is kept hidden from users until the comment is marked as "publish" by a Project Administrator. This allows for comments to be peer-reviewed for quality-control prior to issue to the design team. This is a requirement for many consultants ISO9001 QA systems. Once a comment gets marked as "Published" then the same email rules as above apply for a normal comment.
- At the bottom of each Document-list in a Package there is the possibility for a normal user to click on the "Add new document" button to upload a new document that may not be in the list. This allows project team members to contribute additional information which they believe may be relevant to the project. When a New Document is created in this way then only Project Administrators will be notified by email this new document has been created, Project Administrators can then review the document and determine its suitability to the project.
- The email system and data is kept completely separate from the rest of the project and tracker data. This means that email records are maintained even if trackers and projects are deleted. Thus in the Email Statistics are listed all the Trackers for which emails were ever issued which is why you may see old or deleted trackers in the Email Statistics page. The same goes for individual emails. An email will continue to stay on that list even if it might have been removed as a Project Member. In this sense you can think of it a bit like a detailed Email "Sent" folder: Trackers, Emails and listed Items will remain there even if they have been deleted from the Project. This ensures that you can keep an accurate record of emails issued for the complete project history.